IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL!
A CAREER that demands a high level of training will command a high salary – and a professional large goods vehicle (LGV) driving role is no different.
As with all jobs, wages are usually dependent on experience but also the level of LGV training undertaken.
The more knowledge and skills a person acquires, the greater potential to boost their career but, more importantly, their pay packet.
LGV driving is not just about driving a truck. Many vehicles are fitted with a crane (HIAB) which must be operated by a suitably trained and qualified LGV driver.
And some drivers may have to transport dangerous (ADR) or high value goods – which requires specialist training and certification.
Other LGV drivers choose to become Operator CPC holders, and head into the role of transport manager or owner operator.
Operator CPC confirms the holder has a thorough knowledge of managing a commercial transport enterprise.
Greater expertise, knowledge and experience will all be reflected by a higher rate of pay.
The average salary of a full-time UK LGV driver is around £24,700, typically based on driving 45 hours-a-week.
A newly-qualified driver – holding a cat C+E – can expect to earn between £18,500 to £24,500-a-year, while an experienced driver can receive anything up to £35,000 plus.
Overtime may be available but there are strict laws about the amount of hours you can spend driving between rest breaks.
Most of your time will be spent on the road – driving day and night in all weather conditions – and overnight may be required.
Is this the job for you? Yes, great! First of all, you must be aged 18 or over and hold a full car driving licence.
You need to have successfully completed the theory test, have good eyesight, and pass a driver’s medical to gain a provisional licence
All applicants must pass their category C practical test before moving on to taking the category C+E truck and trailer combination driving test.
Category C licence holders can drive any rigid truck up to 32-tonnes, and C+E holders any truck and trailer, including wagon and drags and articulated lorries.
There are four modules to pass in obtaining the category C licence.
Module 1 – Part one of the theory test involves a series of 100 multiple-choice questions, and part two – a hazard perception test – comprises of screen footage displaying 20 potential dangers developing on the roads.
Module 2 – Is the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) case study theory test.
This involves a series of seven short computer-generated stories, based on situations drivers could face during at work.
Module 3 – During the practical road driving test, a driver will be asked numerous questions about vehicle safety and have to demonstrate competent and safe driving.
These include moving away at an angle, uphill and downhill, dealing with hazards, road awareness and finding a safe place to stop.
Off-road exercises include an S-shaped reverse into a bay, and uncoupling and recoupling of a trailer for those taking the category C+E.
Module 4 – The drivers CPC’s practical demonstration test involves following safety rules when loading the truck, ensuring it is secure to prevent trafficking of illegal immigrants, assessing emergency situations and performing a walk around vehicle safety check.
Candidates who pass modules two and four – the ‘Initial Qualification’ – will be awarded with the all-important Driver Qualification Card which is valid for five years. This allows them to drive for a living.
Older drivers, who passed the car driving test prior to 1997, will have ‘Acquired Rights’ allowing them to opt out of the Initial Qualification tests, and instead attend a 35-hour (five day) ‘Periodic Training’ course, where they too will be awarded a five-year Driver Qualification Card.
All commercial drivers must subsequently attend a Periodic Training course at least every five years to keep the card valid.
To book either the cat C or C+E training courses give the experts at Ben Shaw Training Ltd a call on 01282 614124 or email [email protected].