The weather is warming up and caravanners across the UK are getting ready to set off on their adventures – making many magical memories along the way.
The beauty about owning a caravan is the exploring potential is almost limitless. And if you don’t like one destination, just simply pack up and move on.
Caravanning has witnessed a resurgence in recent years, with sleek and modern tourers coming on to the market.
And it is big business with more than £1.8bn spent on caravan holidays in Britain each year, and 51 million nights spent in different forms of caravans over the same period.
It is estimated there are 550,000 touring caravan owners in the UK, and in 2015, a total of 44,901 new caravans, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes were bought.
But what makes caravan holidays so appealing that the memories often last a lifetime?
“It’s the flexibility and freedom a leisure vehicle offers,” said John Lally Director General of the National Caravan Council.
He added: “Families and people of all ages enjoy caravanning and motor homing.
“We’re also seeing increasing numbers of younger people choosing to holiday in the UK.
“With caravans and motorhomes equipped with all the latest technology and comforts, the industry provides the perfect solution for holidaymakers to enjoy a ‘home from home’ experience any time of the year.”
But before you go rushing out to buy a caravan, ask yourself if you’re legal to tow it.
First of all, you need to check the date you passed your driving test.
If it’s before January 1, 1997, you are fine because the category B+E entitlement is automatically included on your licence.
But for those who tore up their L-plates after this date, only categories B and B1 are included, which limits the maximum weight of a vehicle you can drive to 3,500kg and trailer you can tow to 750kg.
To drive or tow anything larger, an additional driving test to add the B+E category to your licence is required.
Ben Shaw Training’s expert tuition can help drivers reach the standard required to pass the test. Or if you’re after a refresher course to brush up on your towing skills, we can help with that, too!
From one-to-one driving lessons and practical tuition by experienced instructors to advice on different licensing categories they can do it all.
With less than a month to go until Christmas, it’s the last minute rush trying to find ‘that’ perfect present for someone who has everything!
At Ben Shaw Training Ltd we offer B+E (Car & Trailer) and LGV (Large Goods Vehicle) courses, and have a variety of different gift vouchers options available:
B+E Car & Trailer Initial 2hr Lesson
B+E Car & Trailer Full Course and Test
Trailer or Caravan Towing Improvement and Manoeuvring
Caravan Beginner Course
LGV Medical and Theory Test Package
LGV Cat. C1 (7.5 Tonne) Course and Test
LGV Cat. C (Class 2 Rigid) Initial 2hr Lesson
LGV Cat. C (Class 2 Rigid) Course and Test
LGV C+E (Class 1 Artic/Drawbar Trailer) 4hr Initial Lesson
LGV C+E (Class 1 Artic/Drawbar Trailer) Course and Test
LGV Ride-along as a passenger
B+E (Car & Trailer)
Drivers passing their car driving test after 1 January 1997 no longer receive the B+E (Car & Trailer), D1 (Minibus, or C1 (7.5 Tonne) Grandfather Rights! An extra vocational practical driving test must now be passed to have these entitlements added to your licence.
Winter is a great time to start planning summer holidays and weekend getaways! Caravanning is perfect for families, and couples alike. Alas, many people lack the confidence to actually hitch up an go… We offer courses for absolute beginners, which includes, siting and levelling up. How the electric system works, both 12 volt and 240. How the gas supply fuels the heating, cooker and fridge. How to use toilet facilities. Safe loading procedures. Manoeuvring and reversing, including the benefits of a motormover.
We also offer a shorter course for more seasoned caravaners that are familiar with using a caravan, but struggle manoeuvring and reversing.
LGV (Large Goods Vehicle)
Whether you’re planning a career change, or you’re wanting to drive a horsebox, or maybe even fancy fulfilling a dream of driving a truck just for the fun of it! We can provide assistance in all aspects of getting behind the wheel of a large vehicle. We also offer the chance to come on a ride-along as a passenger, giving you the chance to get a feel of the power and the size of a HGV!
Call us for a price of the different options. Don’t worry if you buy the wrong one, as we’ll happily change it for a more appropriate lesson for the same value.
Christmas Open Day
All are welcome to join us for our open day, Wednesday 30th December.
Anybody involved in the transport industry will already be aware that all commercial drivers must hold a Driver Qualification Card, which is obtained by doing the Driver CPC… but a great number of people don’t realise that there are two different types of the Driver CPC, Periodic Training (35 hour classroom based course with no test), and the Initial Qualification (Module 2 Theory Test and Module 4 Practical Test).
Which LGV Driver CPC route a truck driver needs to take depends on whether they are an existing truck driver or a new truck driver.
Periodic Training is for ‘Existing’ drivers.
Initial Qualification for ‘New’ drivers.
An ‘Existing’ driver is someone who passed their car driving test before the 1st January 1997. (This is because they automatically received the C1 (7.5 Tonne) Grandfather rights, which in the eyes of the DVLA classes them as a Large Goods Vehicle driver, even if they’ve never actually driver a vehicle size!).
An ‘Existing’ driver is also someone who passed an LGV C1 or C test before 10th September 2009 (The LGV Driver CPC start date). N.B. The PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) Driver CPC start date was a year earlier, 10th September 2008.
A ‘New’ driver is someone who didn’t hold a C1 or C before 9th September 2009.
New Drivers must go down the Initial Qualification route.
Existing driver can now (Since mid 2015) chose to go down either the Periodic Training or the Initial Qualification routes. This change came in because drivers were passing their LGV Category C practical driving tests, and then finding that they had to then attend a weeks (35 hour) Periodic Training course before they could start work as a truck driver! The benefit of going down the Initial Qualification route is that the extra theory test (Mod 2) is very similar to the theory test need to be passed before taking the C practical test, and the Driver CPC practical test (Mod 4) can be taken during the LGV driver training course that they attending anyway! (This saves a week of your life that you’ll never get back, so it’s well worth considering). N.B. Existing drivers can only chose the Initial Qualification route to obtain their first Driver Qualification Card!
Ben Shaw Training Ltd can arrange either the Periodic Training, or the Initial Qualification.
Our Initial Qualification course covers everything!
We provide you with Theory Test classroom lesson, and access to an online theory study website and app for your phone or tablet.
We book your theory test at a test centre that suits you.
Once the Mod 2 theory test is passed, we then provide you with our online study video for your practical test, which means you can learn at home before coming to take your test, saving you time and money, and giving you more time to absorb all the information by watching the video as many times as you like.
On the test day we’ll pair you up with another Mod 4 test candidate, meaning that you’ll save money by sharing the cost of hiring our time as we’ll be taking one of our training vehicles to the test centre, with your tests will be back to back (one after the other). You’ll also be given vehicle familiarisation training, and the chance to practice with our load securing devices, which you may be tested on. We’ll also test your knowledge by going through what you’ve learnt whilst watching our training video.
If you’re doing your LGV practical driving test with us, you have the choice of doing the Driver CPC Initial Qualification as part of your course (Recommended). Or it can be done separately.
We also provide the Initial Qualification course on it’s own. The type of people that book on this course with us are drivers that have already passed their LGV practical test (10th September 2009 or after). We get a lot of ex armed forces, as they may have passed their driving test whilst in the Army, but have not done their Driver CPC as the Armed Forces are exempt from doing it. We also get lots of drivers that have passed their LGV practical driving test with another driver training school, and have either had a bad experience with them, or have been given bad advice from the outset.
At Ben Shaw Training Ltd, we believe that our Driver CPC Initial Qualification course is the best in the area! We make it as painless and as cost effective as possible. What more could you ask for?
Call 01282 614124 for any licence advice or course info.