The Driving Force Behind the UK Economy

The great British trucker is the lifeblood of the UK’s economy.

With around 85 per cent of all consumer goods in Britain being transported by road, Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) drivers – or Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers as they were previously known – are a vital cog in keeping the supply chain moving. It is almost certain that the groceries in your weekly supermarket shop to the neatly-wrapped presents under the Christmas tree will at one stage have been in a LGV. But statistics show the trucker could soon become an endangered species. There are 600,000 LGV-licensed drivers currently registered in the UK – but with an average age of 57, it is expected that 25 per cent will retire within the decade!

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has stated that an extra 60,000 drivers are already needed, and with only 17,000 new LGV drivers qualifying each year, the shortages are only going to intensify. Surprisingly, it only takes a short period of time to become a fully qualified commercial driver. Within the space of just a few months it’s possible to go from holding a car licence to becoming a full C+E trucker – opening up countless employment opportunities.

So how do you become a qualified LGV driver?

Well, first of all, you have to be aged 18 or over and hold a full UK car driving licence. You must be competent in English and maths to pass the theory test, have good eyesight, and pass a driver’s medical to gain the appropriate provisional entitlement. 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. Once candidates have received their LGV provisional entitlement they can then move on to the four modules required.

Module 1 – Part one, the theory test, involves a series of 100 multiple-choice questions, and part two, the hazard perception test, comprises of screen footage of 20 potential dangers developing on the roads, and candidates are marked on their response time.

Module 2 – 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 their working day.

Module 3 – The practical on the road driving test, requires a driver answer numerous questions about vehicle safety, and demonstrate competent and safe driving skills. These include moving away at an angle, uphill and downhill starts, 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 test.

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 walkaround vehicle safety check.

Candidates who pass modules 2 and 4 – the ‘Initial Qualification’ – will be awarded with the all-important Driver Qualification Card which is valid for 5 years. This allows them to drive for commercial purposes.

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.

For any further help or advice, give the experts at Ben Shaw Training Ltd a call on 01282 614124 or email info@benshawtraining.co.uk.

LGV Driver CPC

LGV Driver CPC
LGV Driver CPC
Periodic Training or Initial Qualification?

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.