Got what it takes to be a truck driver?
Whether you've always had a passion for being a truck driver, or if you're looking for a career change, gaining your LGV licence can be very rewarding.
Knowing where to start with getting your LGV licence can be very confusing. The Ben Shaw Training Ltd training advisors will guide you every step of the way.
First, some basic rules and terminology:
- LGV means Large Goods Vehicle, which used to be called HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle). This changed in the 1990's when they stopped calling the different licences: Class I, II & III.
- Licence Category C allows you to drive any rigid lorry (Typically up to a 32 tonne 8 wheeler tipper, but actually you could drive say an 80 tonne crane!) but you can only tow a very small trailer up to 750kg on a Cat. C licence. Category C is what used to be called Class II & Class III. Class III was a 2 axle rigid, and Class II was the heavier multi axle rigid (6 wheeler and 8 wheeler). By passing Class II or Class III you could tow a drawbar trailer, which is now shown on driving licences as CE 102 (Drawbar only, no artics).
- Licence Category C+E allows you to drive any truck and trailer combination, meaning you can drive articulated lorries (tractor unit and trailer), and wagon & drags (rigid and drawbar trailer). You can take your C+E test in either vehicle and get a full CE licence nowadays.
- Simply, when it comes to LGV licence categories, C means rigid, and E means trailer. The same applies for B+E (B is car, E is trailer). And again D+E (D is bus or coach, E is trailer).
- There is also a 'Medium Goods Vehicle' category called C1, that is basically a 7.5 tonne licence, which up until 1997 car drivers passing their car test got this given to them automatically. As was the same with the B+E (Car & Trailer), and the D1 (Minibus). But now you literally just get a car licence (up to 3.5 tonne).
- When it comes to taking your practical driving tests you must always pass the rigid vehicle test before you can add the 'E' trailer entitlement. For instance, you must pass C before you can take C+E test.
- The Driver CPC - not to be confused with the 'Operator CPC' - is extra training for professional bus and lorry drivers who want to drive commercially. There are two different LGV Driver CPC routes: The 'Initial Qualification' and the 'Periodic Training'. This topic is complicated and has a whole page devoted to itself. All you need to know here is that if you are planning on taking your LGV Cat. C test, and want to drive a truck for a living, then it is far better to go down the Initial Qualification route. And it's best to decide this before you go for your LGV theory tests.