The UK is currently facing a shortage of HGV drivers. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimates that there is a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers for the country’s needs. The haulage industry is an essential part of our economy so it’s vital that this shortage is overcome.
If you love driving on the open road and you’re looking for a change of career, HGV driving might be the role for you. Now is an ideal time to train as an HGV driver and get started in your future career.
Our below guide has all the information you’ll need to get started in your driving career.
What Does an HGV Driver Do?
An HGV driver will drive vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, transporting goods from one location to another.
Driving is obviously a huge part of becoming an HGV driver, but the job will require other skills too. You’ll need to be able to navigate, potentially having to change routes last minute so you can avoid accidents or congestion. You’ll need to keep on top of paperwork to track your load. You’ll also need to be able to monitor the hours you’ve been working, so you can make sure you’re getting enough rest, especially if you’re driving long distances. You’ll also likely need to carry out some basic maintenance on your vehicle to make sure it’s safe and to keep you moving on the road.
If you work as a removals driver, you’ll also need to assist with packing, loading and unloading. You’ll have to speak with customers and will often work as part of a crew.
What Skills Do I Need to Be an HGV Driver?
You’ll need to be a good driver and have the ability to focus for long periods of time. You should be patient and calm when driving, and comfortable driving in different environments.
You’ll need to have good people skills and be a team player, especially if you are employed as a removals driver and are often working with others. You’ll need to be able to take on problems and challenges when they come up and solve them efficiently.
Hours can vary and you’ll sometimes be required to drive long distances. Drivers for Britannia can find themselves working locally in the UK and across Europe. To be a removals driver, you should be happy to occasionally travel for your work.
What Qualifications Do I Need to Be an HGV Driver?
To begin training as an HGV driver, you will need a full driving licence and be over 18 years old.
You’ll need to pass a medical exam to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could make it dangerous for you to drive. For this, a doctor will take some information from you and conduct a brief examination.
You’ll also need to pass a theory test, similar to the theory test you would take when learning to drive a car. This will involve multiple choice questions and is taken on a computer.
After the medical and theory, you can begin training to get your licence to drive an HGV. There are different categories of licence, which will allow you to drive different types of vehicles. These include a Cat C1 licence, which is for light goods vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes; a Cat C licence, which is for rigid bodied trucks between 7.5 and 32 tonnes; and a Cat C+E licence, which is for draw bar and articulated vehicles.
If you want to become a driver with Britannia Movers International, we can provide full training and a competitive remuneration package for the right candidates.
How Long Does Training Take to Be an HGV Driver?
The entire training process can take between eight to 10 weeks. The practical training, when you will be driving a vehicle, usually takes just five days.
What Do HGV Drivers Earn?
What an HGV driver can earn will depend on their experience, the vehicle they drive, and the hours they work. An HGV driver can expect to receive a solid salary package which will likely reflect their skill and experience. Location will also determine salary levels due to regional variations in wages, particulalry in London and the South East. Applicants can discuss salary earning potential with their local Britannia office.
What Hours do HGV Drivers Work?
Hours for HGV drivers will be strictly regulated and you’ll usually have to keep to a rota. This is to prevent drivers from working when they are tired and potentially causing accidents on the road.
There is a legal limit of nine driving hours a day, but sometimes drivers may be allowed to drive for 10 hours a day twice a week, as long as the weekly driving time doesn’t exceed 56 hours. Drivers will often have irregular shift patterns, and they will have to take regular breaks throughout the day.
Your hours will differ when you work as a removals driver for Britannia, depending on if you are doing a local move or going overseas to Europe. If you are driving longer distances, you will have to work longer hours – however, you will still need to schedule in regular breaks and get plenty of rest between driving shifts.
How Do I Become an HGV Driver for Britannia?
Britannia is currently looking to recruit drivers with both Class 1 and Class 2 driving licences. We’re looking for enthusiastic, confident individuals who love driving and want travel to be part of their working life.
You can find out more information about becoming a driver for Britannia here.