how to become a lorry driver

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Become a Lorry Driver in the UK

Have you ever thought about becoming a lorry driver? Have you ever wondered how you’d even get started, or what lorry drivers actually earn? Read on to learn more about how to become a lorry driver in the UK. From meeting eligibility requirements to obtaining the necessary qualifications, finding the right job and keeping your licence and CPC up to date, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we’ll discuss:

·        How to become a lorry driver

·        HGV driver training

·        HGV driver salary

·        How to get HGV driver jobs

How to Become a Lorry Driver

Becoming a lorry driver is a fantastic career choice for those who have a passion for the open road and are looking for a well-paid job. It’s not just about driving. Being an HGV driver is a rewarding and fulfilling profession where you have the freedom to explore the country or even the continent. But, before you can hit the road, there are a few steps you need to take to become a lorry driver.

First, you must meet the eligibility requirements. This includes being at least 18 years of age (although, for insurance purposes, most companies won’t take you on until you’re at least 23). You’ll also need a valid UK driving license with a good driving record and no criminal convictions.

The next step is to get the necessary qualifications. There is a common misconception that lorry driving is an unskilled job. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Lorry drivers need a range of skills and qualifications to ensure a successful career.

You’ll need a Category C or C+E license, which requires passing a series of tests, including a theory test and a practical driving test. The theory test covers important topics such as safety, fuel efficiency, and regulations. The practical test assesses your driving skills. This includes a pre-drive vehicle check, an on-road driving section, and a reversing exercise.

It’s also important to note that as a professional lorry driver, you’ll need to complete 35 hours of CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) training. This training is mandatory for all HGV drivers in the UK and covers a variety of topics such as safety, fuel efficiency, and regulations. Additionally, you’ll also need to pass a medical exam to ensure you’re fit to drive a lorry. This is a standard procedure for all HGV drivers and it’s done to ensure that you’re healthy enough to drive for long hours on the road.

Once you have your license and CPC certification, it’s time to start looking for lorry driver jobs. You can find job listings online, through recruitment agencies, or by networking with other lorry drivers in the industry. And don’t forget to keep your license and CPC certification up-to-date! They need to be renewed every five years so you can continue working as a lorry driver.

Becoming a lorry driver is a long-term commitment and requires patience, focus, and dedication. But with the right qualifications and training, you can enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career.

HGV Driver Training

When it comes to HGV driver training, it’s important to understand that it’s mandatory for all professional drivers in the UK. As we mentioned above, HGV driver training is known as a CPC. It’s designed to ensure that lorry drivers are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to drive safely and efficiently. The CPC training is split into two parts: the Initial Qualification and the Periodic Training.

The Initial Qualification, also known as the Driver CPC, is 35 hours of training that must be completed before you can start working as a lorry driver. The Initial Qualification is usually completed in a classroom setting, but it can also be done online.

Once you’ve completed the Initial Qualification, you’ll then have to complete Periodic Training. This is 35 hours of training that must be completed every 5 years, to maintain your CPC. It’s designed to keep lorry drivers up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry and to refresh their knowledge and skills. The Periodic Training is usually completed in a classroom setting, but, like the Driver CPC, it can also be done online.

HGV Driver Salary

When it comes to being a lorry driver in the UK, one of the most important things to consider is salary. And the good news is, lorry drivers can earn pretty decent money. On average, an HGV driver’s salary is around £32,000 per year. But, it’s important to keep in mind that this figure can vary depending on many different factors.

One of the biggest factors that can affect a lorry driver’s salary is experience. Drivers who’ve been on the road for a while and have built up a good amount of experience can earn a lot more than newer drivers. Another factor to consider is the type of vehicles you’re able to drive. Drivers who can operate articulated lorries or tankers, can command higher salaries.

The type of company you work for can also make a big difference in your salary. Larger, well-established companies tend to pay more than smaller companies. And if you work for a logistics or haulage company, you may see a higher salary than if you worked for a retail company.

Location is another important factor to consider when it comes to salary. Lorry drivers working in London and the southeast tend to earn more than those working in other parts of the country.

With the right qualifications and experience, lorry drivers can earn a decent salary and enjoy a rewarding career. And don’t forget, there are other benefits to being a lorry driver such as flexible working hours, travel opportunities and the freedom to work on your own.

How to Get HGV Driver Jobs

Once you’ve obtained your HGV license and completed your training, you can start looking for HGV jobs:

1. Look for job listings online: HGV drivers are in high demand, so you’ll always find jobs online with the major job boards. Indeed or CV Library are good places to start. These websites allow you to search for jobs based on location, experience level, and type of company.

2. Network with other lorry drivers: Getting to know other lorry drivers can help you learn about job openings. You could get your foot in the door with a company, even if they’re not advertising. Joining professional organisations such as the Road Haulage Association (RHA) can also help you network and learn about job opportunities.

3. Check with recruitment agencies: Recruitment agencies such as Proactive Personnel, specialise in finding jobs for lorry drivers. They can help you find the right job for your qualifications and experience. They have a good understanding of the job market and often have exclusive job listings that aren’t available elsewhere.

4. Check with logistics companies: Many logistics companies have regular open positions for lorry drivers, especially for long-haul deliveries.

5. Be persistent and flexible: Finding a job as a lorry driver can take time, so it’s important to be persistent and flexible. You may need to apply for several jobs before you find the right one, and you may need to consider different types of jobs or locations.

Why Use a Recruitment Agency to Find Work as an HGV Driver

As we indicated above, using a recruitment agency to find work as an HGV driver can offer many benefits:

1. Access to Exclusive Job Listings: Recruitment agencies often have access to job listings that are not available through public channels such as job boards or newspapers.

2. Personalised Service: Recruitment agencies work with you to understand your qualifications, experience and preferences. They match you with job openings that are a good fit. They take the time to understand your needs and goals, and can help you find a job that is the right fit for you.

3. Industry Knowledge: Recruitment agencies have a deep understanding of the job market. They provide valuable insights and advice on the current state of the industry, as well as the type of companies that are hiring.

4. Screening and Vetting: Recruitment agencies are responsible for screening and vetting potential candidates. This can save you time and effort by eliminating the need to go through the application process for jobs that you’re not qualified for.

5. Help with Interviews and Negotiations: Recruitment agencies can provide guidance and support throughout the application process. They’ll help you prepare for interviews and negotiate salary and benefits.

6. Temporary or Permanent Positions: Recruitment agencies can offer both temporary and permanent positions. Temp roles can be a good option for those who are looking for flexibility in their work.

7. Long-term Support: Recruitment agencies often provide long-term support to their candidates, even after they’ve been placed in a job. This can include career advice, CV building, and guidance on how to advance in your career.

Becoming a lorry driver in the UK is a rewarding and fulfilling profession that requires patience, focus, and dedication. As we’ve covered, to start your journey, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having a valid UK driving license and being at least 18 years old (or 23, in most cases).

Obtaining necessary qualifications like a Category C or C+E license and completing CPC training is also mandatory. We also talked about the process of finding the right job, and keeping your license and CPC up-to-date. With the right qualifications and training, you can enjoy a successful career as a lorry driver in the UK.