Whether it’s financial, personal, nostalgia or even desperation, there are many reasons one may want to become a lorry driver. No matter the reason, this brief is meant to guide you on the process.
One thing to keep in mind is that the job of a lorry driver is not meant for everybody. There are certain traits that go well for anyone looking to take on lorry driving. These include:
-A passion for driving big vehicles
-The virtue of patience
-In good physical and mental condition
-Comfortable with your own company for extended periods.
So, what do you need to do in order to become a lorry driver?
First and foremost, you’re required to operate vehicles (over 7.5 tonnes), such as trailer wagons, tankers, articulated lorries, and transporters. You’ll work from ports, warehouses, distribution centres and depots, hauling all kinds of goods all over the United Kingdom and in some cases, across Europe. If you require an HGV license you would need to invest in training.
In addition to driving, your other responsibilities may include:
-Helping or overseeing the process of loading and unloading goods
-Ensuring the loads are secured properly
-Planning delivery routes and schedules with the transport managers
-Completing delivery logbooks and related paperwork
-Following traffic reports and adjusting your route when necessary.
Also, you may need to conduct basic maintenance such as brakes, tyre and oil checks before and after your trip.
What is the salary of a lorry driver?
When you start your lorry driving career, you can expect to be paid between £19,000 and £35,000. When starting out, you will make between £19,000 and £22,000. When you gain more experience, you can expect to make anywhere between £23,000 and £28,000. When you become highly seasoned, you will be able to make between £29,000 and £35,000.
More often than not, you will be required to work up to 42 hours a week, but overtime options may be available. Keep in mind that there are stringent laws regarding the number of hours you can spend driving between breaks.
Since most of your time will be spent on the road, you can expect to drive day and night and in varying weather conditions. Also, overnight stays might also be required.
If you’ve made it this far and still have an interest in taking lorry driving as a career, then the following section will show you exactly how.
Getting Qualified as a Lorry Driver
Before applying to become a lorry driver, first, you will need to be over 18 years old and hold a full car driving licence. Next, you will need to apply for a provisional lorry driving license and then complete a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification.
The Process of Provisional Lorry Licence Application
First and foremost, you need to decide on the kind of vehicle you wish to drive. There are several options for both over 7.5 tonnes and under 7.5 tonnes. Examples include trailer wagons, articulated lorries, flatbeds and tankers.
Once you have settled on the type of vehicle you want to operate, the next step is to apply for the appropriate licence.
Category C1– This is the lowest licence class. C1 allows you to operate commercial vehicles between 3.5 tonnes maximum authorised mass. With a category C1 licence, you’ll be able to operate vehicles such as lightbox trucks, cargo vans and Luton vans.
Category C1E– With a C1E license, you can operate C1 category vehicles, with a trailer over 750Kg. However, the trailer can’t weigh more than the commercial vehicle when it is fully loaded. This type of licence is best when you want to drive vehicles with big, heavy utility trailers.