Guide on how to become a lorry driver

There are plenty of reasons as to why one might consider pursuing a career as a lorry driver, from personal reasons, financial reasons, nostalgia, all the way to desperation. Whatever your reason for wanting to become a lorry driver is, we can help guide you through the process.

But first, you should note that not everyone is cut out to be a lorry driver. There are certain characteristics you must possess to excel at this job:

– Commercial driving requires a lot of patience
– Commercial drivers have to be self-motivated
– Commercial drivers always need to be in good physical condition
– Commercial drivers have to be extremely safety-oriented
– Commercial drivers have to be comfortable with their own company for extended periods of time
– Commercial drivers need to have a love for driving

What does my job entail as a lorry driver?

As a lorry driver, you will be required to operate commercial vehicles exceeding 7.5 tonnes such as tankers, articulated lorries, trailer wagons and transporters. You will be operating from ports, warehouses, distribution centres and depots, transporting and delivering goods throughout the UK and even all over Europe. Searching for ‘how long do I have to renew my HGV licence‘ will give you relevant results if you’re looking to renew your license.

Besides driving, your job may also involve tasks such as:
– Coordinating delivery routes and schedules with transport managers
– Overseeing the loading and offloading of cargo and offering assistance as needed
– Ensuring that the cargo has been properly secured
– Monitoring traffic reports and adjusting routes as needed
– Filling out delivery paperwork and logbooks
– Taking care of basic maintenance, i.e., brake, tyre, and oil checks before starting and after completing deliveries.

What is the salary of a lorry driver?

Lorry drivers in the UK typically earn between £18,500 and £35,000 – these figures are purely estimates.

As a starter driver, you can expect a salary ranging from £18,500 – £35,000 while an experienced driver earns a salary in the range of £23,000 – £28,000. The most experienced drivers take home a salary ranging from £27,000 – £35,000.

As a lorry driver, you will be expected to work up to 42 hours a week, though overtime is usually available. However, you should keep in mind that there are strict laws regarding the maximum number of hours you can be on the road between breaks.

You will spend the vast majority of your time driving and you will do so both day and night and in all weather conditions. Overnight stays are also quite common.

If after learning all this you are still determined to become a lorry driver, here’s the actual process to becoming a lorry driver:

Getting qualified

Before even sending an application for the position of a lorry driver, you need to ensure that you meet the following criteria:

– Are over 18 years old
– Have a full car driving license

If you’ve satisfied the above criteria, you need to do the following:

– Apply for a provisional lorry driving license
– Take a Driver CPC qualification training course

How to apply for a provisional lorry driving license
First, you need to identify the type of vehicle you are interested in driving. There are a couple of options available, under/above 7.5 tonnes including tankers, articulated lorries, trailer wagons and flatbeds.

After deciding which type of vehicle you want to operate, you will then need to apply for the relevant license.

Medium-sized vehicles

Category C1 – This license allows you to operate commercial vehicles weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes maximum (with a trailer weighing a maximum of 750kg). It is the most basic license category in commercial driving. Getting this license means that you will be able to drive cargo vans, Luton vans, and lightbox trucks.

Category C1E – This class of license allows you to operate C1 category commercial vehicles with a trailer exceeding 750kg but the trailer shouldn’t weigh more than the vehicle when fully loaded. The Category C1E license is recommended for those who want to drive vehicles with large, heavy utility trailers.

The combined Maximum Allowed Mass in both of the two license categories shouldn’t be more than 12 tonnes.