Whether you plan to become a lorry driver due to financial, personal, or nostalgic reasons, there are many things to consider when becoming a lorry driver. Here is a guide on how to become a lorry driver in the United Kingdom.
The lorry driver job is not for everyone. In fact, there are certain characteristics of a successful lorry driver. Anyone looking to become a lorry driver should:
. Love driving a lorry
. Be extremely patient
. Be extremely safety-oriented
. Be self-motivated
. Be comfortable being alone for long periods of time
. Have a good physical condition
The Job Functions Of A Lorry Driver
A lorry driver in the United Kingdom should be prepared to drive commercial trucks over 7.5 tonnes including tankers, articulated lorries, trailer wagons, transporters, and more. You will need to work from distribution centres, depots, warehouses, and ports carrying cargo across the UK as well as throughout Europe. Your duties may also include:
. Planning the routes and delivery schedules with the transport manager
. Making sure the loads are secured safely
. Supervising and sometimes helping with the loading and unloading of cargo
. Following traffic reports and changing the route when necessary
. Completing logbooks and delivery paperwork
. Dealing with basic maintenance issues including oil checks, tyre checks, and brake checks before and after the journey
Lorry Driver Salaries
The average salary of a lorry driver in the UK ranges between £18,500 – £35,000.
. Starter – £18,500 to £22,000
. Experienced – £23,000 to £28,000
. Highly Experienced – £27,000 to £35,000
A lorry driver needs to work up to 42 hours a week and overtime is available. One needs to follow the strict regulations of the number of hours one could spend driving between breaks. You need to be prepared to spend most of your time on the road and drive day and night in all weather conditions. Overnight stays are necessary when the journey becomes long. If you have made it this far and still plan to become a lorry driver, here is how to do it:
How To Get Qualified?
You should meet the following criteria before you apply to become a lorry driver:
. Be over 18 years of age
. Have a full car driving licence
Here are the next steps to follow:
. Apply for the provisional lorry driving licence
. Complete the Driver CPC qualifications
Apply For A Provisional Lorry Licence
The first thing is to decide what type of vehicle you want to drive. There are many options to choose from such as under 7.5 tonnes or over 7.5 tonnes including flatbeds, tankers, trailer wagons, and articulated lorries. Once you decide which type of lorry you want to drive, you should apply for the applicable licence to drive the vehicle.
Having a class 2 driving licence enables you to drive a category C vehicle.
Category C1 – C1 is the lowest class of license for commercial lorries between 3.5-7.5 tonnes MAM*- with a trailer up to 750kg. With the C1 licence, you can drive Luton vans, lightbox trucks, and cargo vans.
Category C1E – With the C1E class of licence, you are allowed to drive vehicles in the C1 category with a trailer over 750Kg. But the trailer should not weigh more than the vehicle when fully loaded. The C1E licence is ideal if you are planning to drive vehicles with large and heavy utility trailers.
. The combined MAM* of both these categories should not exceed 12 tonnes.
The aforementioned article provides information on what you need to consider if you plan to become a lorry driver in the United Kingdom.