The average person can take up to six months of training before they are ready for the road. However, there are some courses that can be completed in as little as three weeks.
Due to a scarcity of HGV drivers, the UK is presently experiencing a gasoline crisis. (Photo courtesy of PA)
Fuel shortages in the UK have resulted in Brits resorting to lengths to fill up their tanks, including filling up plastic bags and brawling at gas stations.
Despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to reassure the public that the situation is’stabilizing,’ and the army’s deployment to assist in the driving of tankers, there are still lines in certain areas of the country, as well as gas stations without fuel.
Rather than a lack of supply, the shortages are due to a scarcity of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers to transport gasoline to gas stations.
The scarcity of HGV drivers is due to a number of reasons, including a backlog of HGV driving tests caused by the pandemic, many employees leaving owing to decreased hours and furlough, and some EU workers losing their ability to work in the UK as a result of Brexit.
Although up to 5,000 temporary visas are available till the end of February, just 127 individuals are reported to have applied thus far.
With such a high need for drivers, how do you go about becoming one, how long does it take, and how much money can you expect to make?
How long does it take to learn to operate a heavy-duty truck?
Although the practical training is just five days long, the whole training procedure takes a bit longer since you must also get an HGV license.
This may take 8-10 weeks, and various kinds of licenses are available, depending on the weight of the vehicles you want to drive.
You must be 18 or older, and many job postings for truck driving positions stipulate that you have had a UK, Northern Irish, or EU driver’s license for at least 12 months.
The government’s website has additional information on the various HGV licenses and other criteria.
What does an HGV driver make?
According to the employment portal Totaljobs, the typical pay for an HGV driver is between £28,000 and £32,500.
Some occupations are full-time, while others are part-time or paid on an hourly basis in contract positions.
HGV driver pay varies based on a number of variables, including the hours they must work (Picture: Getty)
Other current postings pay £17 per hour for part-time hours, while others pay £12.50, and some trainee positions pay £10 per hour.
The pay is determined by a number of variables, including the business, the number of hours worked (both length and time of day, since many people work overnight), and the kind of vehicle they will be driving.
Surprisingly, several paid positions also demand drivers to work more than 50 hours each week.
How do you get an HGV driver’s license and how much does it cost?
You must also get a professional driving certification known as the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence in addition to your driver’s license (CPC).
You’ll also have to pass a medical test to verify that you don’t have any medical problems that might make it unsafe for you to drive. As part of the procedure, your doctor will have to fill out a DVLA form.
If you obtained your vocational Category C, C1, C+E, or C1+E license before 2009, you’ll need to complete four exams or have acquired rights to get the CPC.
The overall cost of the HGV will be between £250 and £300.
Those interested in becoming HGV drivers must complete Driver CPC training (Picture: Chris Furlong via Getty)
According to gov.uk, there are four sections to the CPC test:
Part 1 of the CPC exam is a theory examination.
To begin, you must complete the CPC theory exam, which is divided into two sections: multiple choice and danger perception.
To pass, you’ll need a score of at least 67 out of 100.
Part 2 of the CPC exam: Case studies
The CPC exam then moves on to the case studies portion, where you’ll analyze seven short tales “based on scenarios you’re likely to encounter in your professional life.”
For each case study, you’ll be given up to eight multiple-choice questions, and you’ll need to score at least 40 out of 50 to pass.
Part 3 of the CPC is a driving ability exam.
Only after passing your theoretical exam can you take your practical test, which will last one hour and 30 minutes.
It includes questions on car safety, realistic road driving, and off-road activities. If you make a mistake during the test, you may continue until it results in a failure, in which case your driving examiner will send you back to the driving test center.
To pass, you must make 15 or fewer driving errors, with no severe or hazardous errors.
Part 4 of the CPC exam is a practical demonstration.
You must have passed CPC part two to go to this level, and you will be assessed on your ability to:
- To keep the vehicle secure, load it according to safety regulations.
- Stop illicit immigration trafficking.
- Evaluate the situation in an emergency
- Reduce the danger of physical harm to yourself or others.
- Perform a walkaround vehicle safety inspection.
The exam consists of five subjects from the CPC curriculum, each worth a maximum of 20 points. To pass, you must score at least 15 out of 20 in each subject area and a total score of 80 out of 100.
After passing, you’ll get a Driver CPC card, which you must have with you at all times when operating your HGV.
To maintain driving professionally, you must complete 35 hours of Driver CPC training every five years.
The government has pledged to make it simpler for individuals to qualify because of the lack of HGV drivers.
The DVLA intends to do this by offering up to 50,000 more HGV driving exams each year, as well as training up to 4,000 individuals in the profession via short intense courses.
To help alleviate the issue, the government is considering offering a temporary visa program for foreign employees interested in working as truck drivers.
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