If you are wanting to qualify to be a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver, many different routes are available to you. Any individual wanting to drive these vehicles professionally must possess a licence and be fully trained. However there are a number of different kinds of LCV or HGV licences that are available, so you can choose the type you would like to pursue. In addition to the Driver CPC, there are C1, C, as well as C and E categories to choose from.
Driver Certificate of Professional Competence
Driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) is the standard qualification that every HGV driver needs to have in order to drive professionally. To obtain a Driver CPC, an individual must pass an exam that is made up of 2 parts of practical testing and 2 parts of theory. After becoming qualified, you must undergo 35 hours worth of training every 5 years, as well as submit evidence every 5 years that you have passed a medical exam in order for your licence to remain valid.
This is the basic and first level of HGV licensing and training that can be achieved. Basically this licence is a step up from the regular UK driver’s license that enables you to drive 3,500 kilogram vehicles with less than a 7.5 tonne gross weight. There are not many limits in terms of what form of vehicle it can be – including truck, lorry or tractor trailer setup that allows you to tow a trailer. Any individual who passed their driver’s test prior to 1997 has a C1 licence automatically, so it is worth it to check to see if you qualify.
With a category C licence a driver is allowed to drive vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes, but less than 32 tonnes. Typically, Category C (otherwise known as Class 2) licences cover a vehicle that has a trailer and cab fixed together permanently. Your vehicle weight with this licence must be under 750 kilograms. The licence is a type of stepping stone in HGV training – which represents a way of moving onto to category C and E licences. To obtain this licence you are required to be over 18 years old.
This is most comprehensive type of HGV licence of all. With this type of license a driver can drive an articulated or draw bar vehicle. What it means is the driver is able to go up to 750 kilograms in weight or over. This specific licence is also called Class 1, which enables drivers to drive any type of large goods style vehicle, which includes a double trailer.
Although the status for these licences don’t tend to vary a lot, you must first have a Driver CPC and in order to do that you will need to complete 35 hours worth of period training in every 5 year period.