Road haulage is essential to the British economy so there will always be careers for good drivers. In the 12 months ending September 2015 there were 1.63 billion tonnes of goods transported by road within the UK, whilst UK-registered HGVs transported 8.5 million tonnes of goods to or from the UK. If you want to become an HGV driver, here are our ‘need to know’ facts.
Generally, HGV drivers are expected to work around 42 hours a week. This could be at any time of the day or night, and they often have to be away from home overnight or for a number of nights. UK laws on rest breaks are extremely strict and all drivers are required to adhere rigidly to them.
If you’re starting your first job as an HGV driver, you can expect to earn between £18,000 and £22,000 a year. This could rise to as much as £35,000 for a specialist driver of fuel or chemicals. There is often the chance to earn overtime.
To become a lorry, bus or coach driver you need to be over 18, have a full car licence, pass the four tests that make up the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC), complete 35 hours of CPD training every five years in order to stay qualified, prove that you are medically fit.
Your skills and personality are as much a part of being a good HGV driver as having a licence. In additional to excellent driving skills, you’ll need to be comfortable being on your own, have the ability to concentrate for long periods of time, be polite and friendly with customers and clients, have the ability to keep accurate records, and be fit enough to deal with manual handling of goods.
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