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HGV Driver Shortage – The Best Time To Become An HGV Driver In 2021

Are you thinking about changing careers, or have you been listening to the news about the HGV driver shortage and thought you might want to try a career as a professional lorry driver, but you are stuck wondering how long and how much it would cost to get your HGV licence?

Regardless of the career path you follow, there is always the need to complete some form of training, whether it’s just learning the correct way to lift a heavy box so you don’t injure yourself or making sure your load is safe secure during transport.

The most significant benefit of pursuing a profession as an HGV driver is that you will always be in demand. The current lorry driver shortage is causing chaos in the logistics industry, this indicates that as an HGV driver you will never run out of work. Plus, the recent wages for HGV drivers have increased significantly in 2021, without a doubt, this is the best time to become an HGV driver.

What does an HGV driver do?

As an HGV driver, you will be driving an HGV truck and responsible for transporting a variety of things from point A to point B. Local, national, and international.

As you might expect, lorry drivers spend a lot of time on the road and can be away from home for extended periods depending on where they work. Many HGV drivers spend a night or two in the cab of their vehicle, and they are frequently gone for the whole working week. HGV drivers work long hours, usually between 45 and 50 hours per week.

You’ll also be in charge of loading and unloading the items, as well as ensuring that you have everything you need before leaving and arriving at your destination. HGV drivers work alone a lot, which is frequently a good thing for them because they love the freedom that comes with it.

A white and blue HGV truck driving on the motorway

Benefits of becoming an HGV Driver

1. Ever-Changing Industry

The need for logistics and transportation has risen steadily over the years, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Many diverse sectors demand readily available items, and personnel must always convey these goods to their destinations. Therefore, an HGV/LGV driver is an attractive choice if you’re seeking long-term employment with extra security.

2. Stability & Security

After passing the required tests and training to earn an HGV/LGV licence, you will have access to many driving and logistical opportunities. In addition, increasing your driving experience and obtaining qualifications to drive larger vehicles will improve your job prospects and prove useful when hunting for work.

3. Career Progression & Development

Following up on our previous point, the more qualifications you earn and experience, the further you can advance in your profession. With lots of opportunities for improvement, you will face various difficulties to learn and develop your talents giving you access to higher-paid work.

4. Unlike Any Other Job

Being an HGV/LGV driver is the polar opposite of a 9-5 office job; you are constantly on the move. However, when you’re driving, you’re always occupied, and your mind is preoccupied with the regulations of the road.

5. Variety & Diversity

Even though you will spend your time driving, you will be visiting new destinations every day. You’ll be driving to various areas, and the types of jobs you’ll be doing will change as well. Driving jobs can provide you with a variety of hours, distances, and workloads.

A HGV driver is standing next to his truck with a daily walkaround checks clipboard

HGV Driver Responsibilities

As an HGV driver, you’ll be in charge of transporting goods safely throughout the country or perhaps internationally.
Some of the responsibilities for an HGV Driver include:

  • Operating commercial vehicles weighing up to and including 7.5 tonnes, such as rigid trucks, articulated lorries, tankers, transports, and trailer waggons.
  • Assisting or supervising the loading and unloading of items
  • Assuring that loads are properly secured
  • Following traffic reports and, if necessary, changing routes
  • Performing essential routine maintenance, such as oil changes, tyre inspections, and brake inspections

HGV Driver (to be) Frequently Asked Questions:

How much does it cost to get an HGV licence?

Before you can earn your HGV licence, you must complete a series of theoretical and practical tests. The cost is determined by several elements, including the type of licence, the medical exam, the theoretical exam, and other similar exams.

The overall cost of an HGV licence is expected to be between £250 and £300. This does not include the cost of HGV training. You can receive a free HGV licence if you join the military or the defence forces.

How much do lorry drivers earn in the UK?

You’re undoubtedly wondering how much an HGV driver makes at this time as there is a significant amount of training, including nights away from home and long hours. So, what’s in it for you?

A lorry driver’s starting salary is typically between £19,000 and £25,000. However, this number will climb considerably as you gain more training and experience, and the most experienced and qualified drivers can expect to make over £45,000 per year, if not more.

How quickly can you get an HGV licence?

Only five days are required for practical HGV training. However, the entire process, which includes obtaining a licence, will take eight to ten weeks. Training with the right company can make the process quicker and something more cost-efficient.

 How much does HGV training cost?

Depending on your specific needs, an HGV training course can cost between £1000 and £2000.

Full breakdown (prices can vary):
o Driver medical – £50-£150
o Theory tests – £60
o Driving course – £800-£1920
o Driver CPC Module 4 (CPC) – £150-£300
o Driver CPC 35 hours (Periodic Training) – £150-£500

Can you get funding for HGV training?

If you are interested in starting a career as an HGV driver, you could be eligible to apply for government assistance. Some employers will pay for your training, while unemployed people can seek help from the job centre.

Furthermore, the UK GOV is currently running the HGV Apprenticeship Training Programme and you may be eligible to apply for funding up to a maximum of £7000. Visit the UK GOV website here for more details.

Can I go straight to HGV class 1?

Current law stated that you first must become a class 2 driver; before you can sit the Category E practical test. However, the rules are changing from Autumn 2021 due to the UK driver’s shortage issues.

The below info is from the gov.uk website about the new rules, with the new rules you can now go straight to do the HGV Class 1 training and test without the need of passing the HGV class 2 test first. You can find out more details about the changes on the UK Gov website here.

The law is going to change so that you’ll be able to:
o learn to drive in an articulated lorry when you get your first provisional lorry licence
o take your test in a large articulated lorry without having to pass one in a large rigid lorry first

Any questions? Get in touch with Global Employment Bureau.

We hope you find this article helpful and if you have any questions or would like to find out more about our HGV jobs, please get in touch with Global Employment Bureau on 01604 761206, our friendly team is here to help you.