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Driving HGVs

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 16 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
Learning Drive Heavy Goods Vehicle Hgv

A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HCV) can be any vehicle used for the transportation of goods and heavy duty equipment from one place to another. HGV drivers require specialist driving and manoeuvring skills.

Driving an HGV

Not just anyone can get behind the wheel of a heavy goods vehicle and drive it. In order to qualify as an HGV driver you must complete a series of specialised tests designed to prove that not only can you drive the vehicle competently but that you can also operate any corresponding machinery and equipment attached to the vehicle.

Many heavy goods vehicles now come complete with their own forklift trucks so if you're the driving a vehicle in that category then you're also need to have passed your forklift tests too. Some vehicles also have lifting equipment HIABs, telescopic cranes that are used to lift large weights such as masonry, timber and machine parts.

Learning to Drive an HGV

In order to learn how to drive a heavy goods vehicle you must have already passed your Theory Test and your Hazard Perception Test as part of gaining your standard driver's licence. Once you have the full driver's licence you commence training for your HGV licence.

HGV drivers will have to sit a separate theory test which includes:

  • Weights and Dimensions
  • Vehicle Loading
  • Driver's Hours and Rest Periods
  • Dealing with Accidents

This is not an exhaustive list but these are some of the more prominent differences from the standard theory test.

A potential HGV driver must complete and pass this theory test before he or she (there is an increasing number of female HGV drivers on the road) can sit the practical HGV test.

The Practical HGV Test

Before taking the practical HGV test you must hold a full driver's licence, be over 21 years of age, be found to be medically fit by your doctor and also have passed both the Theory and Hazard Perception tests for HGV drivers. If you don't satisfy the above criteria you will not be able to go any further.

During the practical HGV test you will be expected to show competency in the following areas:

  • Control and handling of the vehicle
  • Knowledge and understanding of vehicle equipment
  • Rules of the road for HGV and LGV vehicles
  • A good understanding of the Highway Code

If you want to obtain your HGV licence you find information at DVLA (www.dvla.gov.uk). The Driving Standards Agency can also provide you will more information and also mock HGV Theory and Hazard Perception tests. More information can be found at www.dsa.gov.uk.

Your local Yellow pages or business directory will also contain listings for HGV training centres in your region.

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My photo card driving licence is due for renewal in May 2020. I will be 69 in August 2020. Do I have to buy a full 10 year licence as I will have to renew the following year when I am 70
Bill - 16-Oct-19 @ 11:27 AM
I hold a British passport but have not lived there since 1975 I am now 58 and thinking of returning to live in the uk and need some info on Drivers licences, I currently have a South African EB for motor vehicles up to 3,5 ton and an EC which is for articulated exceeding 16 ton can i drive in the uk with these or convert to British and if so what is the procedure
tony - 2-May-19 @ 7:07 AM
My husband has past all 3 of the theory parts of his Cat c licence test. Can he now drive using L plates under supervision on a qualified driver to get experience before his practical test?
Emma - 9-Apr-19 @ 3:15 PM
I have just sent my license off too dvla for my medical and update photo it’s been nearly 3 weeks now and every time I call dvla they tell me it’s being processed I am stuck now because I bought a new car but can collect it until my valid license returns as finance company wants to see it before I can sign paper work
Trucker no 1 - 9-Jan-19 @ 1:31 PM
My daughter wants to know can she drive an HGV vehicle ON THE ROAD on a Provisional Licence under instruction from her Employer , he is over 21yrs of age and has been driving HGV Vehicles for a number of years, my daughter has done theory test , hazard perception , and has sat her medical
gus - 12-Aug-15 @ 11:02 AM
Is it possible to get trained and employed with a not driving a car whilst unisured spent conviction?
rick - 18-Apr-15 @ 11:27 AM
do I have to send my driving licence back to renew my hgv ?
fg - 5-Oct-14 @ 10:14 AM
@FG. You don't have to have a medical to surrender a licence.
YourDrivingLicence - 22-Sep-14 @ 10:21 AM
I wish to surrender my cat d license do I have to have a medical being that my age is 50 ?
fg - 18-Sep-14 @ 7:41 PM
21 years old for LGV, I think that is wrong. I have an 18 year old employee with a provisional LGV C and I am putting him out with drivers in an 18 ton rigid with L plates. Confirm if 18 is ok! Is my step plan ok and can I do this in this order Step 1 - Driving with L plates Step 2 - Pass Theory Step 3 - Pass pracical Step 4 - Once passed and before driving train for first CPC
No thanks - 6-Aug-14 @ 5:06 AM
n/a - 19-Jul-14 @ 5:47 PM
I have lost my papercounterpart of my photocarddriving licence. I want to change my address. I would like everything renewed because my 10 years is up next year and do no want to pay again next year. What form do I fill in and how do I go about it as most of the sites I have been on say different things. Thanking you in anticipation. Douglas
aaitken11 - 10-Apr-13 @ 12:10 PM
Hi, could you please tell me if I can apply for my hgv licence early as its up for renewal 12th Sept 2013 and I,ve also got to have a medical as I,ll be 60. My worry is that I,ll be on holiday in USA between 11th Sept till 24th Sept and I will need my driving licence as I,m hiring a car while there. I don,t want to send my licence to you and then not have it back for my holiday. I know its still a long way off but it,s worrying me Hope you can help please Kind regards Miss B A Buckenham
Bucky - 13-Mar-13 @ 5:51 AM
ive just realised myphotoe lisence has expiredin june 20012how can irenew veryquickly as i have an invalid husband and i depend on my carfore everthing .ihavent recieved a renewal form as far as i can rememberplease advise asp. iris luke
babs - 21-Jan-13 @ 4:27 PM
I lost my driving licence and sent away for a new one. However the new licence i recieved was only a 5 year one and my old one was a 10 year one. I was wondering why this was the case I would appericate i you could get back to me Thanks for your time
Jac - 1-Oct-12 @ 7:42 PM
Do I need to pass my Case study test befor I do my hgv test ......
Sparky - 15-Aug-12 @ 1:36 PM
I have various South African drivers licences which allows me to drive any legal vehicleallowed on South African public roads. Examlpe LGV, HGV , bus and motor cycles. Can I use this in the UK, also can I convert my licences or do I have to be retested. Thanks Gordon
Gordy - 6-Aug-12 @ 11:00 AM
my friend has just been diagnosed with ACS (acute coronary syndrome) will this affect his HGV licience ?
Jill - 17-Jul-12 @ 10:33 PM
ATIF - 6-Jul-12 @ 10:34 AM
Hi, my UK licence does not expire until Feb 2015, but my HGV part of my licence expires Nov 2012. Question, I will be working abroad until 2013, so does that mean I will have to take another HGV test when I return, or is there lee-way.?
trev - 20-Jun-12 @ 1:27 PM
Hi the date on my licence will expire in october 2012i have only had the licence for 4 yearsis this normal.
oscar - 9-May-12 @ 1:19 PM
2 years i sent my licence back to dvla thought i would not drive again but now i wish to drive what happens now.
olga golden - 19-Feb-12 @ 3:57 AM
Can you help me? I notice that my Driving License photocard is due for renewal on 14 February.I have not received the 56 day notification, or at least have no recollection of it. Also I cannot find the paper counterpart to my driving license, although I have the photocard driving license. I have not been able to speak to the telephone assistance number (0300 790 6801) as I just get a recorded message saying they are too busy to take calls. I cannot use the online renewal service as my passport was issued in 2004, i.e. more than five years ago. How can I renew the card? A E Webb 10 Chiddingstone Street London Sw6 3TG
Alf - 9-Jan-12 @ 1:48 PM
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