• 12/09/2019

How to Become a Class 1 HGV/LGV Driver

Do you love driving? Take the next step and qualify to drive a HGV

It takes skills and training to safely drive one of these vehicles and being a Class 1 HGV Driver is an extremely skilled job which requires patience. HGV Class 1 drivers are also known as LGV Cat C+E drivers or Professional Goods Drivers.

The UK supply chain relies on HGV Class 1 drivers and workers qualified as HGV drivers are in high demand due to current driver shortages in the UK.

A heavy goods vehicle (HGV), also known as a large goods vehicle (LGV) is a lorry which weighs over 3,500kg.

These jobs are suited to those who are happy to work independently and are flexible about working patterns and shifts.

At Encore, we specialise in finding candidates for driving roles across the country, with our driving divisions based across the West and East Midlands.

What are the required qualifications to become a Class 1 HGV Driver?

HGV 1 Drivers need specific qualifications and training to start on the roads.

However, these qualifications can be completed quickly. You also need a special license, which requires an application fee.

All levels of LGV drivers require a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card.

You can then apply for a provisional lorry licence.

Applying for a provisional lorry licence also requires a doctor to fill out a D4 form which is confirmation that the driver is healthy enough to drive a large goods vehicle.

Expect to be questioned on your heart health, eyesight, mental health, sleeping issues and alcohol intake. These assessments do charge a fee, which varies from professional to professional.

You will also need to send a ‘D2’ form alongside your drivers’ licence.

You can then take the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). This test is divided into four parts:

Theory

This is a multiple-choice test followed by a hazard perception test.

Case Studies

This is another multiple-choice test based on situations you may come across when working as a Class 1 HGV Driver.

Driving Ability

This is a practical test which requires questions on vehicle safety and assessment of your practical driving ability both on and off the road.

Practical Demonstration

The total cost for a driver CPC test is £230. This is another practical test which covers vehicle loading, assessing emergency situations and running safety checks.

What salary would I expect as a Class 1 HGV Driver?

The average hourly rate for an HGV Class 1 driver is £13.46 an hour. Hourly pay varies from company to company, from £10 to around £15 an hour.

Roles also vary in terms of hours and shifts available, but a full time HGV Class 1 driver can expect to earn around £28,000 a year.

What are my responsibilities as a Class 1 HGV Driver?

Your core responsibility as an HGV/ LGV Class 1 Driver is to transport goods from suppliers to businesses, manufacturers or clients.

HGV drivers are also usually required to assist with the loading and unloading of goods when their vehicle has reached their destination and communicate with clients on behalf of their employer.

They may also be required to complete paperwork and be responsible for the maintenance of their vehicle while on the road.

How can Encore’s driver training schemes help me?

All drivers registered with Encore have training provided, including CPC training and courses for existing drivers to improve their performance.

These include:

  • Customer Service
  • Safe Driving & The Highway Code
  • Driver Health & Fitness to Drive
  • Fuel Efficient Driving
  • Health & Safety in Transport
  • Prevention of Bridge Strikes
  • Professional Driver Courses

Read more about our driver training schemes here.

A Day in the Life of a Class 1 HGV Driver

HGV Class 1 Drivers must work under strict guidelines on the length of their shifts and the number of hours they can work in a week to retain health and safety. This includes a ban on working over 9 hours a day and over 56 hours in a week.

Most HGV Drivers work several days in a row followed by a few days off to recover.

These are often recorded by something called a tachograph – a device which records speed, distance and time on the road.

A typical day in the life of a Class 1 HGV Driver involves:

Checking your vehicle, including tyre pressure, damage checks, checking for evidence of criminal activity, including break-ins and stowaways.

Safely loading your vehicle with the supplies you are transporting. This is not required of all HGV 1 drivers, as it often depends on the company you work for.

The majority of the day is then spent driving to your destination, including regular stops for hydration, food and rest throughout your shift. HGV1 drivers often have the freedom in how they choose to break up their hours when on the road. As long as drivers follow the regulations for when they are allowed to drive and hit set delivery deadlines, they are free to approach their driving shift how they want to.

Applying for Driving Jobs at Encore

Encore has driving divisions in Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Leicester and Northampton.

Call your nearest branch of Encore directly, or review our current driving roles.