In September 2009, in line with the implementation of Driver CPC, the minimum age for driving an HGV (category C and C+E) vehicle was reduced from 21 to 18 years.
The age was reduced in the main to entice younger drivers into the commercial HGV transport industry.
Previous to lowering the age, school leavers who wanted to drive an HGV commercially had to wait until they were 21. For some (who left school at 16) this was a five year wait. By the time they had reached 21 they had already taken up another profession.
The HGV industry has for many years experienced difficulties recruiting young drivers. A Perceived lack of career development and poor job appeal are just some of the factors that put the new generation off. A couple of facts put this into context. Only 1% off all lorry drivers are under the age of 25 and the average age of an HGV driver is 51.
New Age to Drive a Truck from January 19th 2013
The government has changed the rules again and from 19th January next year (2013) you will have to be 21 to drive an LGV. However (from Jan 2013) you can still drive an LGV (Category C and C+E) from 18 as, long as you obtain the Initial Driver CPC qualification (Modules 1,2,3 and 4) So as long as you acquire the Initial Driver CPC (whether you actually need it or not) you can still drive an LGV from 18 years. click here to read more
HGV and LGV Licence Categories
In the United Kingdom, there are 2 categories of LGV licence entitlement and 1 medium goods category. Each category comes with its own vehicle weights and restrictions. Below we break down the categories and explain what each one means.
Category C1. Minimum Driving Age 18
Cat C1 is best described as a seven and a half tonne truck. A C1 licence is not categorised as an HGV. it is classified as a Medium Goods Vehicle (MGV). A category C1 licence entitles the holder to drive goods vehicles that have a maximum authorised mass (weight of vehicle and load) over 3.5 tonnes but not exceeding 7.5 tonnes. It is possible to tow a trailer with a C1 licence as long as the trailer and load do not exceed 750 kilograms (KG).
If a licence holder passed their test before 1st Jan 1997, they will automatically have gained category C1 entitlement. A new entrant (requiring C) who already has C1 will not need to gain the Initial Driver CPC qualification (Modules 2 and 4) .
Category C. Minimum Driving Age. 18 (with Driver CPC)
Category C, also known as class 2 or a rigid, is a goods vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) over 3.5 tonnes but not more than 32 tonnes. The 32 tonnes restriction is a Construction and Use regulation and applies to all class 2 type vehicles. A rigid type vehicle is best described as having the cab and trailer permanently fixed together.
Like the C1, a trailer may be towed but it cannot go over 750 KGS. If you want to tow a trailer over 750 KGS the you must add the E entitlement. E represents a trailer. Despite the consecutiveness of the categories, drivers do not need to obtain category C1 entitlement before gaining category C. You can in effect leapfrog the 7.5 tonnes process and go straight for class 2.
Category CE. Minimum Driving Age 18 (with Driver CPC)
In order for a driver to take control of an articulated or draw bar type vehicle, a category CE licence is required. Category E represents trailer entitlement with a weight exceeding 750kg Gross Vehicle Weight. All drivers will need to obtain a category C licence prior to adding category E entitlement.
Having category CE will automatically allow a driver to BE and C1E entitlements, which in effect is the ultimate licence.
The vast majority of CE vehicles on UK roads are articulated rather than drawbar yet the majority of CE training is delivered in a draw bar. It ultimately does not matter what type of CE vehicle you train and test in as long as you get the right result and pass. Most employers are more interested you having a CE licence in the first place rather than how you trained to obtain one.
Posted in: HGV/LGV