Getting a licence to drive an HGV/LGV professionally takes on average 6-8 weeks when you include the whole process. In the first instance a medical must be undertaken, the provisional HGV/LGV entitlement sought and theory tests completed before you undergo any practical driver training.
There is no such thing as a “Fast Track Course” in HGV/LGV training. Everybody starts from the same position and must complete all stages. The Driver CPC is here which in means more tests to demonstrate your skills and knowledge. How long it will take to train will therefore be determined by Driver CPC. If you need the Initial Driver CPC and do not already posses C1 entitlement then 3 theory and 2 practical tests must be passed. You can look at our training information page for more details on the Driver CPC and see if it applies to you, or better still speak to experts in your area. All companies listed on this website can guide you through the whole licence process.
Once you have passed the theory tests you are ready to undergo practical training and testing. How long the practical driver training will depend on your age and experience. Road sense, common sense and a willingness to learn are the key ingredients to achieve success. Typically HGV/LGV training courses are delivered over a 5 or 10 day period. Having said that training companies will also deliver training to suit your requirements and needs (3,5,7 etc. days). A driving assessment prior to undergoing practical training is highly recommended. Not only will it help assess your capabilities, it will also give you a chance to check out the vehicle you will be trained on and indeed the training company who will deliver your training. Don’t forget both parts of your licence.
Practical HGV test (Module 3)
Your practical driving test (Module 3) will coincide with the completion of your practical driver training. The practical training you undergo will focus on covering the syllabus as set out by the DSA. Be under no illusion the practical driving test is no walk in the park. Driving an HGV/LGV is deemed as a professional occupation and this is reflected in the test. The examiner will be looking for 2 things from you:
Safety and Competency
Safety: Safety for yourself, the examiner, the vehicle, other road users and anyone who may be affected by what you do on your driving test.
Competency: You have to demonstrate you can drive a truck as it should be driven. For example selecting the correct gear for the right speed, using your brakes to slow the vehicle, as opposed to gears, checking your mirrors and blind spot before moving away from a stationary position, maintaining progress where safe to do so, etc.
The practical driving test will last about 1.5 hours. You are allowed to commit up to 15 minor faults and still be awarded a pass. A minor fault may be (for example) failing to check your blind spot before moving away from a stationary position. If you commit one serious fault (e.g. mounting a kerb) or one dangerous fault (e.g. where the examiner has had to take control of the vehicle for safety reasons) then it’s a fail. Once you have passed your Cat C practical tests you will automatically be granted C+E provisional entitlement.
To get more information go direct to professional training companies in your area.