HGV inspection manual and tester manual - HGV Training Network
blog, HGV News

HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) play a pivotal role in keeping the country moving, delivering thousands of goods the length and breadth of the UK every single day. But because these vehicles are so large, with so many different parts working tirelessly to keep the wheels turning despite the heavy load, regular inspections need to be carried out to ensure they’re always road-worthy.

These inspections need to encompass examining various parts and elements of the heavy goods vehicle, to make sure everything looks safe and is in good working order. To assist with this process, a HGV inspection manual can be an invaluable tool. In this blog, we’re going to discuss HGV inspections and HGV inspection manuals, so you have all the information you require should you need to carry out an HGV inspection as part of your HGV training, or on your travels.

Did You Know: HGV Training Network is home to 50 professional HGV training centres, so there are plenty of options for you to learn the craft of HGV driving!

HGV inspection manual and tester manual - HGV Training Network

HGV testers manual

The HGV inspection manual (also known as the HGV testers manual) is a comprehensive document that goes into fine detail about the elements of an HGV that must be inspected and approved before it should head out on the open road. This is different from PSV inspection manuals, which cover vehicles built to carry the public, such as buses, rather than goods. So be sure not to get the two confused.

Created by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency, responsible for the rules and regulations of driving all vehicles on UK roads, the impressive 188-page document (at the time of writing) serves as the ultimate reference point for anyone seeking to learn precisely how to inspect an HGV, what they should be looking for, and whether or not they’ve missed any important steps during the inspection process. This includes both a pre-inspection checklist as well as a more detailed checklist for every component of the vehicle.

By fully utilising the HGV inspection manual, operators and inspectors can give themselves the best chance of avoiding disaster and upholding safety standards to the highest degree, thus protecting the cargo, the vehicle, the driver and other road users.

Following the manual closely (or using it as a guide, if you are already an experienced driver familiar with the inspection process) helps drivers and companies save time during inspections and boost the efficiency of their fleet(s) while also respecting all relevant safety standards and legal requirements.

HGV inspection manual and tester manual - HGV Training Network

HGV inspections

Speaking of legal requirements, regular HGV inspections (also known as walkarounds) are not just a courtesy to other vehicles and road users, they’re mandated by law. Meaning if an HGV has not been inspected for a considerable time, or an inspection has revealed even the most minute flaw, it should not be driven until the inspection has been completed and the issues fully fixed.

As a rule of thumb, in-depth HGV inspections (covering the elements highlighted in the inspection manual) should be completed once every six weeks as a minimum, while walkarounds (a less in-depth review, but still an essential one) should be completed before every drive in the morning. For daily inspections, companies often rely on checklists to guarantee everything that should be reviewed has been reviewed before the HGV leaves for the day’s work. 

What should be inspected during an HGV inspection?

Of course, a full HGV inspection should be a rigorous examination of all HGV elements, as mentioned above. But here are just some of the areas you will need to inspect before heading out on a driving job:

  • Exterior inspection – checking for any visible damage to the body of the vehicle, including confirming the mirrors provide proper visibility 
  • Interior inspection – ensuring the seatbelt, display and all controls are in full working order
  • Mechanical inspection – the nitty-gritty stuff, where all elements of the vehicle should be inspected with the appropriate safety equipment. Refer to the official HGV inspection manual during this part.
  • Brakes and tyre inspection – making sure the brakes are responsive and the tyre pressure is correct, amongst other essential checks. Again, refer to the manual if you’re unsure.

As a driver, if you find inspection failures, the HGV is classed as an unsafe vehicle and it is your responsibility to report them to the relevant parties, so the issue can be rectified. This is often your manager or another member of the team who acts as your port-of-call if you’re an independent contractor.

HGV inspection manual and tester manual - HGV Training Network

Learn more about HGV inspections and begin your training with HGV Training Network

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career development and want to take advantage of all the lucrative benefits HGV driving has to offer, HGV Training Network is here for you.

With our team of qualified, professional HGV driving instructors, we can have you enjoying a new career as an HGV driver in a matter of weeks, earning your licence the proper way.Speak to a member of the HGVTN team today to learn more, and be sure to ask about our attractive HGV training finance packages.

Fill out our contact form

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    How to become a HGV driver? - HGV Training Network
    blog, HGV News

    Have you grown weary of all the office politics, or are you sick to death of your current work environment? Maybe you simply want to try something new?

    Whatever your reasons for looking into how to become a lorry driver, it’s safe to say HGV driving presents plenty of advantages and benefits over your previous line of work, right?

    Greater independence, fantastic work/life balance, mouth-watering wages and plenty of job opportunities are barely scratching the surface of why you may want to make the switch.

    At first glance, given how many of them are on the roads and how imposing the vehicles seem, you may think becoming a HGV driver is a complex task – but it’s actually a lot easier than you think.

    In fact, with the right training from a reliable and trusted HGV training provider – like HGV Training Network – you could be out of your current role and on the open road in a matter of weeks, not months.

    So if you’re interested in becoming a HGV driver, keep reading. Or get in touch with the team right now if you’re ready.Did you know: HGV Training Network has over 300 5-star reviews from satisfied learners? Take a look at them here!

    How to become a HGV driver? - HGV Training Network

    Minimum qualifications required to be a HGV driver

    First things first. To become a HGV driver, you’ll need to have the relevant qualifications and driving skills to get behind the wheel. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ll already have your full UK driving licence, which is good – you’ll need one of these before you can start learning to drive HGVs.

    Then, of course, you’ll need some form of HGV or LGV licence, which you’ll receive after completing your chosen training. At HGVTN, we offer training courses for those seeking to drive an array of large vehicles, meaning you could also learn with us if you wanted to become a bus driver, or similar. You can explore more of these here.

    You’ll also need a professional driving qualification called the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). More on that in a moment.

    How much does it cost to become a HGV driver?

    The cost of HGV training courses depends on a variety of factors, including the training provider you choose, the specific licence you’re trying to obtain, and how you plan to pay for your training.

    While many aspiring learners can be put off by the overall cost of training, this needn’t be the case if they trained with HGVTN. Thanks to our Train Now, Pay Later finance options, learner HGV drivers can earn the qualifications they need while paying on a pre-agreed finance plan that meets their budget and needs, giving them plenty of time to pay for training and offering financial peace of mind in the same breath.

    Want to know more about our amazing finance packages for HGV training? Speak to a HGVTN representative today.

    How to become a HGV driver? - HGV Training Network

    The steps to earning your HGV licence and becoming a professional HGV driver

    1 – Seek out HGV/lorry driver training courses

    The law requires all new HGV drivers to have undergone professional HGV training, resulting in a HGV licence.

    To do this, you’ll need to train with an accredited, vetted and experienced HGV training provider. Luckily for you, HGV Training Network is home to more than 50 official training centres scattered across the UK.

    So, no matter where you live, you’ll always be within close distance of somewhere you can learn with experienced driving instructors who’ve been exactly where you are now, without the need for extensive commuting. Get in touch with HGV Training Network today to get the ball rolling.

    2 – Undergo a medical examination

    The law also requires you to undergo a medical examination to ensure you’re fit to drive professionally. This is both for your safety and the safety of others on the road, as suffering a medical episode behind the wheel could have dire consequences.

    HGV Training Network organises your medical examination for you as part of your training, saving you the hassle of booking in with a doctor yourself. Yet another reason so many students are thrilled to learn with us!

    3 – Revise for and take your HGV theory test

    You remember taking your theory test when you were first trying to earn your car licence, right? Well, the HGV theory test is virtually the same process.

    Upon booking your HGV theory test, you’ll need to find the right resources to study in preparation. We provide you with theory software for you to prepare for the tests, including study material, test questions, videos and more tools, so you know exactly what to focus your attention on.

    The test is split into three parts – multiple choice and hazard perception – these make up the driver theory test for the HGV. Just like a standard driving theory test. So if you’ve completed one of these tests before, you’re already in a great position.

    It’s pretty self-explanatory; You need to choose the correct answers in your multiple choice test and click at the appropriate moment during your hazard perception test when you see a hazard or potential hazard emerging. Simple! Check out our blog on your HGV theory test for more info.

    The third and final test you do is the first part of the CPC. This test will give you a number of “case studies” based on situations you’ll likely come across whilst driving a HGV. 

    4 – Practice for and take your HGV practical test and CPC test

    Once you’ve passed your HGV theory test with flying colours, it’s time to do the same with your practical. During revision for your HGV practical test, you’ll get behind the wheel of an HGV with a trained, qualified HGV training instructor who will show you everything you need to know to become a professional driver.

    After several hours of practical training (the time differs from person to person) your instructor will let you know they think you’re ready to take the practical test – and pass! During your practical exam, you’ll be expected to complete the same motions and processes you practiced with your instructor, as well as confirm you’re able to handle the vehicle safely and perform all adequate safety checks, such as a vehicle walk-around.

    You’ll also need to complete your driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) training and test to earn your driver certificate – this is a required qualification lorry drivers must have and must be renewed every few years. But don’t worry, at HGVTN, we also arrange all of this for you, so you can devote all your time and energy towards your studies.

    5 – Receive your licence and apply for jobs

    After passing all relevant parts of your exams, you’ll be awarded your HGV licence – the tool you need to qualify for available HGV jobs. While the training and period itself can be over and done within just a few days, it will take several weeks for your licence to arrive.

    But once you have it, you can begin searching ‘HGV jobs near me’ online using the major job search sites. Thanks to the demand, you’ll likely be greeted with a plethora of job opportunities right on your doorstep.

    However, with HGVTN, you’ll also gain access to our partner, Blue Arrow, who specialises in linking new HGV drivers with the jobs most suitable to them. So your job hunt might be a short one!

    How to become a HGV driver? - HGV Training Network

    Begin your journey towards becoming a HGV driver with HGVTN today

    If you’re ready to ditch the standard 9 to 5 for a more enjoyable, independent and well-paid position, start learning with HGV Training Network today.

    Our team of experienced and qualified instructors are ready and waiting to pass along their knowledge and experience, so you can reap the benefits.

    Reach out to a HGVTN colleague today for more information.

    Fill out our contact form

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      HGV Training General Election - HGV Training Network
      blog, HGV News

      With less than two weeks to go until polling day, coverage and conversations alike are full of the key policies of each of the political parties.

      While we ponder what our futures might look like under a new or continued Conservative government, those looking into HGV training to improve their career prospects might wonder what this all means for them.

      So, what might the general election mean for HGV training and driving? The expert team at HGV Training Network reveal all.

      HGV Training General Election - HGV Training Network

      Cuts in immigration could offer opportunities

      A divisive and sensitive subject for many, immigration is a key focus of the 2024 general election so far.

      But whether you agree with increased immigration control or not, both main parties, Labour and Conservatives, are suggesting cutting overseas recruitment-based immigration by offering targeted training in sectors facing staff shortages.

      AKA – HGV drivers.

      Labour intends to ‘reform the points-based migration system’ and ‘end the long-term reliance on overseas workers’ by bringing in workforce and training plans that will also ‘upskill [UK] workers and improve working conditions in the UK.’

      In a similar vein, the Conservatives aim to deliver a Lifelong Learning Entitlement – giving adults the support they need to train, retrain, and upskill throughout their working lives. This will be achieved with loans that cover the cost of new qualifications* or Skills Bootcamps which directly address sector-specific shortages.

      To ensure those in the UK are not competing for these jobs, the Tories also want to bring migration numbers down, welcoming only the ‘brightest and best’ by tightening VISA rules.  

      Especially for those in marginalised communities

      For people who face greater barriers to working, including:

      • Those trapped in long-term unemployment
      • Ex-offenders
      • Veterans
      • Homeless people
      • Those who are neuro-diverse or have mental health conditions

      Are exactly the kind of people who need help to access skilled work, like HGV driving.

      It’s hoped that reinforced interest in upskilling the UK workforce will allow for more of those who face difficulty or barriers when trying to find skilled work.

      *If the Conservatives don’t come into power and bring in these loans, why not explore our HGV training finance? It doesn’t rely on red ties getting enough votes and can give you a same-day response thanks to the easy online application process.

      HGV Training General Election - HGV Training Network

      HGV training for the Driver (CPC) could change

      A large part of HGV training, the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualification is an essential step to becoming qualified.

      However, expected changes to the CPC may well not happen, as the general election has now been called and the changes have yet to be debated in parliament before they become law. 

      As a result of a government consultation in 2023, changes looked set to cover:

      What qualification type you wanted to pursue

      Drivers could choose from either an International Driver CPC or a National Driver CPC, which allows you to drive in the EU and the UK or just the UK respectively.

      For the International Driver CPC

      To achieve this qualification, HGV drivers must complete 35 hours of International Driver CPC training every five years.

      Course particulars include:

      • All courses must be at least seven hours long
        • If a course is split over a day, it must be completed on two consecutive days
        • E-learning in a trainer-led course is limited to two hours
        • You’re allowed to do a total of 12 hours e-learning towards your overall 35 hours of training

      For the National Driver CPC

      If you only want to drive in the UK, you can complete 35 hours of National Driver CPC training every five years or a combination of 35 hours of National Driver CPC and International Driver CPC training every five years.

      If passed under the new government, changes looked set to include:

      • Decreased course time – from 7 hours to 3.5 hours
        • Split courses don’t need to be completed on consecutive days
        • E-learning only is not limited to two hours – you could complete the whole 3.5-hour e-learning course at home
        • E-learning can make up 12 hours of your overall 35 hours of training

      However, there is no guarantee that future governments will progress these proposed changes, no matter how beneficial they would be to current and future HGV drivers – we’ll just have to wait and see.

      *Did you know – HGVTN has over 300 5-star reviews on Google from satisfied HGV driving trainees who’ve qualified with us?

      HGV Training General Election - HGV Training Network

      Industry-wide issues

      Like the CPC driver qualifications, there is a huge array of issues facing HGV drivers across the UK – and many voters will be wondering if these will also be addressed by campaigning political parties.

      This includes:

      • A lack of proper truck stops

      Which include secure places to park the HGVs, comfortable places to sleep, proper washrooms for keeping fresh, and access to healthy, unprocessed meals.

      • A lack of toilet facilities

      Completely understandable on hours-long motorway routes.

      • Prompt repairs to UK roads, including potholes, and stopping endless roadworks that result in delays
      • The cessation of SMART motorways and hard shoulders being used as carriageways

      Allowing for safe stopping in emergencies.

      Choose HGV Training Network if you want a provider in the know

      Until the final vote is cast on July 4th, there’s no way to know who will end up leading the UK for the next four years.

      However, all we can do is campaign loudly for change for existing and upcoming drivers who have completed HGV training with us at HGVTN.

      With over 50 locations across the UK and experienced HGV staff who stay up to date with all current affairs within the industry, you can be confident you’ll have all the skills needed to be an HGV driver for years to come.

      To find out more, send us an email at contact@hgvtrainingnetwork.com or fill in our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

      Fill out our contact form

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        What is a class 2 driver? HGV Training Network
        blog, HGV News

        If you’ve been looking into HGV driving as a career path, you may have come across several terms that you’re not familiar with when investigating HGV theory and practical training, causing some confusion.

        This is understandable, given just how many different vehicles, vehicle types, licence types and qualifications are out there for you to get your hands on. One of the most common terms you may have come across is a ‘class 2 driver’ – don’t worry, there’s a reason it’s popping up so much in your research, and the team at HGV Training Network will explain all for you, if you’re not in the know.

        But whatever you’re looking for in HGV driving, HGVTN will have the right course to help you earn your licence quickly, so you can get out on the open road faster and earn a fantastic living your way.

        With this in mind, here’s everything you need to know about what a class 2 driver is and the difference between class 2 drivers and drivers holding slightly different qualifications. Did you know: HGVTN is home to 50 HGV training centres scattered across the UK? So no matter where you are, there will be a training centre for you! Click here to learn more.

        What is a class 2 driver? - HGV Training Network

        Class 2 lorry licence explained

        In simple terms, an HGV class 2 driver is someone who has earned their class 2 licence – also known as an HGV or lorry licence, or Cat C licence – along with their driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence).

        It is one of the most common HGV licences carried by drivers on the road today, as it allows them to take the reigns of large vehicles over 7.5 tonnes in weight, but not exceeding 32 tonnes – which accounts for many of the large vehicles you see on Britain’s roads today.

        Most learner drivers of large vehicles will be working towards earning a class 2 licence, unless they’ve opted to learn to drive a different type of vehicle that requires a slightly different licence. Plus, the class 2 licence must first be earned before new or more experienced drivers can move on to driving larger, more challenging vehicles (more on this in a moment). But whatever HGV courses are opted for, these learner drivers must already have a standard car licence if they wish to train for a valid HGV licence.

        Difference from a class 1 and class 2 driving licence

        The next most common licence type you will have come across while researching HGV training is the class 1 licence. 

        Also known as the Cat C+E licence, this licence goes one step beyond the class 2 licence in that drivers holding it are allowed to drive vehicles up to 44 tonnes in weight. These vehicles can also have detachable trailers fitted to the back. These are known as articulated vehicles, which can bend in the middle for better manoeuvrability. 

        They’re generally larger and more difficult to drive than HGVs that can be driven with a class 2 licence. However, they’re also an attractive prospect for learner drivers, given the higher wages they command.

        If you’re further along in your HGV journey than beginner drivers and are interested in upgrading your class 2 licence to a class 1, HGV Training Network can help. So be sure to speak to one of our expert driving instructors today.

        What is a class 2 driver? - HGV Training Network

        Is there a difference between a lorry licence and a HGV licence?

        Technically, no. Both ‘lorry’ and ‘HGV’ are generally considered interchangeable terms that represent large heavy goods vehicles. 

        You may also be familiar with the term LGV (Large Goods Vehicle). This used to have an alternate meaning, but since driving standards have changed over time, it is now also recognised as an interchangeable term that represents any large vehicle.

        So if you’re wondering whether you need to earn your lorry, LGV or HGV licence, don’t worry. As a rule of thumb, you’ll be shooting for your class 2 licence first, unless you want to drive a different type of vehicle entirely. But this will all be made crystal clear to you by your training provider.

        Earn your class 2 licence and learn to drive heavy goods vehicles with HGV Training Network

        Ready to ditch your old career and embark on a new and exciting venture as an HGV driver? Or perhaps you’re an experienced driver looking to take the next step up in your HGV career and earn a whole new licence?

        Whatever your driving aspirations, the team at HGV Training Network are the ones to get you there. With a roster of highly experienced HGV drivers who’ve helped thousands of learners just like you pass their HGV test, we’re your number one choice for HGV training in the UK.

        When it comes to new HGV drivers, UK training centres aren’t always easy to scout out. But with over 50 HGV training centres to choose from, we’re undoubtedly the best and most convenient choice.

        To get started, simply get in touch with the HGVTN team today to find your local HGV training centre and take the first steps towards your new driving future. Alternatively, if you have any burning questions like ‘How much does HGV training cost?’ or ‘How much do HGV drivers earn?’ speak to one of our team members about our enticing finance options today.

        Fill out our contact form

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          HGV vs LGV training - HGV Training Network
          blog, HGV News

          Transporting dangerous goods across the country is the ideal HGV career for those wishing to push their driving skills to the limit and earn attractive salaries. But you’ll need a specific additional ADR qualification under your belt to enter this specialist field.

          To build on your HGV licence, you must earn your ADR Training Certificate by completing the ADR test – which we’ll explore within this blog!

          So, what is the ADR exam, and how difficult is it? Keep reading to find out what our experts have to say!

          What is the ADR test like? - HGV Training Network

          What is the ADR exam?

          The only thing standing between you and becoming a more specialist driver earning some of the industry’s highest salaries is the ADR test. This exam is intended to test your knowledge of ADR safety regulations and determine if you are ready to carry hazardous materials safely.

          Just like a standard driving test, this examination helps to keep you and other road users from harm by ensuring that you know exactly how to handle this type of HGV correctly.

          Additionally, it’s also designed to assess your vehicle, and whether it meets the industry standard for carrying dangerous substances in bulk by road. 

          Your official test is completed on the last day of your ADR training – and unsurprisingly, you must pass it to gain this additional qualification.  

          ADR Certificate for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road – Course Contents

          Here’s a more detailed look into the ins and outs of the ADR training course:

          Core Modules

          All aspiring ADR drivers must complete the core element, which includes topics such as:

          • Relevant Regulations
          • UN Class Hazards
          • Health and Safety implications
          • Transfer and Disposal of Wastes
          • UN Packaging Scheme
          • Material Safety Data Sheets or Tremcards
          • Personal Protective Equipment
          • Site Rules
          • Fire Safety
          • First Aid
          • Emergency Action Procedures
          • Emergency Action Incident Test
          • Packaged Goods / Tank Regulations

          Classes:

          1. Class 1: Compressed Gases – such as butane and aerosols
          2. Class 2: Flammable Liquids – including petrol
          3. Class 3: Flammable Solids – like firelighters and matches
          4. Class 4: Oxidising Substances and Agents – such as organic peroxides
          5. Class 5: Toxic and Infectious Substances – including biological cultures and medical waste

          Did you know
          At the HGV Training Network, you can split the cost of your training over 36 months thanks to flexible financing from Snap Finance. Find out more here!

          What is the ADR test like? - HGV Training Network

          How hard is the ADR test?

          Many consider the ADR test much simpler, given its multiple-choice format. However, you shouldn’t assume you’re more likely to pass just because of this.

          As mentioned earlier, the purpose of the ADR examination is to assess your suitability to transport dangerous materials by road safely and assess any risks you could face, so it only makes sense that it challenges you to some degree.

          Like any other test or examination, there’s a greater chance that you’ll breeze through the ADR exam the first time if you’re tutored well and revise, revise, and revise! Our Department of Transport-approved course will offer specialised training and equip you with the knowledge to pass your ADR examination with flying colours.

          How is the ADR test formatted?

          The ADR exam consists of multiple-choice questions throughout, testing your understanding of dangerous goods and ADR regulations. Per each question, you’ll have to choose between options A, B, C, or D, for which there is only one correct answer.

          A fantastic advantage of the multiple-choice format is that you don’t have to worry about articulating your own written response, which is music to many ears!

          How many questions are on the ADR test?

          To earn your ADR Vocational Training Certificate, which permits you to transport dangerous goods in an HGV, you’ll need to answer 120 questions, split into the following sections:

          • The core section of your exam will consist of 25 questions, and the minimum pass rate is 18/20.
          • The Tanks module is made up of 20 questions, with a minimum pass threshold of 14.
          • Packages – this section includes 15 questions, and you’ll need to answer 11+/15 correctly.
          • Classes 2, 3, 6, and 8 consist of 36 questions, with the pass mark sitting at 25/36.
          • Classes 4, 5, and 9 contain 24 questions, with a minimum passing score of 17/24.

          Contact the HGV Training Network today for a bespoke, free no-obligation quote!

          Can you do an ADR mock test?

          We highly recommend completing several mock ADR exams to prepare you for the real deal. Mock tests should consist of multiple-choice questions similar to those you can expect in your real examination.

          They’ll include exam questions testing your knowledge of corrosive materials, dangerous goods, and safety regulations, plus much more! You’ll be provided with study material and will attend 4 days of classroom training taking your exams on the 5th day. 

          Can you do the ADR test online?

          Your 5-day ADR course will conclude with the official DVLA ADR examination, which you’ll complete in person either online or on paper at your training centre. You’ll need to bring your driving licence with you to take the exam!

          Candidates who pass will receive their official ADR driver card shortly afterwards in the post, which is required before you can start carrying dangerous materials on UK roads.

          For more information, you can visit the official gov.uk page for becoming a dangerous goods driver.

          What happens if I fail my examination?

          If you fail your ADR test, there’s no need to panic! You can retake the test module/modules you didn’t pass as many times as needed. What’s more, if you do this within the first 16 weeks after failing your first test, you won’t need to redo your ADR training.

          Any test completed online can be retaken the same day if there is an available slot – which is great news if you want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible.

          If you’d rather take more time to practice more mock ADR examinations, that’s fine, too!

          What is the ADR test like? - HGV Training Network

          Book your ADR training with the HGV Training Network

          Does an exciting career transporting hazardous goods across the UK appeal to you? Maybe the prospect of a mouth-watering salary is too good to resist? If so, we can help you here at the HGV Training Network.

          As a leading training provider, you’ll learn under an experienced instructor and receive all the tools and guidance you need to pass this course confidently.

          To book your place on our ADR course, or to request a bespoke quote, don’t hesitate to contact our head office today on 0800 254 5007 – or email us at contact@hgvtrainingnetwork.com and we’ll be in touch.

          Fill out our contact form

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            HGV vs LGV training - HGV Training Network
            blog, HGV News

            Becoming an LGV or HGV driver can be such a rewarding experience. Truck drivers get to ditch the standard 9 to 5 for a job that takes them out on the open road, gives them their independence back, and lets them earn a very impressive wage, all at the same time. 

            Not to mention becoming a valued worker with in-demand skills and experience – what’s not to like?

            But if you’ve been seeking training to drive HGVs or LGVs you may have become a little confused about a certain detail… what’s the difference between HGV training and LGV training? 

            They’re both terms that get thrown around a lot, so it would help if you have the clearest picture possible about each of them, before deciding to dive into driver training.

            At HGV Training Network, we’re home to over 50 centres for driver training, scattered across the country, so we like to think we know a thing or two about HGVs and LGVs! With this in mind, here are some of the answers you may be looking for…

            HGV vs LGV training - HGV Training Network

            Is there a difference between HGV and LGV?

            In short, no! ‘HGV’ and ‘LGV’ are interchangeable terms used to describe larger, heavier commercial carrier vehicles that transport goods from A to B. Back in the day (pre-1990s) HGVs and LGVs were indeed different vehicles, with the terms used to describe large vehicles of certain weights. 

            An HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) was recognised as anything that had a gross vehicle weight of 3,500kg, while an LGV (back then known as Light Goods Vehicles, now known as Large Goods Vehicles) was any large transport vehicle below this figure, to a certain size.

            In 1992, the UK merged its driving licence standards with those of the EU, meaning the rules suddenly changed. Under this new guidance, in essence, there was no longer a difference between HGVs and LGVs. It’s a little confusing, especially for drivers who were around during this time and who are still driving today. 

            But the point is that, from a legal standard, HGVs and LGVs now mean the same thing. And if you think about it, it actually gives you less to worry about, once you’re in the know!

            *Did you know – HGVTN has over 300 5-star reviews on Google from satisfied learners, who’ve since gone on to become fully-licenced HGV drivers?

            Are HGV training and LGV training different?

            As you may have gathered from the previous section, because HGVs and LGVs are now classed as the same vehicle, there’s no difference in training for said vehicles. Whether you refer to it as an HGV or an LGV, you’ll still be learning to drive larger transport vehicles and will exit your training with all the same qualifications and excellent career prospects.

            So, when you’re on the hunt for driving jobs after you’ve completed your training and earned your HGV licence (or LGV licence, if this is the language you prefer) be sure to look into both HGV driver jobs and LGV driver jobs – you’ll be able to apply for both!

            Plus, if you’re interested in reaching even further afield and developing your driving skills even further, HGV Training Network also offers driver training for a host of other vehicle types. Be sure to check them all out on our website here.

            Are HGVs automatic? - HGV Training Network

            What is the difference between an HGV licence and an LGV lorry licence?

            You’ve probably guessed the answer to this by now, right? When the licence rules changed back in the 1990s, so did the technicalities involved in these licences.

            The main thing you need to know is that, technically, there is no difference between an HGV licence and an LGV licence – they both mean the same thing. You will, however, have the option to earn licences that allow you to drive large vehicles belonging to different categories. 

            These licences used to be broken down into ‘Classes’ – primarily Class 1 and Class 2. However, under the current language, the HGV Class 1 is now known as the Category C+E licence, while Class 2 is simply known as Category C.

            • The Category C licence lets you drive commercial trucks over 7.5 tonnes and up to 32 tonnes (think of this as the standard HGV licence).
            • The Category C+E licence lets you drive a large rigid vehicle that is articulated and bends in the middle – these require slightly more in-depth training.

            Train to drive HGVs and LGVs at HGV Training Network

            Ready to kick start your journey towards becoming a professional HGV/LGV driver? 

            At HGV Training Network, we have all the resources you need and a team of experienced and reliable instructors who will guide you towards your driving dreams.

            Plus, thanks to our flexible financing options, you could train now and pay later, saving you the headache of needing to pay for everything upfront – what’s not to love?

            Get in touch with the HGVTN team today to get the ball – and the wheels – rolling!

            Fill out our contact form

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              Are HGVs automatic? - HGV Training Network
              blog, HGV News

              One of the most common questions among those looking to enter the fulfilling world of HGV driving is whether HGVs are automatic or not. So, we thought it would be useful to explore this!

              Within this piece, our HGV training experts explain whether the HGVs you can expect to drive have automatic transmissions and how automatic HGVs compare to their manual counterparts.

              What is an automatic HGV?

              HGVs have a transmission, also known as a gearbox, that’s required to take power from the engine to make its wheels move. Just like in your domestic car, HGVs with a manual transmission, the gear shifts needed to move the HGV at various speeds are controlled by the driver using a clutch and gearstick.

              But, with automatic vehicles, gear changes are completed automatically without any input from the HGV driver, hence the name ‘automatic HGV’. 

              As such, automatic HGVs don’t feature a clutch – all the operator has to do to move this type of HGV is select D (drive) on the shifter stick, accelerate, and brake while the automatic transmission fluid conducts the gear change independently.

              *Did You Know? Through our recruitment partnership with Blue Arrow, HGV Training Network can help you find your first job after completing your HGV training!

              Are HGVs automatic? - HGV Training Network

              Benefits of driving an automatic HGV

              HGV drivers who operate automatic lorries experience a whole host of advantages, such as:

              They’re excellent in stop-and-start traffic

              A significant selling point of automatic HGVs is how simple, smooth, and efficient they are to operate during congested or rush hour traffic.

              In any manual vehicle, pressing the clutch repeatedly to shift up and down gears during slow-moving traffic can be tedious work and require quite a lot of focus.

              However, this isn’t an issue with an automatic HGV, as they don’t feature a clutch or require manual clutch control to accelerate and stop – perfect for use in slow-moving traffic.

              They’re easier to manoeuvre

              Trucks have a much more complex gear system than cars as they’re much bigger and require more power to move – some large vehicles can have up to 16 gears and may operate using splitter or range change gearboxes!

              But, with an automatic HGV, the stress of gear changes, splitting gears or flipping between each is removed, as the transmission does all the hard work for you!

              They’re safer

              Following on from above, as the HGV driver doesn’t have to use a gear stick, they can keep both hands on the steering wheel, providing greater and steadier control over the vehicle.

              Plus, as there’s less to think about, you’ll feel much more focused and calm on the road and can dedicate all your attention to navigating your surroundings, avoiding potential hazards and accidents.

              *Want to learn to drive professionally in an automatic HGV? Drop the team a message – we’d be more than happy to help you get your training journey started.

              Are HGVs automatic? - HGV Training Network

              Advantages of a manual HGV

              Manual HGV driving is still utilised amongst some companies and comes with a host of benefits:

              You can drive both manual and automatic HGVs

              With a manual HGV licence, you can drive both types of vehicles, meaning you can also work for companies that still use manual trucks. 

              It also saves you the hassle of having to sift through job descriptions to check whether your licence applies to a particular job.

              You gain the full truck driving experience

              For many professional drivers, especially veterans in the industry, manually shifting gears and feeling the control you have over your lorry is a great feeling and is part of the whole trucker experience – something that is lacking with automatic transmissions.

              They require less maintenance than automatic HGVs

              Due to their less complex transmission instruments, manuals are considered to be more reliable and easier to maintain. As a result, you could spend more time on the job and less time with the RAC!

              However, it’s important to note that this depends on the make and model of the HGV and that many automatic HGVs have become a lot more durable in recent years!

              Comparing automatic and manual HGVs

              Now that we’ve explored the two types of HGV transmissions, it’s time to see how they compare head-to-head.

              Overall, automatic HGVs can be considered a safer choice than manuals for truckers, as their attention isn’t divided between the gearbox and the road ahead.

              What’s more, they’re typically more comfortable to drive, as automatic HGV drivers don’t experience the leg ache associated with clutch control.

              Plus, if manually shifting gears and experiencing ‘true driving’ isn’t something you really care for, you won’t lose much by operating automatic HGVs.

              However, opportunities in the industry may be reduced for automatic-only HGV drivers when it comes to agency work, as they have to be able to drive whatever vehicle they’re given, including manuals. But there are still plenty of other roles to consider due to the ongoing driver shortage, so this may not be an issue for you.

              Are HGVs automatic? - HGV Training Network

              Are HGVs automatic in the industry?

              The majority of companies in the haulage and logistics industry are now operating automatic lorries instead of manuals because of the benefits explained above. Many businesses strive to make working life on the road as easy and safe as possible for their drivers, which is generally more achievable with automatic lorries over manuals.

              Plus, with more focus on their driving, HGV operators are less likely to crash and damage company vehicles, saving logistic businesses their reputations and money in repairs and replacement HGVs.

              Are HGVs automatic at UK driver training centres?

              If many companies across the haulage industry tend to use automatic HGVs, do training providers use automatics too?

              Put simply, the answer differs between UK training providers, although most lean towards using automatics.

              HGV driver training courses utilise automatic HGVs as they’re much easier to learn in – students can focus more on manoeuvring a larger vehicle, becoming aware of blind spots and the rules of the road for HGV drivers.

              While other HGV training centres may teach trainee HGV drivers in a manual truck so they understand the mechanics of HGV gearboxes – it really just depends.

              Can I drive a manual HGV if I pass in an automatic?

              Wondering if you can drive a manual heavy goods vehicle with an automatic HGV licence?

              Gov.UK states that the current situation is as follows: ‘where a driver holds a car driving licence, and then takes his lorry or bus test on an automatic vehicle, his driving licence will restrict him to only being able to drive large automatic vehicles.’

              This also applies if you have a standard manual car or bus licence.

              Are HGVs automatic? - HGV Training Network

              Start your HGV training today

              To gain your HGV licence and driver CPC, you’ll need to embark on a professional training course with a seasoned HGV instructor who has first-hand experience operating large lorries.

              Here at HGV Training Network, we’ll provide you with all the essential skills you need to kickstart your driving career!

              So, if you have questions such as ‘how much does HGV training cost?’, ‘what’s involved in an HGV test?’ or ‘how long do HGV training courses last?’ – our team are on hand to assist you.

              To find an answer to these questions and more, get in touch with our dedicated training advisors today! They’ll explain everything you need to know about our HGV training, including our flexible financing options.

              Fill out our contact form

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                PAYE vs Self Employed HGV Driving - HGV Training Network
                blog, HGV News

                Nowadays it seems that you can earn a living in almost any way you can think of. 

                From new career paths online to being self-employed, flexibility is the name of the game. 

                But, if a vocation driving HGVs has captured your interest, you may well be wondering if it’s best to join a driving fleet as an employee or embrace the freedom and work for yourself. 

                So, what do you need to know about PAYE vs self-employed HGV driving to help you make a decision? 

                What is the difference between PAYE vs self-employed HGV driving? 

                It used to be the case that many more HGV drivers would set themselves up as self-employed, often as a Ltd company, and work with an agency to reduce the payout on things like tax and national insurance. This allowed them to keep more of the money they earned hour-by-hour. 

                However, with changes brought in by HMRC in April 2021, off-payroll working (known as IR35) or being self-employed can now be less attractive. This is because changes to IR35 now mean that self-employed drivers now pay broadly the same Income Tax and National Insurance as a PAYE employee would. 

                For this reason, it can be a much less attractive prospect. 

                As such, the main difference between PAYE vs self-employed HGV drivers is how they are employed. 

                PAYE vs Self Employed HGV Driving - HGV Training Network

                PAYE 

                PAYE stands for ‘Pay As You Earn’ and allows your employer to deduct your income tax and NI contributions before they pay your wages. 

                To identify how much you pay, your tax code (a short series of numbers and letters) can be changed by HMRC each year based on how much you have earned and how much tax you have, or haven’t, paid. 

                Self-employed

                If you are self-employed, however, you (or your accountant) will need to file your own self-assessment tax return, using bank statements and receipts from the year before the 5th of April. 

                Based on the report you submit, HMRC will then calculate your tax and NI contributions, which you need to pay by the following January. 

                For unscrupulous people, altering self-assessment tax returns is a way you can pay less tax and NI than you really should – something that the IR35 changes aim to resolve. 

                *Did you know we offer HGV finance to get you on the road quicker? Just another way the experts at HGV Training Network can help.  

                PAYE vs Self Employed HGV Driving - HGV Training Network

                Benefits and considerations of PAYE vs self-employed HGV driving

                Our handy table discusses some of the pros and cons that are worth considering when thinking about your employment status:

                HGV Training Network PAYE vs Self Employed Table
                HGV Training Network PAYE vs Self Employed Table

                Get your new career off the ground with HGVTN

                Before you can start your career, however, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to retrain to be an HGV driver. 

                To get your HGV training started, why not reach out to speak to our experts? They have decades of experience driving the largest vehicles on our roads and can help with everything from setting up your medical to getting you through your theory and practical tests. To speak to us today, call us on 0800 254 5007 or fill in our contact form with some basic information about what you are looking for and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

                Fill out our contact form

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                  Drivers CPC Check - HGV Training
                  blog, HGV News

                  If you’re looking into becoming a fully qualified HGV driver, or a driver of similar vehicles, you may have heard of driver CPC training – also known as driver Certificate of Professional Competence training. 

                  But while there’s plenty of information out there about HGV training courses and the steps involved in the process, you may be scratching your head over certain aspects of driver CPC courses and the certificate itself. It’s not as talked about, but that doesn’t make it any less important if you want to get out on the open road and turn driving into an enjoyable, profitable career.

                  At HGV Training Network, we’re experts in driver training and helped hundreds of satisfied learners fulfil their goals and become reliable, professional drivers. With this in mind, here are a few things you might want to know about the CPC, and why it’s so essential.

                  Why do I need to complete CPC training?

                  CPC is an essential component of anyone wishing to drive large vehicles for a living, such as buses and lorries.

                  While the driving test you will undergo is designed to show you have the necessary skills and knowledge to drive to the minimum standard, think of the CPC as the ‘gap-filler’ of the driving test world. It is in place for you to demonstrate key knowledge and decision-making skills you will use during your driving career that will help keep yourself and others safe on the road.

                  Completing your CPC before becoming a driver is also a legal requirement. According to the EU directive, drivers must hold their CPC alongside their other relevant qualifications (such as an HGV licence) in order to drive professionally.

                  Drivers CPC Check - HGV Training

                  How many hours of CPC training do I need to complete?

                  New drivers must complete a mandatory 35 hours of CPC training before they complete their CPC exam, pass, and finally get behind the wheel.

                  But the same is true of existing drivers, too. Current drivers of large vehicles must also complete 35 hours of CPC training every 5 years if they want their certificate to remain valid. This is known as driver CPC periodic training.

                  If drivers do not complete the mandatory 35 hours of periodic CPC training, their certificate will be voided and they must re-earn it by taking the relevant exams again. As such, they will not be legally allowed to drive large vehicles until they’ve regained it.

                  Did you know – at HGVTN, we have over 300 5-star reviews on Google of students who’ve all undergone driving training with us, including earning their CPC!

                  How do I check how many CPC hours I’ve completed?

                  If you’re wondering precisely how many hours of CPC training you’ve completed, there is a handy online tool you can use at GOV.UK to keep track of everything – take a look at it here.

                  Not only is this great for you to view how many hours you’ve completed, but it is also helpful for your training instructors and employers (if they’re involved) to see how you’re progressing – you can create their own bespoke login on your account.

                  Just be aware that your chosen training centre must have registered you for your CPC training course before you’re able to view your progress using this tool.

                  Drivers CPC Check - HGV Training

                  Will CPC training be scrapped?

                  In short, no. Despite online rumblings that the CPC may be removed from UK driver training courses post-Brexit, CPC training remains an essential part of driver training and must be completed if you wish to drive lorries or similarly large vehicles.

                  Is CPC training classed as working time?

                  One of the many benefits of CPC training is that it can, in some instances, count towards your weekly working hours. For example, if you have been ordered to complete CPC training by your employer, so you can continue to provide your company with driving services, these hours can count towards your work hours. 

                  In other words, as a driver, CPC hours help you get paid. Sounds pretty good, right?

                  Are you an employer and want to know more about implementing driver and CPC training in your organisation? Speak with HGVTN today.

                  CONTACT

                  Can you fail a CPC course?

                  It is possible to fail elements of your CPC course. For example, module 4 of the CPC test – which covers practical demonstrations – can be failed if you are unable to show you can properly:

                  • Load the vehicle following all safety rules
                  • Assess emergency scenarios
                  • Reduce physical risks to yourself and others
                  • Perform a walkaround check of the vehicle

                  Among other factors. 

                  The pass/fail rates of each test segment will be given to you ahead of time, so you are fully aware of your results and what they mean. If you fail, you can rebook the test for a later date.

                  Drivers CPC Check - HGV Training

                  Earn your CPC and other qualifications with HGV Training Network

                  If you are looking to enter the lucrative world of HGV driving and earn your HGV driving licence and CPC, speak to the team at HGV Training Network. With over 50 centres for HGV training scattered across the country, and dedicated, experienced training professionals who’ve seen it all and done it all, we can give you the skills and qualifications you need to forge a new career on the road.

                  Get in touch with HGVTN today to get the ball rolling.

                  Fill out our contact form

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                    Is there still a HGV driver shortage? - HGV Training Network
                    blog, HGV News

                    For the past few years, the headlines have been full of worrying reports of an HGV shortage – a shortage which was no doubt worsened by the COVID pandemic and working restrictions after Brexit. 

                    These factors also combined with the early retirement of current drivers and the ever increasing market for online shopping – meaning that more drivers than ever need to be on our roads. 

                    So, has the HGV shortage been rectified or is it set to continue? 

                    Do we need more HGV drivers? 

                    In the periods in and immediately after the last lockdown from March 2021 onwards, there was a shortage of approximately 100,000+ HGV drivers, leading to issues with product availability. 

                    In the years that have followed, thanks in part to measures brought in by the UK government, the HGV driver shortage has decreased, but current estimates suggest we still need around 35,000 to 40,000 HGV drivers to keep products on the shelves and arriving at your home.  

                    *Did You Know? HGV Training Network can help you find your first job after your HGV training – reducing the HGV shortage – thanks to our partnership with Blue Arrow!

                    Is there still a HGV driver shortage? - HGV Training Network

                    When will the HGV shortage end? 

                    Previous government initiatives, including Boot Camps that retrained people as HGV drivers for a lower cost or free, and increased pay or other benefits from employers, have gone a long way to limit HGV shortages and have had a marked impact. 

                    However, while it has improved, the industry still faces issues, including:

                    • Job gaps left by EU citizens 
                    • An ageing workforce – only around 2% of HGV drivers are under 25 and the average age of HGV drivers is still around 55
                    • IR35, or intermediaries legislation – UK tax legislation which has vastly changed employment practices and attractiveness for HGV drivers 
                    • An ever-increasing trend for online shopping and the rise of retail giants, like Temu and Shein, who sell products widely in large volume across the globe
                    • Public opinion of HGV driving as a career choice

                    As such, the industry are expecting to feel the influence of the HGV shortage for a while to come, especially during very busy periods, like Christmas. 

                    *Think you could make a difference in the HGV shortage? Drop the team a message – we’d be happy to help you get your training journey on the road. 

                    Is there still a HGV driver shortage? - HGV Training Network

                    Can the HGV shortage be a possibility? 

                    The easiest way to curtail the HGV shortage is to retrain as an HGV driver yourself. 

                    While the shortage of HGV drivers is a bad thing for the economy, for people interested in retraining it provides a wonderful opportunity. 

                    Whether you are a professional who works in a different field or a recent school leaver just entering the world of work, HGV driving could be the ideal career for you. 

                    Similarly, as most HGV training can completed in as little as a few months, you’ll soon be enjoying the range of benefits, which includes: 

                    • Plentiful work 
                    • The freedom to work independently and choose your own hours 
                    • Competitive rates of pay 
                    • The ability to travel and see more of the UK 
                    • Vast progression opportunities 
                    • Large numbers of professional driving job types to choose from – allowing drivers to specialise in their personal interests, for example driving HIABs or ADR

                    Bringing an end to the HGV shortage rate in no time! 

                    Is there still a HGV driver shortage? - HGV Training Network

                    Choose HGVTN to start driving professionally 

                    Whether you already have driving experience or are a complete newbie, HGV Training Network and our experienced team can help. 

                    With HGV Training and HGV training finance to help you get on the road quicker, without delay, what are you waiting for? 

                    To find out more, you can call us on 0800 254 5007 or fill in our contact form with some basic information about yourself – we’ll get back to you as soon as we can to get you started! 

                    Fill out our contact form

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