A Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) driver transports and delivers goods.
The Role
  • Driving
  • Planning delivery schedules
  • Planning routes with transport managers
  • Supervising or helping to load and unload goods
  • Lifting and carrying
  • Making sure loads are safely secured
  • Following traffic reports and adapting routes if necessary
  • Completing delivery paperwork
  • Keeping up to date log books
  • Basic routine maintenance, such as oil, tyre and brake checks
  • Operating commercial vehicles up to and over 7.5 tonnes, including rigid trucks, articulated lorries, tankers, transporters and trailer wagons
  • Most full time positions are between 37 and 44.5 hours a week
  • Overtime – including weekend shifts - is usually available but there are strict laws about the amount of hours you can spend driving between rest breaks
  • Newly trained HGV drivers can earn in the region of £17,000 and £20,000 per year
  • Trained with experience HGV drivers can earn in the region of £20,000 and £40,000
  • Drivers of specialist fuel and chemical tankers can earn in excess of £40,000 a year
Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.
Qualifications & Training
To become an HGV driver you have to have a relevant driving licence. To get this you will need to be over 18 years of age although generally, for insurance purposes, you will need to be over 21. You will already hold a full car licence and have a good driving record. You will then need to take an additional theory test, have an eyesight test carried out and a medical assessment. An LGV licence test is divided into two categories:
  • Category C1 allows you to drive rigid vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes and
  • Category C allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 7.5 tonnes.
You can then take a further test to allow you to drive vehicles with trailers. As well as an LGV licence you will need a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in the form of a digital tachograph driver smart card. You can apply for this from the DVLA. If you are driving vehicles carrying dangerous goods such as chemicals, you will be legally required to have an ADR – and Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road Certificate. You will have to complete a five day course to obtain this and it is then valid for five years. There are a number of training providers where you can take these qualifications. Sometimes employers are willing to pay for your training. You can also apply to become and apprentice in Driving Goods Vehicles if you want to pursue a career as an HGV driver. Many employers will insist their drivers are accredited by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). This confirms you have the correct training and qualifications for the type of work you carry out.