HGV or Heavy Goods Vehicle training is a European and UK term for trucks and lorries of more than 3,500 kilograms. Any individual that wishes to be part of a fleet will need to have the proper licence. To obtain the correct licence to drive legally on the roads in the UK, one must have the training for that licence. In order to explain the different levels of training the following licence categories will be explained.
Category C1: This is the first degree of HGV training licences you can obtain. This licence is a step up from regular drivers’ licences in the UK. It means anyone holding a C1 can drive a vehicle of 3,500 kilograms as long as that vehicle is under 7.5 tonnes in gross vehicle weight. The vehicle can be a tractor trailer setup in which you tow a trailer. Anyone that passed the driver’s licence test before 1997 automatically has a C1 licence. The minimum age requirement for this licence is 18.
Category C: A driver is licensed for a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, but it must not exceed 32 tonnes. A Cat C as most in the industry refer to it is typically a vehicle with a cab and trailer where the cab is fixed to the trailer permanently. With this licence the vehicle weight cannot exceed 750 kilograms. This licence is the stepping stone in HGV training to the Category C and E licence. The minimum age for this category and C and E is 18. Category C is also known as Class 2 licence.
Category C and E: With this type of licence drivers can handle a draw bar or articulated vehicle. The letter E stands for entitlement in which a driver can go up to or over 750 kilograms. This particular licence is also referred to as a Class 1 allowing a driver to drive any large goods style vehicle including a double trailer.
In previous years training required the minimum age for Class 1 or 2 to be 21. This has since dropped to 18, allowing younger individuals to begin a driving career right after graduation. Anyone who drives LGV must be under 51. The Class 1 licence is considered LGV or Large Goods Vehicle, while HGV will classify any licence from Cat 1 to Cat C and E to qualify.
The training has changed slightly in that more training facilities are working to make roads safer by offering improved road safety courses and training. Once formal training has been complete there are requirements for attaining and maintaining that licence. During training drivers most pass modules with at least an 85. The test is 100 questions for Module 1. The hazard perception theory test requires a score of 67 or better. There are numerous HGV training facilities in the UK where one will need to go through class work for driver training and then driver training in an HGV vehicle. Training to earn the licence requires both a written and driver test.