HGV driving

rd115

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Any HGV drivers on here? Lost my job this week and needing to get back into something soonish. I was wondering how easy is it to get LGV cat C at nearly 40 years of age? Easy enough to learn? I figure it'll cost circa £1500 all in for provisional, medicals, theory, practical, CPC, tacho etc.


Once i have all this, is it easy to get a job as a newbie with no experience? I figure since Brexit and companies unable to import cheap labour from the eastern side of the continent drivers must be in demand? 🤷‍♂️ I'd be willing to drive for an agency to build experience.

I'd want to get Cat C+E eventually but can't afford it all in one go.


I loved the driving part of my job as a Field Service Engineer so this appeals to me :D

Need to fund a new car too when company car is taken off me at the end of the month, keep an eye on the for sale section for all my best fishing gear at bargain basement prices :LOL:
 
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juttle

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It was a long, long time ago when I did my class 1 licence. Back then it was class 1 for Arctic’s, class 2 multi axles 16 tons upwards, tippers and the like, and the class 3 had only just been dropped. Getting the actual license was easy enough, but getting regular work afterwards was a nightmare, for any long distance stuff the first question was always, “where’ve you been,” and, “who for?” I ended up working for an agency for a while until the right job turned up. The thing with agency work, then, was the agency driver always got the rubbish jobs with the rubbish vehicle, was always last out of the yard and the first to get moaned at on getting back. I hated it!

Eventually, something better came along and I ended up running all over Eastern Europe, the wrong side of the wall, into Poland, USSR, East Germany, CZ, Hungary, and down into Iraq, Iran. Great job until one side or the other started firing rockets at each other or the missus got the hump with you only coming home three times a year!

This is probably all ancient history now as things change, but then, once I was out of the EEC, the tacho went out the window and everybody drove for 18 hours a day just to get the job done. On the very rare occasions that anybody was stopped the trick was to pass over the plastic disc that protected the tacho’s workings and explain to the bemused copper that it was the new computerised clock that had only just been fitted!

Good luck with your project!
 

chris1967

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"This is probably all ancient history now as things change, but then, once I was out of the EEC, the tacho went out the window and everybody drove for 18 hours a day just to get the job done. On the very rare occasions that anybody was stopped the trick was to pass over the plastic disc that protected the tacho’s workings and explain to the bemused copper that it was the new computerised clock that had only just been fitted!"

Not really the best advice is that
 

Maesknoll

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"This is probably all ancient history now as things change, but then, once I was out of the EEC, the tacho went out the window and everybody drove for 18 hours a day just to get the job done. On the very rare occasions that anybody was stopped the trick was to pass over the plastic disc that protected the tacho’s workings and explain to the bemused copper that it was the new computerised clock that had only just been fitted!"

Not really the best advice is that
It’s an anecdote, not advice.
 

Silver fan 82

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Any HGV drivers on here? Lost my job this week and needing to get back into something soonish. I was wondering how easy is it to get LGV cat C at nearly 40 years of age? Easy enough to learn? I figure it'll cost circa £1500 all in for provisional, medicals, theory, practical, CPC, tacho etc.


Once i have all this, is it easy to get a job as a newbie with no experience? I figure since Brexit and companies unable to import cheap labour from the eastern side of the continent drivers must be in demand? 🤷‍♂️ I'd be willing to drive for an agency to build experience.

I'd want to get Cat C+E eventually but can't afford it all in one go.


I loved the driving part of my job as a Field Service Engineer so this appeals to me :D

Need to fund a new car too when company car is taken off me at the end of the month, keep an eye on the for sale section for all my best fishing gear at bargain basement prices :LOL:
Hi mate. I'm the same age as you and an HGV driver. I've had my licence for 8 or 9 years now. You're definitely not too old to do it mate, no way.
I reckon price wise with about £1500 you would be about right.
I personally didn't think it was easy to pass the practical test. I passed second time. Driving a class 2 vehicle size wise is a massive jump from driving your car. Having said that you soon get used to it and with a good instructor you will be fine.
I was lucky with my first driving job. I was already working for a company driving a 3.5 ton Luton van and unbeknown to the company I was training to do my class 2. Literally a few weeks before I passed the class 2 driver they already had left. I passed my test and took over his role. Stayed there for about a year and moved on.
I have worked for haulage companies that do take on new drivers but they can be far and few between. But that's in my local area. May be different where you are.
Alot of agencies take on new drivers and if you are garunteed regular work can be worth considering. What I did when I fancied a move was literally contact every company I could think of that ran HGVs and contacted them. You never know, you may get lucky?
Anyway yeah definitely go for it if you can mate. Once you have that licence in your hand it's unlikely you will ever be out of work and with a year or two experience you won't find it too hard to find work.
I don't regret doing it. It's definitely an experience, met some great people, been to places I would never have otherwise done too.
Any questions mate please ask.
 

Whisker

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I did my class 2 at 40 years of age (nearly 55 now). They don’t make it easy, lots of hoops to jump through (which is why there’s a shortage of drivers I reckon). Class 1’s are easier to drive than the rigids (trailer follows the cab, easier to turn).

Put simply, get your medical done first. If you fail it, you won’t waste any more money. Pass your theory test, book a CPC course and a 1 week driving course, driving test on the Friday.

The hard part is finding work as you say, so the agency might well be your first call. Having said that, there’s big demand for drivers so you could ask the larger companies... DHL, K & N etc and you might get lucky... they’re bound to have a depot near you.
I don’t drive now (self employed fork lift instructor), too many rules and regs and a lot of red tape for me!
Good luck!
 
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Silver fan 82

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I did my class 2 at 40 years of age (nearly 55 now). They don’t make it easy, lots of hoops to jump through (which is why there’s a shortage of drivers I reckon).

Put simply, get your medical done first. If you fail it, you won’t waste any more money. Pass your theory test and book a CPC course. Then book a 1 week driving course, driving test on the Friday.

The hard part is finding work as you say, so the agency might well be your first call. Having said that, there’s big demand for drivers so you could ask the larger companies... DHL, K & N etc and you might get lucky... they’re bound to have a depot near you. Good luck!
Good advice!
I have worked for an agency and always had work, always got paid.
It's definitely worth putting yourself out there trying to find work as a new driver. You have nothing to loose and if they are willing to take you on and invest the time then all is good.
 

Geoff P

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Those were the days. 4am starts to get across London before rush hour, greasy breakfasts, away from home 13 days at a time, very few pallete loads, roping and sheeting, very few curtained trailers. I was pleased to get out of it. Not like the glorified chauffeur work it is today.
 

Whisker

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My dad was a class 1 driver and when he retired at 57, he signed on an agency and went back to his old place. Earned more doing Saturday and Sunday than he did working Monday to Friday.
 

Silver fan 82

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Those were the days. 4am starts to get across London before rush hour, greasy breakfasts, away from home 13 days at a time, very few pallete loads, roping and sheeting, very few curtained trailers. I was pleased to get out of it. Not like the glorified chauffeur work it is today.
I wouldn't say its all easy work Geoff. No doubt its easier now then it was say 30 years ago.
It all depends what sort of work you get.
I done about 3 years doing multi drop pallet work which can be hard. Literally you can have a pallet that weighs a ton, there is no forklift available and you're left struggling trying to get it on the taillift with a pallet truck or hand balling it off.
But on the other hand there are jobs where you don't even touch the load. The most you may do is open and shut the curtains, some don't even do that!
 

Zerkalo

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Sorry to hear about your job loss, good luck with the HGV thing and sorry I can't help.
 

muggins

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I was made redundant in January and I'm starting a LGV C course 15th March. The best part about is it's free! I claim JSA and because of this the government pay for the course and your first test, by the way, I'm 63 next month.

 

Geoff P

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I wouldn't say its all easy work Geoff. No doubt its easier now then it was say 30 years ago.
It all depends what sort of work you get.
I done about 3 years doing multi drop pallet work which can be hard. Literally you can have a pallet that weighs a ton, there is no forklift available and you're left struggling trying to get it on the taillift with a pallet truck or hand balling it off.
But on the other hand there are jobs where you don't even touch the load. The most you may do is open and shut the curtains, some don't even do that!
I did not miss calling into Avonmouth, loading 20 ton of fertiliser in hundredweight sacks by hand onto the trailer then driving back to Sussex to unload the damn things by hand on a farm. Mind you I did stop driving trucks in the mid 1980s.
 

endpeg

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I'm a truck driver it's true you will never be out of work but you will have to be prepared to do all kinds of shyte work when you pass your test.
Tramping, handball, weekends etc.
Eventually you may find an easy Mon -Fri job.
Be warned tho unless your prepared to stay out all week or work weekends you won't earn that much.
Most agencies advertise there weekend rates, in reality they only pay between £9/£9.50 per HR for class 2.
Not much more than minimum wage!
Any more info PM me.
 

Silver fan 82

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I did not miss calling into Avonmouth, loading 20 ton of fertiliser in hundredweight sacks by hand onto the trailer then driving back to Sussex to unload the damn things by hand on a farm. Mind you I did stop driving trucks in the mid 1980s.
Yeah that doesn't sound like a lot of fun Geoff.
 

Silver fan 82

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I'm a truck driver it's true you will never be out of work but you will have to be prepared to do all kinds of shyte work when you pass your test.
Tramping, handball, weekends etc.
Eventually you may find an easy Mon -Fri job.
Be warned tho unless your prepared to stay out all week or work weekends you won't earn that much.
Most agencies advertise there weekend rates, in reality they only pay between £9/£9.50 per HR for class 2.
Not much more than minimum wage!
Any more info PM me.
This is true. Alot of responsibility for not much cash.
I think like most industries if you want the good money you have to put the hours in.
 

mickthechippy

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my car licence entitles me to drive 7.5 ton rigids under grandfather rights

used to be the guy that shipped all the, building materials, gaming machines, big screen TV's, drinks machines, kiddies rides etc between our bars, clubs, pubs and bowling alleys when I was working as a subby for first bowl,

proper pain in the arse, the driving hours are never long enough, finding somewhere to park up for your rest hours and loading unloading on main streets etc , was always rented truck or flatbeds too, picking up and returning them was a mare with the depots checking em out before and after hire

was always getting calls about where was I , boss and managers fretting about me getting there while they were still open etc

hated it
 

Geoff P

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Yeah that doesn't sound like a lot of fun Geoff.
Delivered to one farm at 4pm on a Friday, the farmer told me his workers were going home and to unload the fertiliser on my own and put it in the barn. He was such a knob I parked across the entrance and just pushed the sacks off the side of the trailer. His guys had to move it before they could go home. Goods received not signed for and off to the depot. Made no friends that day but got home for first time in 13 days. Just one of my fall outs!!!!!!

Edit: I have not always been a miserable old git, I was miserable and grumpy when younger!!!!
 
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