Cruising along open roads with the radio blasting… enjoying national and international sightseeing… being responsible for crucial food, items and cargo… becoming an HGV or LGV driver sounds pretty cool. Plus, most of us couldn’t function without the people who transport what we need.
If you are ready for a demanding, interesting career that could take you all over the world, read on to find out everything you need to know about HGV and LGV apprenticeships.
- Jobs in trucking
- What are the different HGV and LGV licenses?
- HGV apprenticeships (and where to find them)
- Entry requirements
- Extra tips for success
Jobs in trucking
Short for Heavy Goods Vehicle, HGV drivers transport goods between locations. This could be locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. You will be responsible for the safety of your vehicle and load as you transport items and ensure they are delivered on time at the correct location.
LGV used to stand for ‘Light Goods Vehicle’, but now it means ‘Large Goods Vehicle’. Why? EU law changed the name for tax purposes (pretty boring). So, what’s the difference between an HGV and an LGV? Nothing – just tax stuff! LGV drivers do the same day-to-day activities as HGV drivers. LGV and HGV licences are the same, as we’ll cover in the next section.
Freight haulers take HGV work one step further. As a freight hauler, you’ll be transporting oversized cargo that requires specialist haulage vehicles.
Similarly to a freight hauler, tanker drivers drive vehicles that require specialised tanks to store the cargo. This could also include cargo that is liquid, gas or hazardous. Because of this, tanker haulers are trained to know what to do in an emergency situation – hence why this is one of the most dangerous jobs in trucking.
Ice road trucker
Maybe not one for the UK, but it’s still a cool job – ice road truckers (IRTs) transport loads in heavy goods vehicles across frozen lakes and rivers. This is a crucial role in places like northern Canada and Alaska where winters are harsh and bad weather cuts off certain locations. Why drive on dangerous ice in the first place? Well, IRTs are very well paid.
What are the different HGV and LGV licenses?
It is important to know that HGV and LGV licences are the same – the categories ‘HGV’ and ‘LGV’ refer to the taxation requirements on the vehicle. There are multiple licences available in the trucking industry, and these are split into different categories:
This is the first, most basic level of HGV/LGV training. You can drive vehicles that weigh between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, e.g. a lorry, truck or tractor-trailer.
You can drive a vehicle that is 7.5 tonnes or more with a trailer that detaches from the cab. You’ll need your C1 licence before completing this one.
This licence allows you to drive vehicles between 3.5 and 32 tonnes. This is usually a vehicle with a cab and trailer fixed permanently together. You need to be over 18 before you get this licence.
Also called a ‘Class 1 licence’, this is the most advanced HGV/LGV licence. You can drive any handlebar or articulated vehicle – and pretty much any other huge vehicle.
Lorry loader or HIAB licence
This licence allows you to drive and operate lorry loaders (e.g. machinery with hydraulic systems, cranes or attachments that will be mounted onto your truck).
ADR stands for ‘Accord Dangeroux Routier’. This one qualifies you to transport dangerous cargo such as fuel tankers, corrosives, liquids or flammables.
HGV apprenticeships (and where to find them)
You can search for HGV/LGV apprenticeships near you on the gov.uk website. Their LGV Apprenticeship takes 13 months to complete, and you’ll qualify with your C+E licence.
The Royal Logistics Corps’ Driving Goods Vehicles Apprenticeship takes 12-18 months to complete and you will achieve your C+E licence – and a whole lot more. After your training is done, you could progress to study a Level 2 LGV Driver Apprenticeship. Be aware that you’ll need to pass a physical fitness test and complete 3 stages before you begin the apprenticeship:
- Initial military training.
- You’ll earn your C+E Driving Licence during a 15-week course.
- You’ll continue training during a 25-day course to achieve your Class 3 Driver licence.
- You can begin the 12-18 month apprenticeship.
Popular delivery company Yodel offers an LGV Apprenticeship, through which you can achieve your C+E licence. Yodel prides themselves on their rising pay scale, great shift allowance and supportive training environment.
With ALDI’s Driver Apprenticeship, you can earn your C+E licence in 12-15 months. ALDI offers perks like access to a well-being programme, a £328/week salary and 28 days’ paid holiday.
TRS is a road haulage, logistics and warehousing training company. Their HGV/LGV Apprenticeship will qualify you with your C+E licence.
For most apprenticeships, all you will need is a full, clean UK driving licence, a conscientious attitude and an ambition for a long-term career in logistics.
Extra tips for success
If you are an international HGV/LGV driver, you will likely be away from home frequently for varying lengths of time. It’s worth considering this commitment beforehand, and maybe discussing it with your partner, friends or family.
You may notice that most of these apprenticeships qualify you with your C+E licence. That’s because you can then complete further training to achieve your other licences.
Trucking apprenticeships: go further in your career
With an HGV or LGV apprenticeship, you’ll have the knowledge, experience and tools you need to drive your career forward (excuse the pun).
Decided it might not be that path for you? Take a look at other opportunities in everything from engineering and science to nursing and childcare.