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6 of the Most Unusual HGV Loads

Employee loading truck with unusual cargo

HGVs often have a limit on the amount that is safe to load them with. Long, heavy or wide loads will typically be transported under the abnormal indivisible loads provisions of the Motor Vehicle (Authorisation of Special Types) General Order 2003 (STGO). 

At Driver Hire, our drivers pride themselves on their competence in transporting anything and everything. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that many drivers have seen or transported various unusual HGV cargo in their time, whether it’s themselves or someone else. In this article, we will take you through some of the strangest loads that HGV drivers have had or seen, as well as offer practical information about transporting them and load security. 

Abnormal Loads 

According to the UK government website, an abnormal load is a vehicle that has any of the following: 

  • Weight of more than 44,000kg 
  • Axle load of more than 10,000kg for a single non-driving axle and 11,500kg for a single driving axle 
  • Width of more than 2.9m 
  • Rigid length of more than 18.65m 

It’s important to note that if you’re transporting freight out of the country, other measurements may apply and there will be extra requirements for this to be permitted.  

If you’re planning to transport freight considered abnormal, depending on the cargo being moved and your planned route, you may be required to give a warning in advance to: 

  • Police 
  • Highway authorities 
  • Bridge and structure owners such as Network Rail 

Highways England have an Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads (ESDAL) system in place which allows you to: 

  • Plan your route 
  • Inform the police, highways and bridge authorities of your abnormal load transportation around the road network 
  • Receive warning ahead of your journey of any potential route complications 
  • Save vehicle details and routes for future use 

If you prefer to do things manually, you must fill out an abnormal loads movement request form. 

Generally, only one abnormal load can be authorised to be transported at any one time. However, you could move two or more abnormal loads within one HGV, providing the cargos are from the same location, being delivered to the same location and are of the same character.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time in advance to get the required permissions from the police, highway and bridge authorities. You can read more here about the notice requirements for transporting abnormal loads.  


The maximum allowed weight of a vehicle transporting abnormal loads is 150 tonnes.  


Normally, vehicles moving abnormal loads are permitted to be up to 2.9m. However, if needed to ensure the safe transportation of large loads, they may be up to 6.1m wide. The following also applies: 

  • Anything over 2.9m will require notice to be given two days in advance, to each police force through which the vehicle passes through.  
  • Anything over 3.5m in width will need an attendant in addition to the two days of notice.  
  • Anything over 5m in width will require a Special Order from the Highways Agency. This is as well as the two-day notice period and attendant.  


Vehicles transporting abnormal loads must not usually exceed 30m. However, where a load is transported via a combination of vehicle and trailers, or on a long-articulated vehicle, the dimension of 30m is measured excluding the drawing vehicle. 

Speed Limits 

Depending on the category the vehicle falls into and the type of road, there will be speed limits, and these are as follows: 

Vehicle Category  Motorway  Dual Carriageway  Other Roads 
1  60mph  50mph  40mph 
2 or 3  40mph  35mph  30mph 

Load Securing

It’s important to ensure cargo is held securely in order to avoid road impact incidents and financial burdens on the UK economy.  

The load securing systems utilised should be suitable for the loads being carried and the vehicles being used. 

These may include: 

  • ‘Over-the-top’ lashings 
  • Rear kites 
  • Intermediate bulk heads 
  • Direct lashing to specific anchor points 

The individual in charge of loading a vehicle must consider other vital aspects such as axle weights and vehicle stability. These are the standard conditions that need to be met to ensure vehicles are safe before beginning a journey. 

Before securing a load, make sure you do the following: 

  • Ensure the vehicle is fit for purpose – there are expert businesses who can give guidance on the right load securing system for your operation and loads you transport. 
  • Load the vehicle properly – stack the load against the headboard with the centre of gravity as low as possible. You must ensure it’s stable without lashings to decrease the danger of it falling over during unloading. 
  • Pick the correct loading method – whatever approach you select, the load restraint system needs to secure the load to the vehicle chassis and stop movement. 
  • Use adequate load restraint – incidents take place when drivers and operators underestimate how much restraint is required to keep a load on the vehicle. 
  • Communication is key – drivers must be given clear information on the loads they carryhow to unload and what they should do if the load shifts 
  • Load restraint system – the combined strength of the load restraint system should be sufficient enough to withstand a forward force no less than the total weight of the load (to prevent the load from moving under severe braking) and half the weight of the load moving backwards and sideways. 

When it comes to the most unusual HGV loads to be transported, the following came out on top: 

1. Oil Rig Parts 

Oil rigs are some of the largest and most complex achievements of engineering humans have ever made. Naturally, moving them also necessitates transportation that is just as large and complicated. Extraordinarily, some of the world’s biggest and heaviest oil rig components are often transported on wheels. This requires huge loading operations, the largest cranes and big teams of professional drivers. 

2. Train Carriage  

Train delays are somewhat of a common issue that we are all used to. However, last year, motorists at Crystal Palace found themselves facing a similar issue when a lorry transporting an entire train carriage got stuck at a junction. When it comes to big loads as such, it’s recommended to carry out a road test with an empty rig, to ensure that you’re not going to run into any problems anywhere along your route. 

3. Wind Turbines 

Most individuals don’t tend to think about how wind turbines get to their final destinations in fields and seas, until they witness one being transported on a massive flatbed. The key to transporting these large and extremely long pieces of machinery is to break them down into fragments and transport each individually. However, this isn’t to say it’ll be an easy feat, with 100-foot HGVs necessary just to move one single blade. 

4. £1 Million in Cash 

In 2015, a HGV carrying a million pounds in cash came to be in an accident in Swindon where coins ended up being scattered across the road. The lorry was reported to have shunted at a roundabout where it spilt its freight in the process.  

5. Glue 

In 2018, a lorry transporting 23 tonnes of industrial glue used for making MDF (medium-density fibreboard) spilled its load on junction 44 of the M6 near Carlisle. The road had to be cleaned up by the fire service and Highways England overnight. However, it also had to remain closed for a few days as it required resurfacing.  

6. Cider Vats 

In 2009, an extensive operation was carried out to transport two giant cider vats to the Bulmer’s factory. The vats required their own special route planned in order to avoid road bridges. Plus, specialist teams had to be tasked with getting rid of tree branches and disconnecting power cables blocking the roads. The HGV was only able to travel at 10mph – nonetheless this was a slow but notable journey.  

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help your professional driving career, call us on 0808 178 9977 or chat to one of our agents right now 


The Many Benefits of Switching to Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Electric truck at an EV charging station

The UK is set to experience an electric vehicle revolution. Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular as a feasible everyday mode of transport – including in the logistics industry. Not only does an electric lorry and hybrid lorry offer a clean and quiet drive but they help reform the industry’s relationship with the environment, roadside air quality and international freight costs. With the government funding the transition to zero-emission road freight with £20 million, in this article, we will discuss the many benefits of switching to hybrid and electric vehicles.  

The Definition of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles 


Hybrid vehicles use a combination of electricity with a conventional fuel engine. For example, a hybrid lorry will run on a diesel or petrol engine along with an electric motor. The two together work to decrease fuel consumption and reduce harmful emissions. 

However, this type of vehicle comes in two different versions: 

  • Standard hybrids – use a small electric motor to support the fuel engine. This means the electric motor powers the vehicle at low speeds and aids during acceleration. The normal engine operates for most driving conditions and any excess power recharges the electric batteries. 
  • Plug-in hybrids – use bigger batteries permitting more miles on electric power only. The normal engine can then take over and batteries can be recharged by plugging in or on the move by the fuel engine.  


Electric vehicles run solely on electric energy stored in a battery. They operate by plugging into a charge point and using electricity from the grid. The electricity is then stored in rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor to turn the wheels. An electric lorry can accelerate faster than lorries with standard fuel engines.  

The Benefits of Electric and Hybrid HGVs 

  • Zero Carbon Emissions 

Perhaps one of the main benefits of an electric HGV is its improved impact on the environment. You won’t see a tailpipe on an electric vehicle since there are no direct emissions from an electric motor (although any pollution caused during the generation of the electricity used should be considered). Generally speaking, electric vehicles deliver us with cleaner streets, therefore making our towns and cities a better place to be for people. Commercial vehicles that can deliver zero carbon emissions over their lifespan are an investment worth making to protect the future of our world. This combined with teaching commercial drivers about fuel-efficient driving practices, will help keep carbon footprint as low as possible.  

The green credentials of a hybrid vehicle depend on how much of the trip is driven on electric miles as well as the way in which the vehicle is charged. Therefore, it’s essential for commercial drivers’ management to think about how their electricity is produced. Where it is possible to choose a renewable form of energy, this will clearly help to reduce emissions as a consequence of driving to a minimum. But there is more to the life cycle of a vehicle than the time that it spends with HGV drivers. Whilst it’s true they produce fewer emissions when they’re being operated, often it’s forgotten just how much energy and resources go into making them before they even hit the road – this process creates emissions too. So, hitting the ultimate goal of net-zero currently remains very challenging – but the use of electric vehicles clearly has the potential to make a positive contribution to the cause. 

  • Lower Operation Costs 

The day-to-day expense of running an electric lorry is lower compared to its diesel equivalent, as you’re not paying for petrol or diesel to keep your HGV running. Although a hybrid lorry runs partly on standard fuel as well, you can still save money on fuel compared to an HGV running solely on diesel or petrol. However, it’s important to note that the initial purchase price of such a vehicle is likely to be higher than their petrol or diesel equivalent counterpart. Therefore, you need to look at the bigger picture and think about the full lifetime value.  

Equally, the cost of maintenance is also less than a diesel engine-driven lorry. Volvo determined that its electric trucks can be multiple times more efficient than diesel equivalents moving the same freight. Therefore, an electric and hybrid HGVs could potentially be a more cost-effective form of transport. This is partly due to its regenerative braking – rotating an electric motor backwards to perform as a generator and produce charge when not accelerating. This brings back electric power and slows the vehicle, so the system brakes are operated less, which in turn reduces maintenance costs.  

  • Less Noise Pollution 

Noise pollution has come to be a big concern, particularly in urban areas. Electric and hybrid vehicles are renowned for being a lot quieter. Such vehicles could help operators like supermarkets, when they’re making deliveries. Lower levels of noise mean they can operate at times where a diesel truck cannot – this will help such companies save money. 

  • V2G (Vehicle to Grid) Potential  

Electric and hybrid lorries could become energy storing units on wheels. In the event of an unforeseen circumstance such as flooding – the large batteries could power local mini-grids to supply vital electrical power to emergency services.  

  • Performance 

In the past, electric and hybrid vehicles didn’t have the best image – many have had minimal expectations as to how well they operate in comparison to standard engines. However, as more manufacturers have stacked into the market with their own version, the performance levels of these types of vehicles have soared.  Electric and hybrid lorries are lighter, and as all their power is produced from a standing start it means they can accelerate faster. Brands like Tesla have done much to improve public perceptions of such vehicles. For example, the Tesla Model S is one of the fastest-accelerating cars on the market, driving 0 – 60mph in just 2.5 seconds. Therefore, there are high hopes for the Tesla electric lorry that is now nearing production phase in Nevada, USA.  

It’s safe to say there are many benefits to switching to electric and hybrid HGVs in the commercial driving industry. If you want a chance to be part of an industry that can deliver these positives, we have a range of training to get you there – from getting your licence to optimising the performance of your fleet 

As urban areas struggle with more vehicle congestion, air and noise pollution from said vehicles, plus the increasing transportation needs, this means there is a need to push electric and hybrid vehicles as a solution. With the government also advocating electric vehicles as the go-to option, the logistics industry can make a real difference in creating more environmentally friendly roads. Though, more research is needed for electric and hybrid HGV manufacturing, and the HGV charging infrastructure still needs more work. However, we can hope to see UK roads in an abundance of HGV charging stations in the future. Whilst it may take a little time to get there, as an industry we can undoubtedly look forward to a cleaner and greener future.  

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help, call us on 0808 178 9977 or chat to one of our agents right now 

New changes to the Class 1 (Cat. C+E) driving test

New changes to the Class 1 (Cat. C+E) driving test have been introduced from Monday 15th November 2021. The changes will see the addition of a “fast-track” option for training towards a Class 1 (Category C+E) licence.

Prior to the change, drivers had to pass the test to drive a Class 2 (Cat. C) vehicle before being able to train and pass a test in a Class 1 (Cat. C+E) vehicle – a “staged” testing procedure. From Monday 15th November 2021, the staged testing procedure will no longer be required. Instead, drivers can learn to drive a Class 1 artic directly from their Category B (car), or Class C1 (7.5-tonne) licence. Once their C+E licence is acquired, drivers will be entitled to drive both Cat C (rigid) and Cat C+E (articulated) large goods vehicles. Courses will generally provide training in both vehicle types, and drivers do have the option to train towards a standalone Class 2 rigid licence first, should they wish.

This change aims to free up an additional 50,000 tests a year, as learner-drivers can pass their Class 1 test in a shorter time – helping towards getting more HGV drivers on the roads sooner.

Driver Hire Training can help you train towards your Class 1 licence in a way that suits you, including the new fast-track option. To discuss the variety of training options we offer, get in touch below. Our team can provide you with the information you need to train towards your new HGV licence.

To find out more…

Call us on 0808 178 9977


Or use our Enquiry Form

For the full list of changes, please visit the government’s website.

What’s It Really Like to Be a HGV Driver? Busting Common Driving Myths

Blurred traffic on the motorway featuring cars and trucks

You have probably heard a lot about HGV driving – both good and bad. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the career choice. However, it’s a far cry from the standard 9 to 5 routine, plus it gives you a degree of control that many other jobs cannot offer you. Acquiring your HGV licence opens an exciting and flexible career path to travel home and abroad, as well as long and short distances. In this article – we will put to rest some common myths about HGV driving as well as offer perspective from real-life professional drivers.  

Myth 1: All Truckers are Men 

HGV driving can be perceived to be a mostly male-dominated field. However, female truck drivers are on the rise in the UK and the role of women in the industry is increasingly high-profile. There is an increasing demand for competent drivers – with improved working conditions and good pay (depending on your employer). Therefore, this makes HGV driving an attractive profession for men and women alike. 

Myth 2: The Training Course is Difficult  

You don’t need to meet any specific conditions to train to be a HGV driver, other than to be over 18 years old, hold a UK driving licence and willing to learn from the appropriate trainers. There are several different training suppliers who can assist you; you just need to find the right one for you and your needs. At Driver Hire, we can provide all the training and support needed to acquire your HGV licence, from the theory and practical tests to your Driver CPC.  

The tests and training have not been set to catch you out or make it difficult for you to gain the qualification, but rather they aim to improve working conditions and safety for you as the worker.  

Myth 3: HGV Drivers Aren’t Valued  

The UK logistics industry is a pillar of our economy and in recent times, we have witnessed just how essential professional drivers are. Without HGV drivers, companies would essentially fall apart and suffer heavily. Goods, for example food products, are transported by HGV drivers and without them – there would be nothing to purchase. Therefore, it’s increasingly recognised that professional drivers perform a vital role in our society.  

44-year-old Spencer Taylor at Driver Hire Cambridge believes HGV driving as a profession plays an important role: 

“It’s a different job to anything else – and it’s essential. Being in the cab gives me time to think about life. And, because you’re delivering things, people are genuinely pleased to see me.” 

Myth 4: Driving Standards are Patchy  

HGV driving requires continual training which makes the individuals in the profession some of the most safety aware and competent drivers on the road.  

Professional drivers must undergo routine drug tests and drinking whilst trucking is simply unacceptable. As with all industries, the commercial driving industry is a zero-tolerance zone.  

Furthermore, it would be difficult for HGV drivers to stray from safety rules as they are frequently monitored by telematics and for large goods vehicles, by a tachograph. The range of electronic monitoring devices enables the recording of data such as: 

  • Driving time 
  • Rest and breaks 
  • Acceleration, cornering and other ‘events’ on the road 

All in all, professional drivers are one of the safest, most competent and closely monitored drivers in the UK, aside from the emergency services. 

Myth 5: Driver CPC will be Scrapped Due to Brexit 

In short – the answer is no. It will be accepted into legislation despite the UK leaving the EU. This will prevent friction between the countries and so enhance efficiency when it comes to international shipping and trade. No government would want to be associated with removing a programme where stated aims are to improve road safety, as well as reduce death and injuries for drivers and the wider public.  

Myth 6: HGV Driving is a Lonely Profession  

 HGV drivers do get time in their own company, which you may welcome, but it can also be a very sociable career. Drivers are frequently meeting new people whilst on the job, working with others and sharing stories. You will get to know people all over the country, and even abroad, and as time goes on you will become more acquainted with them as you travel to and from regularly. With all this in mind – HGV drivers become respected and welcomed members of a supportive and sociable community. 

At Driver Hire Oxford, 54-year-old Richard Wastie believes driving has facilitated him socialising with others:  

“Spending the night in a cab will be like a holiday for me. I’ve met so many fantastic people since I started driving – I can’t wait to take the next step.” 

Myth 7: HGV Drivers Are Sat Down All Day 

Driving professionally isn’t just about sitting behind the wheel – a lot more goes into it. HGV drivers have a variety of responsibilities which include: 

  • Planning routes 
  • Unloading and loading their vehicles 
  • Taking inventory 
  • Looking after themselves by staying active  

Mr Wastie’s career is far from just sitting behind the wheel:  

“I like variety and I don’t like sitting around. So, once I’d driven the team to wherever they were based for the day, I’d help with the set-up, wipe down afterwards and then take round tea and biscuits for the donors. I was asked to help triage people and trained on what to do if someone fainted.” 

Myth 8: Automation is a Threat  

There has been much speculation as to how automation has already altered many other industries. However, automation is there to help and support with repetitive, time-consuming tasks – not replace workers. It allows HGV drivers to distribute more of their attention on challenging and higher-value duties. Instead of being a threat to drivers, automation aids in streamlining several aspects of their role e.g. route planning.  

Autonomous vehicle technology already plays a valuable role in certain situations e.g. when covering longer distances on the motorway. However, dealing with the complexities of urban driving, loading bays and customer interactions can be much more challenging. From a legal and technological perspective, it’s clear we’re far from being in a position where the driver would have no role, from a vehicle’s starting point and until it reaches its destination. 

With all this in mind – automation can improve a driver’s working experience, making their day-to-day life more efficient and less stressful.  

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help kickstart your HGV career, call us on 0808 178 9977 or chat to one of our agents right now 

Understanding Your Driving Licence

Close up of the back of a driving license

Although your driving licence may look like a small piece of plastic, it holds a lot more information than you may think. There are various types of vehicles you can drive on public roads in the UK, and these categories are featured on the back of your driving licence. Whether you want to drive a car or lorry – you are required to have an entitlement for that category on your driving licence. This article explains everything you need to know about what is on your driving licence and what it all means.  

The Different Sections of a Driving Licence 

All driving licences are still issued in a format that’s similar to the EU standard. This comes in the form of a plastic photocard.  

The front of your licence features the following: 

  • Fields 1 (surname), 2 (title, first name and middle names) and 3 (date and place of birth) display your personal details. 
  • Field 4a displays your driving licence issue date.  
  • Field 4b displays your driving licence expiry date. 
  • Field 4c displays the authority which issued the licence (in the UK this will be the DVLA).

  • Field displays your unique driver number which consists of:

    The first five letters of your surnameIf your surname is less than five characters, the remaining spaces will include the number 9.
    Then there will be a sequence of numbers and letters. The first and last numbers are your birth year, whilst the second and third numbers are your birth month. It’s worth noting that for female driving licence holders – the number 5 is added to the second digit.
    The fourth and fifth numbers are the date of the month you were born in. 
    – The next two letters will comprise of the first two initials of your forenames. If you only have one initial, then the second character will be replaced by the number 9.  
    The last three numbers/characters will be computer check digits. 

  • Field 6 displays your photograph (in black and white). 
  • Field displays your signature. 
  • Field displays your permanent address. When you move home – you are required to send your licence back to the DVLA so that they can update it.  
  • Field displays the vehicles you are entitled to drive. 

 The back of your driving licence features: 

  • Field 9 displays a pictogram version of the entitlement categories – these illustrations represent the different types of vehicles. 
  • Field 10 displays the earliest date from which an entitlement category is valid 
  • Field 11 displays the date on which a driving category is valid until 
  • Field 12 displays the information codes/limitations e.g. code 01 for example means you are required to wear glasses/contact lenses as a corrective eyesight measure whilst driving.  

Professional Drivers 

Driving Licence Categories 

After you have obtained a full driving licence, you may decide to upgrade your entitlement so you can drive other vehicles professionally for work. For example, if you will be driving a bus, coach or lorry commercially, you must complete your Driver CPC to gain a Driver Qualification Card (DQC). The different categories include: 

  • Category C – vehicles more than 3,500kg, with a trailer up to 750kg. 
  • Category CE – can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg. 
  • Category D1 (minibuses) – can drive vehicles up to eight metres long, no more than 16 passenger seats, along with a trailer up to 750kg.  

How to Get an HGV Licence  

If you are wanting to upgrade your entitlement – you may be wondering how to get an HGV (or LGV) licence. Firstly, both are the same thing, the only difference is that HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle whilst LGV stands for Large Goods Vehicle.  

The HGV licence permits people to drive trucks or lorries which are more than 3.5 tonnes. You will see that people refer to HGV Class 1 or Class 2 licences, as well as 7.5 tonnes.  An HGV class 1 licence allows you to drive a category C+E vehicle (artic lorry) whilst a HGV class 2 licence allows you to drive a category C vehicle (rigid lorry). Both are effective for 5 years and are issued by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).  

HGV licences are categorised under the following: 

  • C1 licence – this is the standard level for HGV driver training and is the next step up from a regular driving licence. It permits you to operate vehicles that weigh between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes. 
  • C1+E – this licence allows you to drive a 7.5 ton vehicle with an attached trailer.  
  • – when you have obtained this licence, you can drive any rigid lorry or truck weighing between 3.5 and 32 tonnes.  
  • C+E licence – this is the most comprehensive HGV driving licence as you can operate all drawbar trailers and artic lorry combinations, as well as double trailer trucks. 

In order to qualify for an HGV licence, you must be above the age of 18 and pass the theory and practical test.  

If you are looking to drive commercially, we offer Driver CPC online courses – exceptional training at a great price. Or alternatively, if you’re considering a career in logistics management, you may also be interested in our Transport Manager CPC courses – which are also available online. 

How to Get a PCV Licence 

PCV stands for Passenger Carrying Vehicle, and the conditions for acquiring a PCV licence are largely similar to those for goods vehicles. If you are planning to drive for hire and reward (paid to drive minibus or bus as part of your job) you will require a PCV entitlement.  

There are two categories with a PCV licence: 

  • Category D1 – for minibuses with passenger seats for 9 to 16 people. 
  • Category D – for buses and coaches with more than 16 passenger seats.  

All PCV drivers are now required to have a Driver CPC card to be able to drive commercially. As with HGV licences, a PCV licence is also valid for 5 years.  

Post-Brexit: Driving Licence Rules 

In terms of Brexit, the majority of UK drivers will still be able to use their normal driving licence to drive in EU countries. However, there are some exceptions, and in some instances, an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be required. These exceptions include:  

  • People who only have a paper licence – not a photocard one. 
  • People with licences issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. 

You can check here, if you require an IDP for the country you are planning to drive in, and to purchase one you can do so at Post Offices from £5.50 

Even if your UK photocard driving licence features an EU flag on it, it will still be accepted in the UK until the expiration date imprinted on it. 

Professional bus and coach drivers and drivers of heavy goods vehicles are required to carry their Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card when driving in Europe. 

Professional drivers who work for a UK firm and hold a CPC card can carry on using their card to drive to/through EU countries. However, UK CPC cards held by drivers employed by an EU company may no longer be accepted in EU countries. This matter should be checked with the companies themselves. 

Don’t put your Driver CPC off – if you’d like to talk to us about how we can help, call us on 0808 178 9977 or chat to one of our agents right now. 







Logistics is flat out – that’s why we’ve made training easy

Keep on top of Driver CPC – with Driver Hire, training is more convenient than ever

The logistics industry is flat out right now – meeting customer deadlines as the economy grows, and as we head in to Christmas. Nice problem to have, but it’s important to continue to keep staff training and development in mind.

As one of the biggest providers of Driver CPC, we’ve seen recently that some people are leaving periodic training until the last minute, risking lapse of their DQC. That means drivers can’t drive professionally and with well-publicised delays at DVSA at the moment, this could have a real impact on your business.

For drivers specifically, this could limit your earnings at exactly the time when your skills are needed more than ever.

So we’ve made Driver CPC more accessible and convenient than ever before. Online training means drivers don’t need to travel to the classroom – and we have courses running every day, including every weekend and 10 evenings per month.

  • 20+ Driver CPC modules – no need to repeat courses
  • Online training – no issues getting to the classroom
  • Courses daily, including weekends and evenings
  • Need temporary driver cover in the meantime? Driver Hire can help

We’ve delivered 28,000+ driver training days online with a 95% satisfaction rating. Driver CPC courses are just £45 including VAT & JAUPT upload.

Browse and book online Driver CPC courses, or call us on 0808 178 9977.

HGV Test Changes

As the Government prepares for the changes to the HGV driving tests this month, to free up an additional 50,000 tests a year, Driver Hire Training have commented on the effects of the changes, and what it means for the future of testing.

With the current strain on the number of HGV driving tests available, the Government are making plans and changes to free an additional 50,000 tests a year, which mainly comes from removing stages from driving tests.

Firstly, they’re removing the B+E testing stage, which currently means you have a licence to tow a trailer (or to the like) in a car or van, which will free up 30,000 tests. This means that anyone that passes their standard driving test will now be able to tow a trailer without having to undergo additional testing. [Note – the Government has now announced that this change will not take place on 15th November, but soon after].

Secondly, they’re also removing stage testing from the HGV driver test.

Right now you must pass one test to drive a rigid truck (Category C licence) and then another test to drive articulated lorries (Category C+E licence), whereas the government are proposing that students can now take their test in an articulated lorry, removing the requirement for the Category C test to be done first. With this stage testing, the average pass rate across these two tests is 54% which means, on average, every driver does roughly 3 tests each to get their full HGV driver’s licence. Removing this stage testing and just having prospective drivers learn in both vehicles will again free up even more tests.

Although the change is partially designed to pass HGV drivers quicker, some instructors are warning that it may take longer to get a student to where they need to be, as the jump from driving a car to a C+E vehicle is more than that of a Cat C truck. What some training schools are planning on doing is starting students in a Cat C vehicle for the first three lessons (first nine hours) to get the student used to driving a larger vehicle before they finish the rest of their teaching in an articulated truck. Another consideration is that the majority of driving schools will likely have more rigid (Cat C) lorries than articulated lorries (Cat C+E) as stage testing has been in place for 24 years, therefore some may need to look at upgrading their fleet of vehicles.

Furthermore, the government are also looking to remove the reversing and coupling elements from the official test which in turn will make tests shorter, meaning DVSA examiners can do more tests during a single day. This part of the test is the first skill drivers are asked to demonstrate and involves blind reversing around corners, as well as proving that they can uncouple and recouple the trailer to the truck. This skill will still be examined, but it will be done so under the supervision of the driving schools’ students are learning through. The school’s examiner will have to be approved by the DVSA and will also have to be different to the actual person training individuals.

This change to testing has significant pros and cons.

A positive to this, is that at the beginning of a driving test you are typically the most nervous as you’re settling into the test and getting used to the examiner. With this skill being the first thing students must demonstrate in their test, it can be extremely daunting which often results in some failing disproportionately on nerves over their actual skill level. Therefore, it could be a good thing that in future this will be done under different circumstances.

A negative to the removal of the reversing element from the driving test, is the risk that some less compliant companies, although DVSA approved, may be tempted to exploit this new way of working. There is a theoretical risk that some schools could be tempted to boost their own pass rates by being less rigorous in this aspect of their testing. So, it is important to make sure that the government do properly monitor third party examiners to ensure this risk, although hypothetical, does not happen.

 Driver Hire Training specialise in training and recruiting HGV drivers. A full podcast from experts at Driver Hire on the topic can be found here.