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HGV driver

Large goods vehicle (LGV) driver, lorry driver, haulage driver

Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers transport goods between locations. They move items for suppliers and customers, locally, nationally and internationally. As a lorry driver, you will spend a lot of time on the road and could be away from home frequently. You’ll plan delivery schedules and ensure that loads are delivered on time to the correct locations.

Average salary*

£17000

-

£40000

Typical hours per week

50 -52

How to become an HGV driver

To become an HGV driver you’ll need to be over 18 years old (for many companies this may rise to over 21, for insurance purposes) and hold a full UK driving licence.

You can gain the additional qualifications you need by doing specified training courses. Some companies may offer HGV driver training as part of an apprenticeship.

If you already have some experience, you may be able to apply directly to an employer for work.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

Training courses

You will have to attend a specialist training provider to gain the correct qualifications and experience to gain your HGV licence.

Your HGV driving licence test has two parts:

  • Category C1 allows you to drive rigid vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes
  • Category C allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 7.5 tonnes.

For each of these you’ll need to sit a theory test, a practical test, show a good understanding of road safety and demonstrate how to load and unload your HGV safely.

You’ll need to have eyesight and medical assessments to get your licence. You won’t always need formal qualifications.

Once you’re newly qualified you’ll need to apply for a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (also known as a Driver CPC) in order to work.

Apprenticeship

There is no direct apprenticeship to become an HGV driver but some employers may offer HGV training to enhance your apprenticeship, i.e. in HGV maintenance.

Work

If you have experience as a light goods driver you may find an employer who will help you get your HGV licence.

If you have previously worked as an HGV driver, you will need to do a refresher training to return to the role.

Skills

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as an HGV driver include:

  • Customer service and administration skills
  • Be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Able to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • Able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
  • Able to operate and control equipment

What does an HGV driver do?

As an HGV driver you will be responsible for the safe transportation of goods around the country, or even overseas.

The job role of an HGV driver includes the following duties:

  • Operating commercial vehicles up to and over 7.5 tonnes, including rigid trucks, articulated lorries, tankers, transporters and trailer wagons
  • Driving long or short distances
  • Planning delivery schedules and routes with transport managers
  • Supervising or helping to load and unload goods
  • Lifting and carrying goods
  • Making sure loads are safely secured
  • Following traffic reports and adapting routes if necessary
  • Completing delivery paperwork
  • Keeping up-to-date logbooks
  • Carrying out basic routine maintenance, such as oil, tyre and brake checks
  • Working from a vehicle and driving long distances in a cramped space
  • Spending nights away from home during long haul deliveries.

How much could you earn as an HGV driver?

The expected salary for an HGV driver increases as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained HGV drivers can earn in the region of £17,000 and £20,000
  • 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*

Salaries depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do. 

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest HGV driver vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

You could gain more licences to pull trailers or transport hazardous substances.

Some HGV drivers become transport managers, planners, freight operators or logistics and plant manager. You could earn a higher salary in a more senior position.

You could move into teaching and become an HGV instructor.

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role HGV driver Take on the responsibility of delivering heavy goods & planning delivery schedul...
    Read more
  • Current role Transport manager Transport managers are responsible for ensuring that the legal requirements for ...
    Read more
  • Current role Logistics and Plant Manager A Logistics and Plant Manager in the construction industry is responsible for ov...
    Read more
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