You can make £50,000 a year as a lorry driver as UK faces shortage

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There’s a big shortage of HGV drivers at the moment and if that job sounds like it’s up your street you could make £50,000 a year.

The logistics industry is reporting an estimated shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers due to the Covid-19 pandemic and following Brexit, according to Retail Gazette. The recent shortages have meant lorry drivers are now paid as much as £20 per hour which, for a typical 55-hour week, represents annual earnings of £50,000, reports Derbyshire Live.

Supermarkets across Wales and the UK have seen empty shelves due to the lack of drivers as well as other reasons, last week, read more on that here.

Read more:This is what Morrisons, Aldi, Tesco and Sainsbury’s said about face masks in Wales

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, though, there’s a backlog on the test process to become a HGV driver, however the UK Government has recently launched a consultation to speed up the process of being able to obtain a licence. It is also looking at how to improve working conditions for drives.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has already worked to ensure almost 1,500 HGV drivers pass their driving test every week but the government is going further still to make sure new drivers get up and running in the industry as quickly as possible.

A new consultation will be launched on allowing drivers to take one test to drive both an articulated and rigid lorry. This would streamline the process for new drivers to gain their HGV licence and would increase lorry test appointment availability. You can find more detail about these measures, here.

But, if you are tempted the industry, here’s what’s involved in training to be a driver:

Getting Started

The first stage to becoming a lorry driver is having a full car licence and a provisional LGV licence which is available from the DVLA upon application. A large goods vehicle (LGV) licence commonly referred to as a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) licence allows someone to operate a lorry over 3,500kg.

This application should be accompanied by a medical form filled out by your GP and possibly an optician. You also need to be aged over 18.

What’s next?

To hold a UK lorry driver’s licence you have to complete a qualification called the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).

You will need to pass four tests to get it unless you have previous driving experience which may reduce the amount of training required.

What do the Driver CPC tests include?

Theory Test

The first part of the test is theory based; this can be booked as soon as you have a provisional licence. The test has two parts – multiple choice and hazard perception both of which can be taken on the same day.

The multiple-choice part lasts just under two hours and the pass mark is 85 per cent.

In the hazard perception part you will watch a series of 19 videos and spot a range of developing hazards. The pass mark is 67 per cent.

Case Studies

This can be taken before the theory test is passed by someone holding a provisional licence.

The test is made up of seven case studies you work through on a computer. You’ll be asked multiple-choice questions on each case study. The test lasts for 75 minutes, and the pass mark is 80 per cent.

Driving Ability

This can only be taken once you have completed the theory test.

The practical test lasts about 90 minutes and includes vehicle safety questions, practical road driving and off-road exercises. The test includes ten minutes of independent driving without direction from the examiner. Off-road exercises include an ‘S’ shaped reverse into a bay plus uncoupling and recoupling procedures for a trailer.

Practical Demonstration

This final stage assesses loading a vehicle following safety rules and how to keep the load secure.

It also includes sections on stopping trafficking in illegal immigrants, assessing emergency situations, reducing physical risks and walkaround vehicle safety checks.

To pass you have to score at least 75 per cent in each of the five topic areas and have an overall score of at least 80 out of 100.

What Does it Cost?

Driver CPC costs are as follows:

Driver CPC part 1 – theory: £26

Driver CPC part 1 – theory (hazard perception): £11

Driver CPC part 2 – case studies: £23

Driver CPC part 3 – driving ability: £115

Driver CPC part 4 – practical demonstration: £55

Other Start-Up Training Costs

Estimates vary, but like learning to drive a car anyone taking up the challenge of becoming a lorry driver will need extensive practice and lessons.

Generally, from start to finish, getting an HGV (heavy goods vehicle) or LGV (large goods vehicle) licence is likely to cost between £1,000 and £2,000 although this may vary depending on your ability.

Staying Qualified

Lorry drivers must complete 35 hours of additional training in every five-year period following the award of their Driver CPC.

When can I start?

You may have seen that there has been a backlog when it comes to drivers being able to take their tests, but the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is working to clear that and get lorry drivers on the road as quickly as possible. The UK Government has already said the agency is ensuring 1,500 drivers can pass their tests every week. A consultation has also been launched about streamlining the testing process to ensure people only have to take one test to drive both an articulated and rigid lorry.

Does this sound like a job you’d like to do? Leave a comment below



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