First step to becoming a HGV driver

First step to becoming a HGV driver

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Discussion

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Friday 9th December 2016
quotequote all
Hi all.

I've always wanted to be truck driver but the cost of the training has always put me off, I've ambled along in life, going from job to job and I've found myself behind a desk for 8 hours a day.

I'm in a position now where I have two paths laid in front of me, I can continue with my current job, my boss is great, he is very supportive and is always helping me to learn more about the job and I can easily get myself into a well paid managerial roll in this industry in a few years time OR i can pursue my childhood dream and become a truck driver.

I've decided with the latter and i have my medical booked for this afternoon I consider this as the first step in becoming a HGV driver. I have been revising using the official books ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/official-guide-driving-go...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Official-Theory-Drivers-L...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Official-DVSA-Guide-Hazar...

If you are interested)

I hope to get my provisional back in the new year, Then I will have an assessment drive with the trainer I have chosen, we will go out in a truck for an hour or two and see what level my driving ability is at,it is also a great opportunity for me to experience driving a truck and the difference it offers over a car.

The next step is the the tests (hazard perception, theory etc) and the training/learning.

I would like to record my experience of the process from leaving my office job through to starting work as a HGV driver. Its a good opportunity for me to reflect, but also it may help others in a similar position who are thinking of a career change too. My boss is aware of my intention to leave once I have my license and again, he is very understanding of this which is a great relief.

I invite you to ask questions or offer any comments you may have.

Thanks
Tom

Edit: Here is a table of my costs. I will update this from time to time.
Description Cost
Medical £51
Theory books and DVD £30
16 hours Cat C training + Test £1176
2 hours Initial CPC training £168
Theory Test (module 1) £37
CPC Case Study (module 2) £23
Driving Test (module 3) £115
CPC Practical Demonstration £55
Tacho digi card £38
Total £1693


Some of these prices are set, Tacho Card and theory test etc are going to be the same. But your training costs will differ depending where you go.




Edited by callmedave on Thursday 22 December 21:51


Edited by callmedave on Saturday 24th December 00:33

NorfolkInClue1

1,261 posts

108 months

Friday 9th December 2016
quotequote all
Can
Worms
Open...........

I'll let the neg heads post first as it's always amusing.

Don't tell anyone, but I think it's a great job as I love driving.
Someone will be along soon to put you off as much as possible.....


mac96

1,549 posts

90 months

Friday 9th December 2016
quotequote all
Nothing negative from me-if it is your dream job- just do it. You don't want to be looking back from retirement wishing you had tried it, so I reckon you are doing exactly the right thing.

Good luck!

chilistrucker

4,375 posts

98 months

Friday 9th December 2016
quotequote all
mac96 said:
Nothing negative from me-if it is your dream job- just do it. You don't want to be looking back from retirement wishing you had tried it, so I reckon you are doing exactly the right thing.

Good luck!
Exactly this. Regret what you do, not what you didn't. Every job has its ups and downs, but if it is a dream of yours, then you are already half way there. If I could go back to it tomorrow I would.

truck71

2,328 posts

119 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
An LGV licence is a lifelong insurance to always getting work. I took mine as a wet behind the ears 21 year old for the reasons you state. I subsequently developed a career in logistics but have used it for three different periods as an income filler. Last time was fifteen years ago but I'm about to dust off the licence once more to support myself whilst I start a new business.
OP I would encourage you to follow it through and make your own mind up about the industry, it can be challenging but it doesn't have to be any worse than many other jobs.
Keep positive, be helpful and don't do anything stupid and you'll be fine.

bigfatnick

1,011 posts

149 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
I'm surprised by the lack of negativity in this thread, I too ambled through life after deciding I hated office life - started down the route of civil engineering, 13 years ago, sacked it off maybe 9 years ago, travelled the world through a good chunk of my 20's, did all sorts of jobs in various countries and in Australia, working on a cattle ranch, came to realise that I like operating machines (be them trucks, diggers, dozers, whatever) and after driving about on the farms vast network of private roads in an old kenworth decided to give it a go when I got home.

A lot of people will tell you it isn't the job it used to be, and from what I can tell it isn't, it seems you earn similar money now to what you did in the early 90's. but as someone who'd never earned more than 20k in the Uk I'm quite happy having £400ish a week land in my bank account for doing a 4 days on, 4 days off shift pattern, being home every night, knowing at the same company I can be away Monday-Friday and see £650 a week. Most of my university educated friends are on less money than me, and it doesn't look like they'll be seeing much more than me for lot of years. When people tell you how st a job it is, remember that most jobs are st now. Every big company wants to extract the most from you, for the minimum, it's a sign of the times. I like my job, and know plenty of people who also like driving lorries.

My advice to you,
- Do your training in private, pass your test, and do the odd bits on weekends before you decided to quit your current job.
- some jobs are miserable (think, anything involving a supermarket distribution centre, particularly tescos), if you need to start out in that kind of job, fear not, better work will come.
- consider the kind of work you want to do, I hate traffic, so I do rural tipper work across the north of England/Scotland mostly.
- if the work dictates, invest in a decent truck satnav, Google earth will help you visualise if you can get in a yard/down a first track before you get there, but won't tell you about width/weight/height restrictions.
- don't listen to radio 2, you will slip IQ points daily. I listened to podcasts or repetitive electronic music. Keeps the mind sharp.
- invest in a decent Bluetooth/headphones hands free kit, your truck months not have it built in, and you will end up on the phone a lot more than you ever imagined.
-a lot of drivers fall out with people everywhere they go, telling the world how "they're fking dicks in there". Manners cost nothing, I don't fall out with people, companies like me, they wave when they see me coming, they often let me tip if I'm 5 minutes late, be nice to people, people will be nice to you, don't become the person who gives us all a bad name.
- building on the above point, when your new, don't be afraid to tell people that you only just passed your test/started the job, they will be patient with you, I dined out on it for months, really helped.
- don't become one of those absolute aholes who throw all their litter out of the cab in lay-bys. One day I'm gonna snap and end up tearing someone's eyeballs out. Put a carrier bag on the passenger arm rest, almost everywhere has somewhere you can dispose of them.




Out of interest, what line of work/part of the uk are you in at the moment?


Edited by bigfatnick on Saturday 10th December 11:14

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
bigfatnick said:
Out of interest, what line of work/part of the uk are you in at the moment?
He's in Kent so potential for good paying work if he doesn't mind being a trolley dolly at Snodland for example. Will probably have to be an agency bh for a year or two to get the 2yrs experience though.

I've said it before in other threads : if you really enjoy driving, have a relaxed attitude and are not easily would up by traffic and the stupid stuff that other roads users do, plus don't have commitments for needing to be finished by x time then it's a decent enough job and you can earn good money. If the answer is 'no' to any of the above and you're only going into the industry because you're bored of your current job and it sounds easy then once the initial novelty has worn off you'll hate it.

I used to love it but the traffic and driving standards (particularly from other truckers) on days ground me down to the point where it did my head in and I was looking to get out. I changed to nights and am fairly content trundling my tanker up and down the A1 and across Lincs, Cambs and Norfolk on largely empty roads. The most stress I have to deal with is getting stuck behind a FreshLinc doing 45mph on the A17 ranting .

smile

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
bigfatnick said:
I'm quite happy having £400ish a week land in my bank account for doing a 4 days on, 4 days off shift pattern, being home every night, knowing at the same company I can be away Monday-Friday and see £650 a week. Most of my university educated friends are on less money than me
Are your university educated friends doing 70 hrs per week and sleeping in a tin box in a piss-ridden layby or MSA acting as an unpaid security guard for 4 nights per week though? I wager not.

egor110

11,982 posts

150 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
All that jazz said:
bigfatnick said:
I'm quite happy having £400ish a week land in my bank account for doing a 4 days on, 4 days off shift pattern, being home every night, knowing at the same company I can be away Monday-Friday and see £650 a week. Most of my university educated friends are on less money than me
Are your university educated friends doing 70 hrs per week and sleeping in a tin box in a piss-ridden layby or MSA acting as an unpaid security guard for 4 nights per week though? I wager not.
None of which he does.

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
egor110 said:
None of which he does.
True but it's the usual argument trotted out by trampers whilst failing to realise they're basically doing 2 weeks work in 1. Halve their weekly income and you get a more realistic and comparable figure to someone in a 'normal' job.

Edited by All that jazz on Saturday 10th December 15:08

bigfatnick

1,011 posts

149 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
All that jazz said:
egor110 said:
None of which he does.
True but it's the usual argument trotted out by trampers whilst failing to realise they're basically doing 2 weeks work in 1. Halve their weekly income and you get a more realistic and comparable figure to someone in a 'normal' job.

Edited by All that jazz on Saturday 10th December 15:08
Agreed, but even so, I can't think of many other jobs where somebody who can offer so little to society can make such a living for so little effort. Lorry driving is a job which doesn't require much thought or effort. Most people with a skill set similar to that of your average lorry driver are working in factories, for a takehome pay of maybe £250/week Ish. I came from factory work to lorry driving, I went from being on my feet, pushing as hard as I could all day, to make the quota of components (Land Rover suspension air lines if you're interested) , to sitting on my arse, looking out the window at the country side, chatting on the phone and taking home more than double the money. I was doing more hours yes, and sleeping in the truck, but my life was a hell of a lot easier, it felt like I won the lottery. I went from thinking I had no hope in this world of ever making anything of myself, to having nice cars and 6 months ago, buying my first house, a new build, 4 bedroom, detached house, without the help of any government schemes, all as a single person. One of the main reasons I started lorry driving was because I wanted to move to Canada, and at the time, this licence would get you in. I then realised that if you were earning 40k a year, rather than £12k a year, England is actually a very nice place to live (if you live in the north). It's easy to slag off the job, but I'm not sure what there is that's better these days, the oil industry is sown up, as are the power stations, the mines are gone, any meaningful factory trades are gone, unfortunately, Elon musk is trying to kill off our job, but we've got a little while yet!


I think when comparing lorry drivers jobs to "normal" jobs. You have to remember the kind of job an average lorry driver who if we're honest, isn't usually the finest human specimen, would be doing if he (usually) wasn't driving a lorry. it's not far from being unskilled work, so compare it to low level factory workers, and supermarket shelf stackers, and it looks pretty appealing all of a sudden.

Edited by bigfatnick on Saturday 10th December 16:54

R0G

4,764 posts

102 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
quotequote all
Hope you did not pay more than £60 for the medical = ripped off if you did

Have you checked out the newbies forum on trucknetuk ? - especially the LGV TRAINING TIPS thread

s p a c e m a n

9,466 posts

95 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
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If you're doing class 1 I can point you in the direction of some work in Thurrock when you pass your test, save you having to endure the agencies whilst you get experience.

smifffymoto

2,852 posts

152 months

Saturday 10th December 2016
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I found crane work the best,very little waiting about,big days if you wanted them,steady days if not.No problems where you park because no body can shift 24 tonnes of russit red bricks or concrete fake stone down the pub.

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Sunday 11th December 2016
quotequote all
Hi all

Thanks for the great comments. I was expecting a lot more of the 'aint what it used to be' type comments too

To update, Medical was a breeze, so i have now applied for my provisional Cat C license, I have applied for D too after recomendation from several people, going for Cat C kind of permits you for D so i might as well get it on my license at the same time.

They say I should allow 3 weeks for my license back, but with Xmas and New year coming up I dont expect to see it back until 2017. once I have this I will be booking my assessment drive with Gordon Springate: http://www.gordonspringate.co.uk/ He is the closest, but I popped up there a while ago for a chat and I felt comfortable with them, I haven't seen any bad reviews from them so don't see a reason not to go with them. They can also offer Hi-ab training and they say they will be able to do ADR soon. Both of which I intend to acquire.

I've also been watching a few guys on youtube, Luke C, Seggons and Highway Phobia are all great to watch, Jay is good to watch also, but not necessarily as a role model!

I'm revising from the books I mentioned previous, Next update will probably in the new year once i have done the assessment drive and i have had my first taste of driving a LGV! smile



R0G said:
Hope you did not pay more than £60 for the medical = ripped off if you did

Have you checked out the newbies forum on trucknetuk ? - especially the LGV TRAINING TIPS thread
£51 with Doctors on wheels smile

s p a c e m a n said:
If you're doing class 1 I can point you in the direction of some work in Thurrock when you pass your test, save you having to endure the agencies whilst you get experience.
I'll be doing class 2, but do intend to advance to class 1 and Thurrock is pretty much the furthest I would want to drive, I really appreciate the offer and I'll be in touch when I get class 1.


R0G

4,764 posts

102 months

Sunday 11th December 2016
quotequote all
Do Gordon Springate do the driver cpc ?

When did you pass your car licence ?

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Sunday 11th December 2016
quotequote all
R0G said:
Do Gordon Springate do the driver cpc ?

Yep.

When did you pass your car licence ?
05/15

Iva Barchetta

40,998 posts

110 months

Sunday 11th December 2016
quotequote all
I'm going to be the negative one.

Hated it and I drove a piss easy 12T,size of a 7.5, but driving in London did my head in, in the end.

Some days were fine but others were heart attack inducing stress levels.

I will add that working for retarded employer/manager didn't help one little bit.

Sorry ,someone had to do it.

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Sunday 11th December 2016
quotequote all
Iva Barchetta said:
I'm going to be the negative one.

....
I appreciate you negative comments. It would be wrong for me to go into a new job with rose tinted specs.

I must admit, I would not enjoy driving in London, especially in a 7.5tonner, but I'm relatively calm as a driver and happy plodding along following the sat nav, if an agency rang me up and said I was doing multi drop in London, the. So be it, I'm starting at the bottom and understand I gotta work my way up.

I plan to start with agency work, which does mean that (after a while) I can drop the jobs that I don't enjoy. My plan is that via the agency's I will end up working for a lot of different companies, once I find a 'gud-un' I can try to make a good impression on them and hopefully get a full time job with them.

R0G

4,764 posts

102 months

Monday 12th December 2016
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callmedave said:
05/15
In that case you will need to do initial driver cpc modules 2 theory and 4 practical to enable you to drive LGVs commercially

Cheapest way to do mod 4 is within the time you are doing the practical on road training because you will not have to re-hire the vehicle again to do it