First step to becoming a HGV driver

First step to becoming a HGV driver

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All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Monday 12th December 2016
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callmedave said:
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.
Wasting your money. You won't get anyone to pay you enough to make the extra hassle worthwhile - ADR in particular. For either you'll only see an extra £1/hr max over what you'd get for driving standard loads and that's only if you're lucky. If the agency sees you coming I'll guarantee you'll get "the customer will only pay x so we can't pay you any more" line. The training company makes nice money off these courses so of course they'll want to push them but take their sales patter with a pinch of salt and DYOR.

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Monday 12th December 2016
quotequote all
All that jazz said:
Wasting your money. You won't get anyone to pay you enough to make the extra hassle worthwhile - ADR in particular. For either you'll only see an extra £1/hr max over what you'd get for driving standard loads and that's only if you're lucky. If the agency sees you coming I'll guarantee you'll get "the customer will only pay x so we can't pay you any more" line. The training company makes nice money off these courses so of course they'll want to push them but take their sales patter with a pinch of salt and DYOR.
Its not necessarily the extra money, its the more options available to me allowing me to pick a choose a little more.

Look at it this way, if you had two candidates for a HGV job of delivering papers for example, one had ADR and one didn't, who would you hire? - surely you would pick the one that's been trained to a higher standard?

At the moment I don't have an exact idea of what kind of trucking job I would like to do, but Im hoping that with the variety of work that agency works brings, I should find out pretty quick.





s p a c e m a n

9,466 posts

95 months

Monday 12th December 2016
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They'll always choose cheapest over qualifications unless certificates are actually needed for the job, you'll then fail on experience because there's loads of people with adr/hiab/ssc cards. Some of them count towards the hours for the driver qualification card thing though, so find out what they are and do them rather than endure the normal lessons. I wouldn't bother doing them on their own though because you have to renew them and I doubt that they'll be of much use to you when you first get a license, so you'll be wasting a year of use on them.


callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Monday 12th December 2016
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Ah,

had not thought about the renewing of them, but that does make a lot of sense. Thanks.

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Monday 12th December 2016
quotequote all
callmedave said:
1. Its not necessarily the extra money, its the more options available to me allowing me to pick a choose a little more.

2. Look at it this way, if you had two candidates for a HGV job of delivering papers for example, one had ADR and one didn't, who would you hire? - surely you would pick the one that's been trained to a higher standard?
1. You won't get work doing either without 2 yrs provable hands on experience.

2. Doesn't work like that. Agency or company won't care like Spaceman says. All they're bothered about is price.

Your money to burn but my advice is to get your class 2 and then class 1, then get 2 years experience under your belt and ignore all the ADR and hiab stuff. A lot of newbies come into the industry still believeing that doing fuel work is the holy grail in terms of pay and pecking order but it hasn't been like that for 20+ years and it's now just another stty low paid job with equally stty shift patterns and complete HSE overkill. Best money where you are is in doing store delivery work for one of the supermarkets and you only need a pulse to do that, no ADR or hiab.

Edited by All that jazz on Monday 12th December 15:51

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Monday 12th December 2016
quotequote all
All that jazz said:
1. You won't get work doing either without 2 yrs provable hands on experience.

2. Doesn't work like that. Agency or company won't care like Spaceman says. All they're bothered about is price.

Your money to burn but my advice is to get your class 2 and then class 1, then get 2 years experience under your belt and ignore all the ADR and hiab stuff. A lot of newbies come into the industry still believeing that doing fuel work is the holy grail in terms of pay yet and pecking order but it hasn't been like that for 20+ years and it's now just another stty low paid job with equally stty shift patterns and complete HSE overkill. Best money where you are is in doing store delivery work for one of the supermarkets and you only need a pulse to do that, no ADR or hiab.
Thats great advice. Much appreciated. smile

NorfolkInClue1

1,261 posts

108 months

Monday 12th December 2016
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Iva Barchetta said:
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.
Ha ha, go on then, I think you are perfectly entitled to be negative after having to drive around London, Christ knows, I would never do it, not even in a car!
Must admit, I am suprised by the posts, was expecting loads of negativity.
Some very good advice, if I was the OP I would take it all on board and if someone offers you help getting a job then take it. Avoiding agency work will help you maintain a positive outlook on life, I am sure there are some good ones but by god there are some absolute scum out there too. Complete parasites.
Don't know what the wages are like down south but up here in the northwest they seem ok.
My only advice to the OP on his career choice is put your life first and don't chase the money. Most high earning jobs will be away all week hammering maximum hours, it's really not worth having plenty of wage but realising you are knackered after running in on a Saturday morning and then going back out very early Monday morning to work the maximum again. They are usually easy to spot, offering something like 36k a year but only paying 8-9 per hour, the rest made up of tax free meal allowances and night out money.



Oh, and avoid Stobarts like the plague.............

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Monday 19th December 2016
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Hello all

Update:
Got license back last Friday (16th) that took one week to get back to me!

I have my assessment drive booked tomorrow for 7:30am. Im feeling excited about driving a truck, but also nervous as I could be terrible at it. Ive spent the last few months really concentrating on my driving and trying to detect any bad habits I may have. I think we all become 'lazy' with driving, not necessarily unsafe, but little things that a lot of us do probably without thinking.

Im having two hands on the wheel more, checking both wing mirrors more often and much more aware of traffic around me, But we will see how much of an affect this has tomorrow.

Wish me luck! smile

s p a c e m a n

9,466 posts

95 months

Monday 19th December 2016
quotequote all
I can only go on my test area, yours may be different so ask the instructor. They don't give a fig about 2 hands on the wheel at all times, you can't drive a lorry push pull like a car with that 10 to 2 rubbish. Drive it like you drive your car, slip the wheel through your hands but obviously hold the wheel rather than your nuts if you need to put your hand somewhere. You'll probably find yourself holding the bottom half of the wheel because of the size of it and the seating position.

Guessing they'll have something with just 6 gears to test with rather than having to deal with splitter switches so it'll probably be like bouncing around in an oversize 7.5 tonner.

He'll probably take you to a carpark to do a bit of reversing. They'll have some clothes pegs stuck to the back mudflaps to help you judge the length of the rear, it makes sense when they show you how.

It really is a piece of piss to drive and pass the test, nothing like when you first try to pass your car one, it only gets complicated when you do class 1 dragging a trailer about with 16 gears hehe

callmedave

Original Poster:

2,686 posts

92 months

Monday 19th December 2016
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Thanks Spaceman

Thats given me a bit more confidence. smile

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Monday 19th December 2016
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Puddle jumper and C tests are a piece of piss. If you fail those then you need to hand in your man card and accept that you're a failure at life hehe. Artic test is hard if you've had no experience other than the 3-4 days training directly before it. There's a lot to take in in a short space of time and you proper need to be on the ball to pass it first time. Be aware a lot of trainers use a puddle jumper and a small draw bar trailer for the artic test to save themselves money - it's arguably easier to pass the test in one of those as the trailer follows the prime mover better than a 40ft trailer but the experience will do absolutely nothing for you in the real world as you're most likely to be driving a 45ft trailer on a tractor unit which has no similarities to what you passed your test in apart from the fact it bends. You really want to learn and pass in a proper artic and you'll be glad you did (even if it costs more) when you go and do your first shift. Also watch out for training companies who cut corners by training 2 or 3 to 1 instead of 1 to 1. You're paying for the time so you want it 1 to 1, not shared with other learners. Don't listen to the trainer's excuses about them doing it like that because it's too much driving and concentration for you in one go - it's a crock of st and I had no problem doing 4hr 1-to-1 training sessions when I did mine. A good trainer will be able to see when you're getting tired or frustrated from the mistakes you make and will take you off the road for a break and do some manoeuvring exercises instead.

R0G

4,764 posts

102 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
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s p a c e m a n said:
you can't drive a lorry push pull like a car with that 10 to 2 rubbish. Drive it like you drive your car, slip the wheel through your hands but obviously hold the wheel rather than your nuts if you need to put your hand somewhere. You'll probably find yourself holding the bottom half of the wheel because of the size of it and the seating position.
How come I can do 2 hands on the wheel using the PP method on both car and lorry ?
Its easy to do - even on a car skid pan

Laziness is usually why many do not do it

H6Nathan

154 posts

42 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
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Firstly - good luck to you and well done for following your own path.

Truck driving is becoming a better and better paid role. There is a nationwide shortage of drivers, and an ageing demographic with most career drivers being 40+. Road transport isn't going away any time soon and there is plenty of variety in the work. Can be challenging with a general lack of facilities and a poor industry image but neither of those things are really a problem if you enjoy the work.

In my opinion the 'best' work is for the show and rock n roll touring companies if you like variety. Moscow, Morocco, Turkey etc etc all possible even with a rigid license in one of their fancy Daf XF 26 tonners. Can be seasonal though, but some co's have a general side and a show side that will keep you busy all year. Best paid is on things folk don't want to do like drain pumping in those yellow tankers with all the pipe work. Where there's muck there's brass and all that. A mate takes home £4k a month doing call out on the poo tankers it's vomit work with unsocial hours but extremely lucrative.

Tramping for Stobarts is generally accepted as a £7 p/h nightmare. Plenty of other companies out there. Would suggest getting your Class C and working for 2 years to get your experience, then moving up to C+E or better still getting your company to fund it. Most decent co's recognise the driver shortage issue and have no problem 'growing their own'.

g7orge

157 posts

41 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
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This is something I have always wanted to do - thanks for sharing this - it will be an interesting thread.

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
quotequote all
H6Nathan said:
There is a nationwide shortage of drivers
There really isn't. It was a lie dreamt up by the RHA because their members wwere moaning they couldn't get any drivers to work for them for the buttons they paid. The RHA went and whined to the government with the same lie in the hope that the government would provide some funding. The government laughed a lot and sent them on their way so the companies did the only thing they could and pulled all the useless flipflops out of the carrot fields, put them in their trucks and carried on paying them buttons.

If there was a nationwide shortage you would be seeing companies offering silly money to get people to drive for them. I don't see that anywhere. A cursory glance at the job sites shows the same old £8/hr jobs that there's always been.

What there is a shortage of is drivers willing to work for buttons at stty haulage firms.

H6Nathan

154 posts

42 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
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All that jazz said:
H6Nathan said:
There is a nationwide shortage of drivers
There really isn't.
We have struggled to recruit quality both in the midlands and the South East and have increased wages to reflect this.

http://www.fta.co.uk/export/sites/fta/_galleries/d...


All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
quotequote all
H6Nathan said:
All that jazz said:
H6Nathan said:
There is a nationwide shortage of drivers
There really isn't.
We have struggled to recruit quality both in the midlands and the South East and have increased wages to reflect this.

http://www.fta.co.uk/export/sites/fta/_galleries/d...
Increased wages to what? I will bet right now that what you consider to be good wages will be very much detached from reality, even more so if the job is anything either than 1-hitters with 26 pallets that the driver doesn't have to touch.

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
quotequote all
H6Nathan said:
Did you bother to read the link you've posted before posting it? It's right there on page 11 that pay is dropping, not increasing. Q2 2016 saw a 0.3% reduction in hourly rates over the same period in 2015. Why would rates be going down if there was a national driver shortage? rolleyes

As I said, the only shortage is a shortage of drivers willing to work for buttons. The companies that pay good money and have good working conditions have no problem with recruitment and usually have a waiting list. The companies that pay crap money and/or have crappy work will continue to be crap and blame it all on there being driver shortage whilst failing to realise the no driver is going to choose to work for them when there's a company at the other end of the same industrial estate that does 1-hitters with no handball for the same money.

H6Nathan

154 posts

42 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
quotequote all
All that jazz said:
H6Nathan said:
Did you bother to read the link you've posted before posting it? It's right there on page 11 that pay is dropping, not increasing. Q2 2016 saw a 0.3% reduction in hourly rates over the same period in 2015. Why would rates be going down if there was a national driver shortage? rolleyes

As I said, the only shortage is a shortage of drivers willing to work for buttons. The companies that pay good money and have good working conditions have no problem with recruitment and usually have a waiting list. The companies that pay crap money and/or have crappy work will continue to be crap and blame it all on there being driver shortage whilst failing to realise the no driver is going to choose to work for them when there's a company at the other end of the same industrial estate that does 1-hitters with no handball for the same money.
From page 11 -

'Gross and net weekly pay rose above the rate of RPI inflation as did gross hourly pay, which was up by nearly 5 per cent on the previous year.'

All that jazz

7,632 posts

93 months

Tuesday 20th December 2016
quotequote all
H6Nathan said:
From page 11 -

'Gross and net weekly pay rose above the rate of RPI inflation as did gross hourly pay, which was up by nearly 5 per cent on the previous year.'
Continue reading ...

"Basic hourly rates were broadly unchanged".

Money is not going up, largely due to the continued immigration from Eastern Europe, particularly Romania, Hungary, Latvia, Czech, Slovakia and of course Poland where those drivers are happy to work for what's on offer as it's good money to them, which is the cause of the wages stagnating.