In the UK, commercial drivers operate a lorry or Large Goods Vehicle (LGV). This vehicle requires a Category C license. In order to get the Category C license, you must be 18 years of age and already hold a valid Category B car drivers license.
The Category C1 license will allow you to drive the 7.5 ton lorry, and the C1 + E includes the trailer.
To start the application process for a lorry driver’s license, first go to the Post Office and ask for a vocational license pack. Once you fill out the forms, you can contact your doctor to schedule a physical to make sure you have no medical conditions that would make it unsafe for you to drive a large truck.
Once all your forms and exams are complete, you send the forms along with your current license to Swansea, and apply for the Category C provisional license. Your provisional license will take one to two weeks to arrive. If you are very motivated to complete your training course, you could start studying for the theory part of the driver’s tests while you are waiting for the provisional license to arrive. You can also take a prep course for this exam. As soon as you get the provisional license, you can book your theory exam.
The theory test is 100 questions, and you have to score 85 percent correct in order to pass. It is a multiple-choice test, and some of the questions have more than one answer. There is also a separate hazard perception test designed to assess how quickly you can spot dangerous situations.
You can start your hands-on training program as soon as you pass the theory test. Usually, you would work with an instructor either one-on-one or with a training partner. A qualified instructor should teach you everything you need to know to pass the practical part of the test. Sometimes nerves get in the way, and even though you know what you’re doing, you can make a small mistake that causes you to fail the exam. Remember, you can always take it again.
The practical test covers about 26 miles. Your tester will ask you to do all the things a a lorry driver would normally need to do, like braking, reversing, and driving on country roads, highways, and crowded city streets. If you want to be able to drive a lorry with trailer, you will also need to couple and uncouple the trailer.
The amount of time it takes to complete the full training process depends on the candidate, how motivated you are and how many endorsements you want to complete, but you could be driving a truck in less than two months.
In the UK, drivers have even shorter hours of service than in the US. They can only drive 4.5 hours straight before stopping, and they usually only drive nine hours per day, but once or twice a week they can drive 10 hours. Over the course of a week, drivers can only be behind the wheel a total of 56 hours, and not more than 90 hours in the course of two weeks.