Transporting goods is more crucial than ever thanks to our love for online shopping and globalisation. The transport of goods is a vast and global network, with continual high demand for truck drivers all over the country. Truck driving as a career can pay well and provide good levels of job satisfaction. Here are some of the first steps in becoming a truck driver:
- Learn to Drive
Before you can begin working as a truck driver, you must have a full car licence. You also need to be over 18 years of age. The next part of the process is to gain a provisional licence for truck driving. You’ll need to apply using forms D2 and D4 from the DVLA. Ensure you apply for the correct thing, as there are several different categories of licence.
- CPC Requirements
For driving a vehicle that carries goods, a Certificate of Professional Competence will be required. Driving for purely personal reasons doesn’t require the need for a CPC.
- Theory Test
For gaining your CPC, you’ll need to take a CPC theory test. It’s very similar to the theory test for a car licence and also includes a hazard perception section. Even though vehicles are fitted out with the latest technology, such as Truck Camera systems, drivers still need to demonstrate good hazard perception skills to satisfy the test. Truck cameras available online at Backwatch, give drivers extra peace of mind when they have passed the test.
- CPC Case Studies Test
Anyone wanting to be a professional truck driver will also need to sit a multiple-choice on a computer, similar to the theory test. What you need to do next is get some road time behind the wheel with an instructor so you’re ready to take the driver ability test.
- Driving ability test
This makes up part three of the CPC process with a driving ability test to examine the skills you’ve learned with the help of your instructor. You should take your licence along to the test and your instructor should provide you with a suitable truck in which to take the test. The three sections of the test include answering questions about vehicle safety, your skills during the on-road driving section and manoeuvres such as reversing.
- Practical The final stage is a practical demonstration during which you will be required to show how to load the truck safely, carry out a vehicle safety check, understand how to prevent illegal immigrants from entering your vehicle and what to do in an emergency. On passing all stages, you’ll receive a CPC card which you must carry at all times while driving or risk facing a fine.
Once you have qualified for a class of vehicle, you can continue to qualify for being able to tow a trailer. This is a +E entitlement and involves sitting the driving ability test again with a trailer as well.
- Ongoing training
Every five years as a truck driver, you’ll need to undertake 35 hours of CPC training in order to keep your CPC qualification. Once you reach over the age of 45, the licence must be renewed every five years, and annually for anyone driving a truck aged over 65.