HGV Class 1

Driving a Heavy Good Vehicle (HGV) is an extremely high-skilled job. In order to obtain the licence, you will need to demonstrate patience, control, precision, and knowledge. Class 1 HGV drivers can also be known as Professional Goods Drivers and LGV Cat C + E Drivers. For any jobs involving these titles, you will need to pass all parts of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC).

In this post, we will look in detail at everything you need to know to obtain the Driver CPC. In doing so, we will also explain how to obtain the required qualifications to become an HGV driver. We will also outline everything you need to know to become an HGV class 1 driver.

What is HGV Class 1?

HGV Class 1 drivers are currently in high demand in the UK and are vital to the UK supply chain. Technically, the Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) and HGV licence requirements are the same. As such, an HGV or LGV Driver is simply anyone fully qualified to operate and drive vehicles weighing over 3,500kg. As a holder of an HGV Class 1 licence, you will be authorised to drive vehicles that are 7.5 tonnes and above with detachable trailers. These are the typical vehicles you see taking long haul freight. Jobs will tend to be advertised along the following lines:

LGV Cat C+E Driver/Class 1 HGV Driver

What qualifications are needed to become a Class 1 driver?

To become an HGV1 Class 1 driver, you will be required to provide the following information:

  • Proof that you have a full car licence
  • Proof you are 18 years of age or above
  • A D2 form, which is the vocational DVLA provisional licence application form
  • A D4 form, which is a confirmation of your healthiness to drive HGVs (you will be asked about things like your heart health, mental health, eyesight and any issues you have with sleep or alcohol)

Once you have completed these steps you will be required to obtain the professional driving qualification the Driver CPC. This is broken down into 4 parts:

  1. HGV Theory Test (Cost: £37 – Part 1a: £26 + Part 1b: £11)

This is broken down into 2 parts. Part 1a is a 2-hour multiple-choice test with a total of 100 questions (pass mark: 85/100). Part 1b is a 30-minute hazard perception test. This includes 19 video clips including 20 scorable hazards (pass mark: 67/100). This test is valid for 2 years and must be taken before the practical test.

  1. The Case Studies Test (CPC Module 2 – Cost:£23)

This is a multiple-choice test lasting 1 hour and 30 minutes. It tests you on 6 to 8 case studies based on real-life scenarios you might face at work. For each case study in the test, you will be asked between 5-10 questions. In total, you will be asked 50 questions (pass mark: 40/50).

  1. The Driving Ability Test (CPC Module 3 – Cost: £115-£141 – Weekdays/Weekends)

This tests you on your practical abilities on the road (for example, use of mirrors, appropriate signals, managed and controlled speed, dealing with hazards, etc.) and off the road (for example, an S-shaped reverse into a parking bay & showing how to uncouple the trailer). You will also be asked questions about vehicle safety (pass mark: you must receive no more than 15 driving faults and zero serious or dangerous faults.

  1. The Practical Demonstration Test (CPC Module 4 – Cost: £55-63 – Weekdays/Weekends)

This test covers vehicle loading, vehicle security, trafficking prevention, your ability to assess emergency situations, and your ability to prevent physical injury (pass mark: you are required to score a minimum of 15/20 on each topic area and 80/10 overall).

The total cost for the Driver CPC is no less than £230 and it will add up to more if you fail any parts of the test or take some of the tests at the weekend when it is more expensive. Once you have completed the Driver CPC you can send off your D2 and D4 forms and your application for the provisional lorry licence. In order to maintain the Driver CPC, you will also be required to undertake 35 hours of periodic CPC training in the 5 years following completion f the Driver CPC.

NOTE: You will NOT need a medical test or to take the theory test if you are already a CAT C licence holder.

HGV Class 1 Salary

The average salary for full-time HGV Class 1 Drivers in the UK is around £31,000 annually on average, according to Totaljobs. The hourly rate for HGV Class 1 drivers can be anywhere from £13 per hour to £18 per hour. However, the average hourly rate is £13.46.

Driver Hours

The maximum number of hours an HGV Class 1 driver can do in a day is 9. They must also take a 45-minute break after no more than 4.5 hours of driving. This break can be split into a 15-minute break and a 30-minute break if needed. You are also allowed to drive 10 hours twice in a week as long as the appropriate rest pattern is taken (ie. 4.5 hours equals a minimum of a 45-minute break).

Over the course of a week, a driver cannot drive for longer than 56 hours. In addition, they must not drive more than 90 hours in any 2-week period. The tracking of driving hours is required by law and is done using something called a tachograph. This also calculates things like time, speed, and distance travelled. Drivers must also take at least 11 hours of uninterrupted rest time every day. If you break the rules, 28 days of the tachograph can be viewed wit a fine of up to £1,500 possible.

Driver Responsibilities

Your role will involve transporting goods from suppliers to customers and clients in a safe and secure manner. This will involve both loading and unloading vehicles safely and securely. You will be expected to know how to do this without putting people at risk from physical injury and to be aware of potential trafficking and how to stop this.

An understanding of vehicle maintenance is also important, as is driving optimally in terms of environmental performance. You will also be expected to drive to the highest standards and set an example to other users of the road.