Types of HGVs

Before you obtain your HGV application and DVLA medical form it is important to consider the range of different HGV licenses that can be applied for. Unlike the standard car and motorbike licence, Larger Goods Vehicle and Public Service Vehicle licences require additional training that take into account the size and weight of the vehicle and the amount of passengers you will be carrying. Licence categories are largely determined by the weight of the vehicle. The unladen weight, the maximum authorized mass and the train weight are all taken into consideration. Additionally it is important to note that certain licenses have a specific age stipulation.

Before applying for the LGV licence check to see if your standard, full Category B driving license actually permits.  Some employers will require that you have held your Category B license for more than a few years,  whilst certifications and additional training can be required. It is important that you check that you vehicle you operate corresponds to the licence you hold Certain forklift trucks, dumper trucks, construction machinery, industrial tractors,  crop sprayers, as well as digging machines can all be legally operated on a Category B licence. Vehicles that are for people with a disability can be driven as long as the weight does not exceed 3.5 tonnes and carries no more than eight passengers including the driver. Additionally you may be allowed to drive a minibus with a maximum of 17 seats,  if it is not used for hire or reward by the passengers.  If you are looking to do this as a form of employment you will require an F extension on your licence.

If the vehicle that you will be driving is between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes you will need to apply for a Category C1 license, the minimum age being 18 years.  If the weight of the vehicle exceeds 7.5 tonnes a Category C is needed, taking into account that the minimum age is 21 years.  As of the 10th of September 2009 it will be possible to acquire HGV licences at the age of 18.

Once you have your standard license you can apply for upgrades in entitlements to specific categories. Providing you passed your driving test after the 1st  January 1997 it is possible for you to apply for a provisional license to drive a lorry, minibus or bus.

Called staging, you can apply to drive a larger vehicle. For example a standard category B licence holder can apply for a provisional C1 and E licence. Once a C1 licence is held then a provisional C Category permit to drive rigid vehicles over 3500kg with a trailer of up to 750kg and E licence can be applied for. Once this licence is obtained a provisional D1 and E licence can be applied for. Acquiring the D1 licence which allows Vehicles to be driven with nine to sixteen passenger seats and a trailer of up to 750kg can then allow you to apply for the D and E provisional licence and in turn acquire the D Category driving licence. This allows you to legally operate any bus with more than eight passenger seats with a trailer over 750kg.  Upgrades  also apply when you have passed a test in a larger vehicle in turn upgrading a lower category for example, a lorry licence can upgrade a bus and car licence.  It is also important to note that if you are a member of the armed services C, C&E, D1 & D1 & E licences can be acquired at the age of 17.  Other licences include the  G and H categories which cover road rollers and tracked vehicles.

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J. Mikula is a business professional, consultant, and author.

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