Making the decision to move to a HGV driving job could be the best decision you ever make – if you’re the right type of person. If you are mechanically minded, enjoy driving and don’t mind long periods behind the wheel, you’re off to a good start. It’s a big step outside of the usual 9-5 working routine, but it is an incredibly flexible and rewarding career for anyone, regardless of age, gender, culture or background. As the year draws to a close, a lot of you might be considering taking that crucial first step towards becoming a professional HGV driver. At HGV Training Cost we bring you everything you need to know about your options as a professional HGV driver.
Before you can get behind the wheel of a HGV, you need to undertake some serious training. The very minimum you need to do is take a basic Driver CPC qualification – an absolute essential for any professional heavy goods driver. If you passed your car driving test after 1997 and will be using your license for work, you will need to take the Driver CPC before you can legally drive for a living. Once you have taken and passed this qualification, you can then opt to take extra courses for specific types of vehicle. For example, a CAT C qualification will allow you to drive a rigid body vehicle that is all one unit, a CAT C + E covers both rigid body and articulated body vehicles and there is even a specific license for driving horseboxes. By choosing to take any of these qualifications you are making yourself a more attractive driver to prospective employers or clients.
Freelance Or Employed?
Once you are a qualified driver, the next step is figuring out how you want to work. Generally, there are 2 routes you can go down – being employed by a single company as a permanent HGV driver or going freelance in order to work for yourself, and multiple companies.
If you decide that you want a more stable source of income from day 1, then the classic employment option is probably for you. Start by brushing off your CV and applying for jobs. You will find that bigger companies that rely on transporting goods across the country regularly are always eager to hire HGV drivers, as the addition of new drivers helps them to open up new delivery routes and grow their business. At the moment companies of all sizes are crying out for qualified driver to join their fleet, so if you have taken the option for extra qualifications you will be a very attractive hire and probably won’t struggle to find work. From there all you need to do is negotiate your timetable, routes and salary before you can get to work as a full-time HGV driver.
If you want to go freelance, you can achieve a higher degree of flexibility and potentially a greater source of income. A freelance HGV driver offers an invaluable resource for distributors everywhere, especially if they don’t have the budget to hire someone to drive for them full time. As a freelance driver, you will need to register as self-employed under a limited company and work for multiple clients. A freelance driver is usually licensed to drive all types of vehicle, but doesn’t actually own any of them (or owns one, unbranded vehicle), instead driving the vehicles owned by whichever company they are driving for. Instead of working full time for one business, a freelance driver will often cover holidays, sick days or absences as well. Freelance drivers are a very attractive option for many businesses not looking for full time drivers, as it cuts out the middle man charging high rates and finders fees.
Being a HGV driver can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career, not matter which option you chose. At HGV Training Cost we pride ourselves on providing outstanding training and support for new drivers, helping you to understand all of your options right from the start and guiding you down the best route to achieving your goals. For more information get in touch with us or view our course options.