Driving long distance HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) was once very popular and highly sought-after. Although not as popular today, HGV driving is still a very common profession. It can be extremely rewarding but also extremely tedious.
This occupation is often criticized because it is simple and requires the driver to sit down every day and drive back-and-forth between warehouses. To be a successful HGV driver, you need patience, a lot of energy, self-starting skills, and the ability to work alone. These traits are common among many people. These traits are difficult to find in a person when taken together.
A normal motorcar license won’t suffice to drive HGVs. You will need a special HGV license. You can choose from N2 or N3, depending on the type of HGV that you are allowed to drive. An N2 license permits the holder of the license to drive a vehicle with a maximum allowed mass (MAM) between 3.5 and 12 tonnes, while the N3 license allows for a MAM higher than 12 tonnes. You can immediately drive the vehicle once you have your license. It is more difficult to get the license. A HGV license can run up to PS2,000, depending on the license you choose. There are two main routes to obtain a HGV licence.
First, you can pay it yourself. It’s that simple. Learn some lessons, take a test, and you will get your license.
Sponsorship is the second option. Many haulage companies will accept people who don’t have a current HGV license but would like to train them and pass their test. The agreement is that the driver will remain with the company for 12-24 months. If you have sponsorship, this is a great option. The package includes full training, a license, and guaranteed work for 12-24 months. Unfortunately, the work will likely be very basic (simple drops between companies). This is why passing your test yourself is so important. You can choose which company you want to work for and what jobs you accept. Other issues include the fact that you will need to purchase your own HGV, which can run around PS40,000. You also have to pay for your HGV insurance which can be very expensive.
Insurance wise, HGV insurance is a lot more expensive than Van Insurance. Lorries are more expensive and can cause more damage in an accident.
For agency staff, HGV drivers will earn between PS9 and PS12 an hour while driving for agencies. The average salary is PS22,000. There is always the possibility to earn more and many HGV drivers make over PS30,000 per year.
A lot of drivers can visit many places at once, in addition to the financial benefits. A HGV driver driving in Europe can visit multiple countries at once, while a driver driving in America can visit many states in one trip.
Although the hours are not ideal, such as the late nights and early mornings, the rewards can be great and the job is perfect for those who love driving.