Large Goods Vehicle Driver Careers

How to become a Large Goods Vehicle Driver

What does a Large Goods Vehicle Driver do?

Large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers, previously known as heavy goods vehicle or HGV drivers, are employed to drive goods in commercial vehicles from one destination to another, usually from a supplier to a customer. They drive all kinds of vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, including rigid trucks, articulated lorries, and trucks pulling trailers and may drive long or short distances.

Drivers may be required to plan their journeys and schedule their deliveries. They are responsible for the security of their cargo during the trip.

The work may involve loading and unloading goods, sometimes with the aid of an assistant. Drivers are expected to deal with various documentation and are sometimes expected to undertake routine maintenance of their vehicles.

What's the working environment like working as a Large Goods Vehicle Driver?

The basic working week is usually 40 to 45 hours, but many drivers work overtime. Strict legislation governs the amount of hours a lorry driver can spend driving and resting.

The majority of a driver’s time is spent alone in the cab of their lorry, sometimes including eating and sleeping. Modern lorries are usually comfortable and may have air-conditioning and heating. Some have sleeping bunks, fridges and even cookers. Outside the lorry it can be heavy, wet and dirty work.

What does it take to become a Large Goods Vehicle Driver?

To be a LGV driver, you should:

  • enjoy driving and have excellent practical driving skills
  • be happy to work alone and be able to concentrate for long periods
  • have patience and a sense of humour
  • be polite to customers when picking up or dropping off loads
  • have a good understanding of safety, both on the road and when loading and unloading
  • be able to complete record sheets and paperwork accurately
  • be physically fit in order to work with loads.

Large Goods Vehicle Driver Career Opportunities

LGV drivers can work anywhere in the country, especially experienced drivers with category C+E licences. Job trends vary from region to region and there may be more opportunities near major manufacturing or warehousing areas. There is currently a shortage in LGV drivers so jobs for licensed drivers are readily available.

Many LGV drivers are self-employed. LGV drivers working for a haulier or distributor could progress into self-employment operating their own vehicles, perhaps eventually owning a fleet.

It may be possible to move into distribution or haulage management, transport and logistics planning or a specialised area of driving. Further qualifications or licences may be required for this progression.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Large Goods Vehicle Driver that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)
Stanley House
56 Talbot Street
Tel: 0115 901 2500

Skills for Logistics
14 Warren Yard
Warren Farm Office Village
Milton Keynes
MK12 5NW
Tel: 0870 242 7314

Careers in Logistics

Freight Transport Association (FTA)
Hermes House
St John's Road
Tunbridge Wells
Tel: 0871 711 2222

Road Haulage Association (RHA)
Roadway House
35 Monument Hill
KT13 8RN
Tel: 01932 841515

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