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Large goods vehicle driver

Large goods vehicle (LGV) and heavy goods vehicle (HGV) lorry drivers transport and deliver goods between suppliers and customers.

Annual Salary

£18,500 to £35,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

50 to 52 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; away from home

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • planning delivery schedules and routes with transport managers
  • supervising or helping to load and unload goods
  • making sure loads are safely secured
  • following traffic reports and changing your route if necessary
  • completing delivery paperwork and log books

Working environment

You could work from a vehicle.

Your working environment may be cramped and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist training providers

You can get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a large goods vehicle driver.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
For more information

If you're already working for a transport operator, for example as a clerk, your employer may be willing to put you through training to get your large goods vehicle licence.

Other routes

You can find training providers in your region by searching online. You can also check providers through the Joint Approvals Unit for Periodic Training. It lists providers of refresher training for qualified large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers but many of these also offer initial LGV training.

LGV courses last from 1 to 3 weeks and cover driving skills, basic mechanics, and loading and securing loads. The test includes vehicle safety questions, manoeuvres like reversing into a loading bay, 25 miles of road driving and a theory test based on the Highway Code and LGV regulations.

It's recommended that you compare several providers before signing up to see what they offer and to make sure it fits your needs.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • The LGV licence test is divided into two categories:Category C1 allows you to drive rigid vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes; Category C allows you to drive rigid vehicles over 7.5 tonnes
  • You would then take a further test to allow you to drive vehicles with trailers (category C+E).
  • have a driving licence that includes LGV for lorries, or PCV for buses, if you work with these vehicles
  • be over 18 years of age
  • have a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) - this is known as the Driver CPC

More information

Further information

You'll find details about large goods vehicle licence applications on GOV.UK.

You can find out more about driver training and the licences you need from the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association.

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You could take further training and gain an ADR (Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road) Certificate to drive hazardous goods like toxic chemicals by tanker.

With experience, you could train to become an LGV instructor, freight transport planner or move into management.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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