Large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers transport and deliver goods across the country (and internationally) between suppliers and customers. The vehicles are commonly referred to lorries or trucks and you will need to acquire the appropriate licence(s) in order to drive them.
Drivers and their vehicles literally keep the country going by transporting essential resources and commercial goods, so this part of the logistics sector offers careers vital to national (and international) infrastructure. This is an exciting role for those who love driving and seeing different parts of the country or the world!
The working environment is usually physically active and you'll be required to travel often, sometimes with nights away and jobs at weekends.
LGV stands for Large Goods Vehicle and HGV stands for Heavy Goods Vehicle but under the UK (and European) law, LGV licence and HGV licence are the same licence, all though there are different categories. This covers all commercial trucks that feature a gross combination mass of over 3500kg which could include fridge trucks, box vans, Lutons, flat beds, tippers and ADR, drop sides, and many more.
Categories and classes
LGV C+E was previously known as HGV Class 1 and LGV C as HGV Class 2, so you may hear people still refer to these terms and you may see them in adverts.
Most people looking for a lorry driving career upgrade straight from a car licence to LGV C so that they can drive any rigid vehicle up to 32 tonnes. Some take Back-to-Back courses and continue straight on on to LGV C+E which allows them to drive vehicles with trailers (like an articulated or draw-bar combination) up to 44 tonnes.
For more information on driving license types, click here.
Typical duties in this role include:
- Transporting goods in large vehicles, sometimes over large distances
- Ensuring companies and individuals get the goods they need
- Planning delivery schedules and routes with transport planners or managers
- Checking your vehicle to identify and resolve or report any issues
- Taking responsibility for making sure loads are safely secured
- Drive safely within the law and keeping the vehicle tidy and roadworthy
- Using relevant information, technology and traffic reports to navigate, changing your route if necessary
- Supervising or helping to load and unload goods
- Complete delivery paperwork and log book updates
- Acting as a representative for your company and its customer service values
- You need to be over 18 years of age
- Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) - this is known as the Driver CPC and is required to access further training and licences. (You must carry this card while driving a lorry professionally - you can get a £50 fixed penalty for driving professionally without your card!)
- If you're going for a LGV / HGV driver job directly, then you'll need to hold a driving licence that includes LGV for lorries (In some circumstances, an employer might put you through some of the training you need, if you demonstrate the aptitude for the role)
You can get into this job through an apprenticeship, gaining your own qualifications and experience or specialist training provider.
You can get into this job through a large goods vehicle (LGV) driver C and E intermediate apprenticeship.
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.
Career Path and Progression
- You can often increase your salary through shift allowances and bonuses
- 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
- You could become a self-employed LGV driver and work for different companies or set up your own transport company
- Appropriate driving licenses including LGV / HGV licenses for the type of vehicle you will be driving
- You might need to hold a driver's digital tachograph card depending on the type / weight of vehicle
- Good geographical knowledge
- Good driving skills and knowledge of current Road Transport Regulations and drivers hours.
- Good understanding of vehicle and public safety and security
- The ability to concentrate for for extended periods so that you can stay focused while driving
- All-round customer service skills
- Organisational skills to manage both your time and workload
- The ability to remain calm in stressful situations as well as patience
- Physical skills such as lifting, bending and carrying
- Technology literacy in order to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
- You'll need to take 35 hours of driver CPC training and renew your lorry driving licence every 5 years - to stay qualified
£19,000 to £36,000