Pursuing a profession as an HGV driver can be an exceptional experience. It provides the chance to earn a lucrative income while enjoying the satisfaction of navigating diverse landscapes and relishing unparalleled freedom. Surprisingly, becoming an HGV driver is more accessible than many individuals think, as it does not necessitate any specialised education or qualifications.
Nonetheless, prior to assuming control of a heavy vehicle, you must successfully complete a set of examinations. Fortunately, your HGV training mentor will furnish you with the necessary guidance and abilities to excel in these tests.
However, there is a likelihood that you might still experience some anxiety when it comes to demonstrating your expertise in a real-world scenario. Thankfully, we possess a plethora of valuable pointers to provide assistance.
Understanding the HGV Driving Test
To successfully pass your HGV test, it is important to have a clear understanding of what to anticipate. Becoming an HGV driver involves passing a total of 5 tests, which are divided into four sections. The initial two sections focus on the theoretical aspect of your knowledge and necessitate some studying. It is essential to allocate sufficient time to thoroughly review the information provided in your handbooks and to practice taking sample exams.
The latter part of the exam is where you present your hands-on expertise. During the third section of the Driver CPC, you will be assessed on three aspects: practical driving on the road, ensuring vehicle safety, and performing off-road exercises. In the fourth section, you will be required to exhibit a broader range of skills including risk reduction, evaluating emergency scenarios, and effectively loading/unloading your vehicle through a practical demonstration.
During your official driving examination, the examiner will assess your ability to perform the following tasks accurately:
- Employ your indicators
- Check your rearview mirrors.
- Manage the automobile.
- Shift your position from the edge of the road either upward or downward.
- Showcase knowledge and foresight
- Addressing Risks
- Bring vehicles to a halt in a regulated fashion
- Locate secure locations for halting.
- Manage your velocity
- When parking, remember to back into a parking space and pay the required fee.
- Connect or attach a trailer (if applicable)
Tips for Getting Ready for Your Practical Examination
If you opt to collaborate with a nationwide HGV training company in order to prepare for your examination, you can expect to receive comprehensive training and assistance that will equip you with the necessary skills to succeed. Your assigned local instructor will provide the necessary support to ensure you pass both the theoretical and practical portions of the test with great success. Nevertheless, it is advisable to devise a strategy for effectively managing the day of your driving examination.
Preparing for your test:
- When it comes to booking a CPC practical test, you have two options: either you can do it through the DVSA or choose a private test provider. It is advisable to consult your instructor to determine the most suitable choice for you. During the test, make sure to bring along your theory test certificate and verify if you need to provide your own HGV, as it may not be provided for you. Double-checking these details before your test is essential.
- Plan your day: Prepare for the important day ahead by determining your travel route to the test venue in advance and estimating the required travel time. Gather and organise all necessary documents for the occasion and keep an eye on the weather forecast. It’s advisable to plan to arrive at the destination slightly earlier than required to account for any unexpected issues.
- Obtaining ample practice is crucial For both your theory and practical exams. To enhance your preparation for the theory exam, online practice exams can be taken, and you can also request your instructor to evaluate you in simulated test scenarios while driving. It is essential to invest sufficient time in lessons to hone your skills and build confidence before embarking on the actual exams.
- It can be challenging to have a restful night’s sleep before a test, especially when feeling nervous. However, getting sufficient rest is crucial for maintaining focus. It is important to go to bed early and avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine before heading to the test venue, as caffeine can increase feelings of nervousness and restlessness.
- When it comes to your driving test, it’s important to prioritise practicality and comfort over fashion. Opt for clothing that allows you easy movement and ensures you stay warm. Choosing appropriate shoes with good traction on the pedals is crucial.
Increase your likelihood of success on the examination
To achieve success in your test, adequate preparation is essential. After careful planning and thorough readiness, all that remains is to demonstrate your abilities. If possible, consider scheduling an additional session with your instructor the day before the exam to boost your confidence. On the day of the test, keep in mind the following guidelines:
- Eliminate sources of disruption: While it may be obvious, it is important to stress that having your phone with you during your driving test should be avoided. It is highly recommended to turn it off completely to prevent any buzzing or distractions. Furthermore, removing any other potential distractions such as a bulky jacket, extra coins, or keys in your pockets would also be a wise choice.
- Be proactive: It is important to demonstrate to your examiner that you are capable of anticipating road conditions and responding appropriately. Prior to your examination, practice changing gears and ensure that you begin slowing down in advance if necessary.
- Familiarise yourself with your blind spots: Blind spots can pose significant challenges for HGV drivers, hence it is crucial to inspect them prior to maneuvering out of a stationary position. Take a moment to glance over your shoulder in order to ensure the absence of any cyclists, and if necessary, temporarily remove your seatbelt while reversing to facilitate a thorough examination of the area behind you.
- Keeping a close eye on your mirrors is crucial during a driving test. It is important to demonstrate to your instructor that you consistently check all of your mirrors, especially when executing maneuvers. This practice will help minimise the chances of receiving deductions for significant errors.
- It’s important to maintain composure during your test. You are allowed to make up to 15 minor errors without failing, but only one major mistake is permitted. It is imperative to not get discouraged by small mistakes. If you happen to make a mistake, simply move on and continue driving normally. In the event that you do fail, feel free to seek guidance from your examiner on areas for improvement.
You’ve Got This
Initially, passing the HGV driving test may appear daunting. However, it is reassuring to know that you already possess the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in your examination prior to the significant day, especially if you are receiving assistance from a reliable training provider. Additionally, if you qualify for grandfather rights, which recognize prior experience and qualifications, it may further contribute to your confidence and success in obtaining your HGV license.
Contact your local HGV driver training provider today to increase your likelihood of passing your test on the initial attempt. We will ensure that you are equipped with all the necessary resources for a successful outcome.