Class 2 Driver Jobs
An LGV Category C licence, (previously called a HGV Class 2), allows the holder to drive vehicles with rigid sides, up to 32 tonnes in weight.
Getting Your Category C Licence
So long as you have a full car driving licence and are over 18 years old getting licenced is a pretty straightforward procedure.
- Begin by taking a special medical test. Most GP’s will examine you and complete the D4 medical form required, for a set fee.
- Next complete a D2 application form to secure a Category C provisional licence. This is essential to complete practical training before your final driving test.
- The theory test must be completed before taking the final, practical, test. The test has two sections: multiple choice, [based around The Highway Code, traffic signs and issues relating only to driving large vehicles]; and hazard perception, which uses short film clips of hazards you need to identify a response to. The tests are timed, so practice is essential. (The government has free practice responses online.)
- The final stage is to take the practical test. Following some questions about vehicle safety and key maneuvers you can expect around an hour of road driving, assessed by an examiner.
- CPC training is generally covered in your initial training. It is very difficult to find a job without holding a driver card.
The kind of work available for class 2/Category C licence holders
The major difference between Class 1 and Class 2 [Category C] licence is the maximum weight of the vehicles which can be driven. The Category C parameters of 7,500kg and 32 tonnes (rigid trucks, no trailers only) is pretty generous, covering refuse vans, tipper trucks, large horsebox transporters, skip trucks, removal vans, ambulances, and refrigerated lorries. This licence automatically allows vehicles in the lower C1 and C1 + E to be driven too, so work like parcel delivery in smaller box vans is not a problem.
There is a wide range of work available. Some only involves driving, and related activities such as loading and unloading, keeping records, and so on. Other jobs are a mix of driving and manual labour, sometimes in a specialised field.
What does a HGV Class 2/Category C driving job usually involve?
Not every job involves the exact same duties, but in general all drivers are expected to:
- Be responsible for conducting safety checks on their vehicle before each shift, and take action on anything which needs attention.
- Comply with legal rules about, and produce accurate records of, driving times.
- Safely secure loads/content
- Have a good knowledge of the area covered
- Interact professionally with customers (if relevant)
- Work well as part of a team
- Help with loading and unloading [if relevant]
Finding a Class 2 driving job
Apprenticeships and company trainee driver schemes are available to those looking to get into heavy goods vehicle driving, while some employers are willing to sponsor employees who want to take on a new role. If a funded opportunity is not possible there are lots of companies who offer paid LGV training courses. Self funded licence holders often take on temporary agency work to gain experience, although some companies are willing to hire novice drivers directly. [Nowadays agencies often handle the recruitment for full time, permanent positions, too.]
Although there are no definite qualifications needed to work as a Category C truck driver, (apart from being old enough and holding the appropriate licence), some employers do advertise for applicants with GCSE pass grades in English and maths. Others require physically fit drivers or ask for people with a smart appearance to apply. Generally employer requirements depend on what type of driving job is involved.
Pay and perks
Driving jobs may pay hourly or offer a salary. Either way, Class 2 drivers earn above the national average wage, and can expect to be at work for around 45 hours a week on average. Salaries for experienced drivers average around 30k a year.
Many class 2 jobs involve making multiple drops, or stops, a day. They may be restricted to a small geographical patch, or an entire region, with a few which mean driving all around the country. Driving hours per day are strictly limited and monitored by law, so in some cases drivers cannot return home every evening. Those jobs tend to pay more.
Perks are not guaranteed, but they can include discounted goods and services, free or cheap canteen facilities, extra paid holidays, shares in the company and so on.