First 6 steps to becoming a truck driver

Thanks in part to the rise of internet shopping and to globalisation, our society is heavily dependent on the movement of goods. That means trains, vans and trucks constantly moving things around the country.

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All of this means there’s a steady demand for truck-driving skills, and it’s a career that can provide a good living and high levels of job satisfaction. There are a number of steps you need to go through to become a qualified truck driver, and we’ll look at the initial ones here.

1. Learning to Drive

Before you can qualify to drive a bus or lorry you need to have a full car licence. This is therefore the first step on the route to being able to drive a commercial vehicle. You also need to be over 18 years of age.

2. Provisional Truck Licence

The next step is to get a provisional licence for driving a truck. There are several categories of licence, so it’s important to apply for the correct one. To apply you need to fill in DVLA forms D2 and D4, which you can order online or get from a post office. Note that you can only apply for a provisional +E licence for a vehicle with a trailer once you have a full licence for the class of vehicle.

3. Do You Need a CPC?

If you want to drive a lorry for a living, carrying goods, you need a CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence). However, if you want to drive a truck for your own use – a horsebox perhaps or a classic vehicle – then you don’t need a CPC. Other exceptions are on the DVLA website.

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4. Theory Test

The next step is to take a CPC theory test. This is similar to the car theory test and includes a hazard perception element, spotting the sort of potential incidents that would be recorded by
truck camera systems from and similar suppliers.

5. CPC Case Studies Test

If you’re intending to be a professional truck driver, you need to take the CPC case studies test. Like the theory test, this is a multiple-choice test done on a computer.

6. Driver Training

The next step is to get some training on a lorry before you’re ready to take the driving ability test.