What is a Class 2 HGV driver?
One of the questions we get asked is, “What is a Class 2 HGV driver?”. So we thought we’d answer it for you! There’s a few differences to be aware of, from the licence requirements through to the amount you can be paid, and also the jobs on offer.
The Differences Between a Class 2 and a Class 1 Driver
When it comes to the difference between class 1 and class 2 drivers, it all comes down to the type of vehicles you can drive. A class 1 licence permits you to drive a category C+E vehicle, which is an articulated lorry, whereas a class 2 licence will allow you to drive a rigid or a category C vehicle. Most companies train drivers to take their class 2 test first and then upgrade to a class 1 test after. Naturally, it requires less training to become a class 2 driver, and we’d recommend drivers spend a few years as a class 2 driver before progressing.
What you can drive as a Class 1 (Category C + E) driver:
- Any vehicle over 7.5 tonnes and have a detachable trailer
- Articulated lorries
- All Class 2 vehicles
What you can drive as a Class 2 (category C) driver:
- Rigid body vehicles over 3,500kg
- Tow a trailer up to 750kg
What benefits do you get?
There are some great benefits of opting to work as a class 2 driver, especially if you are just looking to switch jobs and enter the industry. A class 2 licence will allow you to drive a rigid vehicle and tow a trailer with a weight of up to 750kg. This will make you incredibly employable within a wide range of companies. At the moment, drivers are in high demand in the UK, so there’s no shortage of job roles on offer. It’s a stable and secure industry to enter into, as there’s always a need for goods to be transported. Browse the Class 2 HGV jobs we are recruiting for now.
For anyone who enjoys a varied career, you’ll find that every day is different when working as a class 2 driver. Working as a class 2 driver is a very flexible job, so you can often negotiate with companies the days and hours you work. There’s also plenty of opportunities for career progression as you become more experienced and qualified.
How To Become A Class 2 HGV Driver
Before you can consider becoming a class 2 driver, it’s critical that you meet the criteria for this type of licence. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and be in possession of a valid car driving licence. From there, you’ll need to apply for a provisional class 2 licence and then pass a medical test and theory exam. In order to keep your class 2 licence once you’ve received it, you’ll also have to do 35 hours of training every five years.
The class 2 test is made up of four different parts, which you’ll pay for individually. The first part is a two-part theory test, which includes multiple-choice questions and hazard perception. From there, you’ll move on to the case study test. You’ll then need to complete a driving ability test and finish off with a practical demonstration. Once all four tests are passed, you’ll receive your class 2 driving licence.
In order to obtain the licence, you’ll need to pay for licence training. This can sometimes be funded by a company or job centre, depending on your current situation. There are many providers of this training across the country, but the cost will vary depending on which provider you opt to work with.
Requirements of a Class 2 driver licence:
- At least 18 years old
- hold a valid car driving licence
- hold a provisional Class 2 driving licence
- pass your medical test
- pass a class 2 theory exam.
You’ll also need to undertake 35 hours of CPC training every 5 years. Many companies offer free CPC training too to incentivise drivers.
Class 2 Driver Salary
As with any job role, your salary as a class 2 driver will depend on the company you work with and your experience. A new class 2 HGV driver can expect to earn up to £27,000 a year. More experienced drivers will often be paid more than that, with some salaries increasing up to £45,000 a year. The location and industry you work in may help to increase your salary, so we always recommend comparing your options upon becoming qualified.
Working as a class 2 driver is an exciting career opportunity that is in high demand currently. There’s no shortage of job openings for individuals who are in possession of this licence, and career progression is one of the biggest benefits of working in this industry. By following the steps listed above and working with a good training provider, you can work to pass your class 2 licence test as soon as possible. In no time at all, you’ll be embarking on a new adventure in this industry and enjoying a job where no two days are ever the same on the road.