Truck driving is a lucrative industry that’s relatively future-proof. While it is a difficult job that involves long hours and considerable risks, many consider it the right career choice. However, you can’t just drive a Heavy Rigid vehicle without proper training, even if you have been driving a car for several years. At All Truck Driver Training, we can help you gain an HR licence after comprehensive training.
What is an HR Licence?
An HR or Heavy Rigged Licence is a special permit given to drivers after they have proven their ability to drive HR vehicles to the satisfaction of the government. Drivers should be able to handle the vehicles this category, know of to maintain them, and understand all safety procedures involved, to obtain this licence. Trucking companies will only hire professionals who have a valid permit and driving an HR vehicle without such a licence is illegal.
What Are Heavy Rigid Vehicles?
A Heavy Rigid or HR vehicle is any truck or bus with more than three axles with a gross vehicle mass of equal to or more than eight tonnes. These vehicles are large, heavy, and can pose a danger to other drivers on the road if they’re not handled properly. The most common examples of HR trucks include:
- Road trains
- 8-double freight
- Vehicle carriers
- Large passenger buses
- Livestock carriers
- Special purpose vehicles
All of these require specialized training because they are heavy, have a longer stopping distance, and get out of control quickly. Drivers should also take refresher courses every few years to keep their skills sharp and update their knowledge.
Who is Eligible for an HR Licence?
Students should meet specific criteria to participate in an HR course and get a licence. These vehicles are too powerful and difficult to control if you don’t have driving experience. Here’s a look at the eligibility criteria:
- Students must hold a non-learner Class C, LR or MR licence for at least two years.
- They must complete the Roads and Maritime Services Rigid knowledge test.
- Participants should have the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment learners guide and logbook.
- They should also have proper eyesight and should be medically fit to gain the licence.
A training center will explain the eligibility criteria in detail to help determine whether you fit into it. It is a good idea to contact them directly to get the required information.
What Should You Know To Obtain the Licence?
Drivers will only obtain the licence if they have mastered how to handle and control an HR vehicle. The government has set the testing standards and will assess several elements like:
- Conducting a pre-operational check
- Performing a cabin drill
- How to start, move off, shut down, and secure the vehicle.
- Performing steering, gears, brakes, and accelerator management
- Creating, maintaining, and protecting crash avoidance space
- Knowledge of road rules and directions
- How to Reverse an HR vehicle
- How to stop and start on a hill
- Securing load to maintain proper distribution of weight
Once you have learned all of these vital tasks, a testing centre will carry out a thorough assessment before granting a valid licence. It takes people around 8-11 hours of coursework to learn these skills. You need to practice and gain experience on the road to master what you learn.
Benefits of Getting a Heavy Rigid Licence
Driving an HR vehicle may seem like an intimidating prospect, but it is a very rewarding career. Here’s a look at the benefits of upgrading your licence:
- HR drivers earn a reasonable income, especially if they join an established transport company.
- This is a highly valued skill, and truck drivers with an HR licence are in high demand.
- Flexible work hours are ideal for people who don’t like to work on a fixed, monotonous schedule.
- The career is relatively future-proof because truck drivers will remain in high demand for a long time.
- Drivers travel throughout Australia, which makes the job much more appealing.