Any person interested in commercial driving in Australia needs to get a motor vehicle license. Australia has a rather unique motor vehicle licensing policy and anyone interested in obtaining a truck license in Australia, needs to know about certain fundamental things. Additionally, there are certain regulations that he needs to meet. Generally, truck licenses fall under the heavy vehicle category and are hence issued by VicRoads. Depending on the industry requirements, this heavy vehicle license can be further categorized into:
Also called the Light Rigid license, this is applicable for driving all vehicles that can accommodate 12 or more passengers including the driver. The vehicles that come under the LR category also need to have a GVM or gross vehicle mass between 4.5 and 8 tonnes. However, to apply for this licence, a person must have obtained his car license a minimum of 2 months before. Holders of this license are also eligible for driving Type C vehicles.
The Medium Rigid or MR Licence is necessary for driving vehicles with a GVM of above 8 tonnes. Vehicles under this category of licenses can have a maximum of 2 axles. The holder of this license is also permitted to drive vehicles in class LR and lower.
A holder of an HR Licence is empowered to drive all vehicles belonging to the MR category or lower.
The Heavy Rigid vehicle classification includes vehicles that have a GVM of above 8 tonnes like the MR vehicles. However, the difference is that HR vehicles have 3 or more axles irrespective of whether those axles are on wheels that make the vehicle move or they are on the “drop axles.” This category of vehicles also includes busses consisting of interconnected sections that allow rotary movement. Passengers of such busses can go from one section to another.
Drivers opting for the HR License need to be holding an Australian car-driving license for a minimum of 24months before applying.
Heavy Combination Vehicles require the HC Licence. Examples of these vehicles include any prime mover that tows an attached single semi-trailer with a GVM of above 9 tonnes along with an unladen converter trolley if present. Rigid motor vehicles with an attached trailer of GVM above 9 tonnes including the unladen converter trolley, if present. Certain added requirements are also mandatory like the possession of:
- A car driving licence for a minimum of 24months,
- An HR or MR License for a minimum of 12months and
- A certificate to prove the completion of a VicRoads approved drivers training course.
The vehicles in this category have the same specifications as the HC vehicle category. Instead of a single permitted trailer, MC vehicles can have more than one semi-trailer attached. B-Double vehicles, road trains, etc., are some common examples of MC vehicles. To apply for the MC License, a driver needs to:
- Have completed a VicRoads approved drivers training course and
- Hold an HR or HC License for a period of 12months or more.
The lowest licence given out by VicRoads is the LR License and the highest is the MC License. Holders of the MC license can also drive all vehicles belonging to the HC category and lower.