DRIVERS DOCUMENTS

The following documents must always be carried or on show when driving a LGV for hire or reward.

As the driver, it is your responsibility to make sure you have the correct licence entitlement for the vehicle you are driving.

You’re usually allowed to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM)

You’re also allowed to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kg MAM.

You can drive vehicles up to 3,500kg MAM with up to 8 passenger seats (with a trailer up to 750kg).

You can also tow heavier trailers if the total MAM of the vehicle and trailer is not more than 3,500kg.

You can drive a vehicle with a MAM of 3,500kg with a trailer.

The size of the trailer depends on the BE ‘valid from’ date shown on your licence. If the date is:

  • before 19 January 2013, you can tow any size trailer
  • on or after 19 January 2013, you can tow a trailer with a MAM of up to 3,500kg

You can drive vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500kg MAM (with a trailer up to 750kg).

You can drive C1 category vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.

The combined MAM of both cannot exceed 12,000kg.

You can drive category C vehicles with a trailer over 750kg.

If your licence is revoked for drink driving or other offences, you will automatically lose your LGV entitlement. You may also have to take an extended test once the ban has expired or convince the DVLA that you do not suffer from an alcohol problem.

Any medical condition that could affect your ability to drive a lorry safely may prevent you from holding a licence. These conditions include serious visual impairment, heart disease and some mental disorders.

For more information about medical standards, you should contact the Drivers Medical Branch, DVLA, Swansea.

 

ADDITIONAL TRAINING CERTIFICATES

Some driving roles may require you to undertake additional training.

These roles can include:

  • Hygiene procedures

    Chilled foods are transported at temperatures above freezing point. Drivers need to be trained in hygiene procedures and how to operate refrigeration units.

  • ADR Hazardous goods

    To legally drive a goods vehicle carrying regulated hazardous substances, a driver must hold an ADR Vocational Training Certificate, which must be refreshed every five years

  • Lorry mounted crane

    The Lorry mounted Crane Training course is designed for drivers of vehicles fitted with truck mounted cranes with hook grab or clamb shell buckets

  • Vehicle mounted lift truck

    The vehicle mounted lift truck is commonly referred to as the MOFFETT, the equipment is mounted onto the rear of a heavy goods vehicle and allows the driver to load or unload their own vehicle.

HOW TO GAIN AND KEEP THE DRIVER CPC

Apply for a provisional lorry licence

Pass the tests that make up the initial Driver CPC

Take 35 hours of periodic training every five years to stay qualified.

Sign a declaration every five years until you’re 45 to show you still meet the medical standards.

Provide a medical report every five years after you’re 45 to renew your driving licence – you need to do this every year when you reach 65.

DIGITAL TACHOGRAPH

If the vehicle you are driving is fitted with a digital tachograph unit, you MUST use your tachograph card.

Tachograph unit
Digital tachograph card

You can only drive without a card if the one you previously have been issued with is lost, stolen, damaged, or malfunctioning.

DRIVING IN EUROPE

You must carry the following when driving in Europe:

Some counties may require additional documentation.

Visas

UK drivers can continue to operate in the EU without the need for a visa, providing you do not spend more than 90 days in the EU within any 180 days.

You do not need a visa for entry into the EU if you hold an EU passport, but you may need a visa if you’re travelling beyond the EU. You should check the entry requirements for the country you plan to travel to.

Passports

All vehicle drivers, passengers and any crew members must have a valid passport.

UK drivers need at least six months on a UK passport to travel to the EU. Drivers might need to renew their passport before they travel

Driver Attestation

If you drive a goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes on international journeys, you must follow the rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph use.

If you’ve been sick or taken other time off in the 28 days before your journey, carry a form called an ‘attestation form’ from your employer.

It should reflect activities that could not be recorded via tachograph due to technical reasons.

There can be several reasons why a driver may not be able to produce all the relevant evidence that an enforcement officer expects to find at a roadside check. It may be the case that he/she:

Insurance

It’s a serious offence to drive without insurance. In the UK, as well as an unlimited fine, you may be disqualified or given penalty points.

Driver hours and tachograph rules

You must comply with the UK-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) rules on drivers’ hours and tachograph rules if you’re driving a goods vehicle within the EU.

THE TIR SYSTEM

This allows vehicles to cross numerous borders without repeated customs checks. Goods are checked and sealed at the outset, and customs authorities then wave through the vehicle until it reaches its final destination.

TIR doesn’t apply to journeys within the EU because there are no customs checks for EU-only trips.

CONSIGNMENT NOTES

The CMR is a consignment note with a standard set of transport and liability conditions, which replaces individual businesses’ terms and conditions.

It confirms that the carrier (ie the road haulage company) has received the goods and that a contract of carriage exists between the trader and the carrier.

Generally, there will be four copies of a CMR note.

  • Red Copy

    Kept by the Sender

  • Green Copy

    Kept with the vehicle (carrier)

  • Blue Copy

    Given to the receiver of the goods

  • White with a black border

    Spare copy

While the carrier is liable for any loss, damage or delay to a consignment until it is delivered, the trader is responsible for any loss or damage the carrier suffers resulting from incorrect details provided in the CMR note.

When starting a shift, it is important to make sure you have the correct delivery details and are aware of any scheduled delivery times that need to be met.

HAZARDOUS LOADS

When hazardous goods are transported, the consignment must be accompanied by a transport document declaring the description and nature of the goods.

Documentation must be in accordance with the specifications set by the dangerous goods regulations.

SECURING YOUR LORRY

You can be fined if you don’t have an effective system of securing your vehicle from clandestine entrants.

The importation of illegal immigrants into the UK carries heavy penalties. A fine of up to £2000 can be imposed for each illegal immigrant. This fine can be imposed on each ‘responsible person’, including the vehicle owner, hirer and driver.

Security devices (e.g. a padlock, seals and tilt cord) to secure vehicles after loading.

Checking the security devices and vehicle thoroughly after each stop and before entering the UK

Recording checks on a vehicle security checklist

Operators must set up an ‘effective system’ to prevent the carriage of illegal immigrants. This should include operator documentation with advice on vehicle security and a list of checks to be made. These papers should be produced immediately if an immigration officer asks to see them.

SORN Declaration

A SORN declaration allows you to keep a vehicle off the road and untaxed. The SORN remains valid until the vehicle is taxed, sold or scrapped.

If you buy a vehicle that has a SORN declaration, it will finish as soon as you buy it. You’ll need to make a new declaration if you want to keep the vehicle off the road and untaxed.