A career in transport provides a rewarding and varied lifestyle,
with a high level of personal responsibility, but also often working in a team.
There are many different types of driving jobs with a vast range?
of companies using different types and classes of vehicles.
The driver shortage problem
- A recent survey carried out by the Road Haulage Distribution & Training Council (RHDTC) concluded that 72% of the top 100 transport companies in the UK have a driver shortage issue. The survey also estimated that the industry needed to recruit around 50,000 additional LGV drivers just to fill the current vacancies.
- Why is there this problem? There are around 1.2 million LGV licences issued and about 450,000 people actually working as drivers. This means that only 1 in 3 people holding a licence are actually using it.
- The average age of an LGV driver is now 46 years with thousands of drivers reaching retirement age each year.
A career path for drivers
- Many people enjoy the lifestyle that being an LGV driver provides. The sense of freedom on the road and the responsibility that driving a 40 tonne vehicle brings as well as the relative job security is appealing to many.
- There are however many opportunities to progress in the industry for those who want to. Many drivers choose to become owner drivers and buy their own vehicles. Others eventually come off the road and take transport manager qualifications before going into the traffic office.
Agency work or permanent employer ?
- These are the two main options open to LGV drivers -working for an agency, or working for a company.
- If you work for an agency, then you are paid directly by them. The agencies supply drivers on a temporary basis to transport companies, sometimes as holiday cover or perhaps during peak times of the year. Agency drivers will often be sent to many different companies during the year and will accumulate a lot of experience quickly. One problem is that few agencies guarantee the amount of work they can offer you and there may be times that the driver is not offered work every day.
- The alternative is to work for a company, and many drivers prefer this.? It has the benefits of a guaranteed income, annual holidays and possible internal promotion.
- As a driver you can work on a temporary or permanent basis. You can decide whether you prefer to work days or nights and you can choose where you want to work ? locally, nationally or even internationally.
How much can an LGV driver earn ?
This will depend on several factors, including…
- Class of licence you possess
- Where in the UK you live
- Type of vehicle driven (rigid or artic)
- Local or long distance work
- Number of hours worked
- Day work or nights out
- Other qualifications held
As a guideline however, a newly qualified LGV driver living and working in or around a major city with a category C (rigid) licence should expect to earn around ?18k – ?25k per year.
A driver working with a C+E licence could reasonably expect to earn another ?5k per year.
As with most industries your wages will increase as you gain experience and qualifications.