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Are lorry drivers still in demand in 2024, and if yes, why? This question is on the minds of many people who are interested in starting a career in the transportation industry. 

With constant technological advancements and changing market needs, the transportation sector keeps evolving. Despite these changes, the role of lorry drivers remains crucial.

One significant factor contributing to their continued demand is the retirement of experienced drivers, creating a need for new talent in the field.

In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons for this ongoing demand for lorry drivers in the UK. Understanding their continued importance offers valuable insights into their role in driving the economy forward.

1. Retiring Drivers Create Need for New Lorry Drivers

One of the primary factors contributing to the sustained demand for lorry drivers is the retirement of experienced professionals.

As seasoned drivers retire, logistics companies face a significant gap in their workforce. These retirements create a pressing need for fresh talent to step into the roles left vacant.

Consequently, there is a continuous demand for new lorry drivers to fill these positions and ensure the seamless flow of goods across the country.

2. Lorry Drivers Play a Crucial Role in The Logistics Sector

Lorry drivers play a pivotal role in the supply chain, ensuring the seamless movement of goods from manufacturers to distributors and retailers.

Their expertise is invaluable for timely deliveries, especially in industries relying on just-in-time inventory systems. Human decision-making abilities, adaptability, and problem-solving skills are irreplaceable, making lorry drivers indispensable assets for the transportation sector.

3. Fast Track Deliveries and E-Commerce Boom

The exponential growth of e-commerce continues to reshape consumer habits and, consequently, the demand for lorry drivers.

Fast-track deliveries have become increasingly crucial in the era of online shopping. Lorry drivers are essential in ensuring that packages reach customers’ doorsteps promptly and in optimal condition.

Their expertise in navigating urban landscapes and adhering to tight delivery schedules makes them indispensable in the e-commerce boom.

4. Regulatory Compliance and Safety Standards

Stringent regulations and safety standards in the transportation industry necessitate skilled and responsible lorry drivers. Compliance with regulations related to vehicle maintenance, working hours, and safety protocols is non-negotiable.

Experienced drivers understand and adhere to these standards, ensuring the smooth operation of logistics companies while maintaining safety and compliance. As a result, companies actively seek out qualified drivers to uphold these essential aspects of their operations.

5. Adaptability to Global Supply Chain Challenges

The global supply chain faces various challenges, including geopolitical shifts and unexpected disruptions.

Lorry drivers, with their adaptability and expertise, play a vital role in overcoming these challenges. Their ability to navigate changing trade routes, border closures, and unforeseen circumstances ensures that the supply chain remains resilient.

Companies value drivers who can handle these challenges, making them indispensable assets in the face of global uncertainties.

Conclusion

In 2023, the demand for lorry drivers remains robust, driven by a variety of factors, including the retirement of experienced drivers. As the industry evolves, new drivers are not only essential for filling the gaps left by retiring professionals but also for embracing the challenges of the modern supply chain.

Lorry drivers continue to be the backbone of the transportation sector, bridging the gap between suppliers and consumers, and ensuring the uninterrupted flow of goods in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Are You Thinking About Becoming A Lorry Driver?

After learning about the high demand for lorry drivers in the UK, you might be interested in this career. Being a lorry driver in the UK can lead to a fulfilling job in the transportation industry. Lorry drivers are crucial for making sure products get to where they need to be, making them a vital part of the economy.

If you feel a bit lost about how to start this career, don’t worry. This straightforward guide is here to help, providing you with all the necessary information on how to become a lorry driver in the UK. From obtaining the necessary licenses to finding the right training provider and finally landing your dream job, here’s how you can navigate the path to becoming a lorry driver.

Here are the 7 Simple Steps to Becoming a Lorry Driver in the UK

1. Eligibility and Licensing

Before you can embark on your journey as a lorry driver, you need to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. In most countries, this includes being at least 18 years old and holding a valid driving license. If you don’t already have a driving license, the first step is to apply for a provisional driving license.

Select an HGV Licence Category

You can choose from various HGV licence categories depending on the vehicle you intend to drive. They’re classified based on the vehicle’s weight and the allowed weight limit of the trailer it’s pulling. Some of these categories include:

  • C: This category allows you to operate vehicles weighing over 3,500 kg and a trailer weight of up to 750 kg.
  • C1: This is the smallest category for vehicles, weighing between 3,500 and 7,500 kg with or without a trailer weighing up to 750 kg.
  • C1+E: This allows you to drive vehicles weighing between 3,550 and 7,500 kg but with a trailer weight above 750 kg.
  • C+E: This is the largest category type that allows you to drive a vehicle weighing over 3,500 kg and a trailer weight above 750 kg.

2. Apply for a Provisional Driving Licence

Once you meet the basic requirements, you can work on getting a driving license. Find a driving school that’s nearby and fits your budget. Apply for a provisional driving license, either online or at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) offices. You’ll need to provide your basic information, contact details, and addresses for the last three years. This provisional license allows you to drive with supervision on all roads.

3. Finding the Right Training Provider and Learning How to Drive

Choosing the right training provider is crucial to your success as a lorry driver. Look for reputable driving schools or training centres that offer comprehensive lorry driver training programs.

These programs typically include both classroom instruction and practical driving experience, helping you familiarise yourself with the vehicle and the rules of the road.

During your training, you’ll learn essential skills such as vehicle control, manoeuvring, and safety procedures. Be prepared to put in the necessary time and effort to absorb this knowledge and practice your driving skills thoroughly.

4. Pass Your HGV Driving Test

Passing your HGV driving test is the next step after you’ve had enough practice and training. The test has two parts: a theory exam and a practical test. The theory exam checks your understanding of road rules and knowledge of traffic signs. You can apply for and schedule the test online, where you can find more details about the requirements. The theory test usually consists of multiple-choice questions, and you can take practice tests online to help you prepare. The practical part involves driving with an examiner to demonstrate your driving skills.

5. Obtaining Your Driver CPC Qualification Card

After successfully completing your qualifications, you’ll receive a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card, also known as a ‘driver qualification card’ or ‘DQC’. It’s essential to carry this card when driving an HGV professionally; failing to do so can result in penalties for driving professionally without it.

Additionally, you’ll need to apply for a digital driver tachograph card to store information about your daily driving work. This card is crucial for keeping track of your driving activities and ensuring compliance with regulations.

6. Apply for Jobs

With your full lorry driving license and CPC training, you’re now ready to start your career as a lorry driver. Begin your job search by exploring job boards, contacting transportation companies, and networking within the industry. Tailor your resume to highlight your training and skills, and don’t hesitate to apply for suitable positions that match your qualifications and preferences.

Apply for Jobs and Passing the Company’s Road Test.

7. Passing the Company’s Road Test

After you apply for a job and the company contacts you, they might ask you to attend a job orientation. This orientation, which usually lasts for a couple of days, will teach you about the products the company transports, its work environment, and what your job involves. Some employers might also require a medical checkup during this time.

Once you finish the orientation, the final step is a road test. During this test, you’ll drive with an examiner who will assess your driving skills, how well you know the rules of the road, and your overall competence. Passing this road test means you’re qualified to start working for the company.

In Summary

Becoming a lorry driver is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice, offering a sense of freedom and responsibility on the open road.

By following this simple guide, you can navigate the steps to obtain the necessary licenses, receive quality training, and secure your dream job as a lorry driver.

Remember, dedication, continuous learning, and a strong work ethic are key ingredients for success in this profession. So, gear up, hit the road, and enjoy the exciting journey ahead as a professional lorry driver!

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog, if you’re a qualified lorry driver and looking for a new driving role, please get in touch with Optimum Driving Group on 01908 018072 for more information about our latest HGV vacancies.