HGV Driver: Job Profile and Role

All companies selling goods have a kind of chain of command, if you want – meaning that there are lots of people and departments involved in getting goods from A to B. One such person is an HGV driver who is tasked with the delivery of heavy goods. This job requires a specific skill set and qualifications that you need to have/earn if this is your dream job.

In this blog, you will therefore find out what it takes to become an HGV driver in the UK. Besides the skills, qualifications, and training, we will tell you what average annual salaries to expect and where to look for employment. You will also get your first glimpse into a typical working day and valuable tips for thriving as an HGV driver in the UK.

Short Summary

  • As an HGV Driver, you are responsible for delivering heavy and sometimes hazardous goods from one place to another.
  • As an HGV Driver, you must adhere to all safety measures at all times which also extends to the vehicle you are driving.
  • As an HGV Driver, you are responsible for taking care of yourself. This may not sound like a proper task but it is a vital point to ensure that you do not pose a threat to other traffic participants.

Job description

Your paramount HGV driver job is to transport heavy goods from one place to another by using heavy goods vehicles. Another of your job priorities is to ensure safety for you and all other traffic participants by concentrating on road and traffic conditions and being able to quickly adapt to challenges and disruptions. Your job also includes an in-depth knowledge of safety and legal rules and regulations. Furthermore, you are responsible for taking care of the admin side of your job, such as updating order and delivery logs and filing all relevant documentation.


  • Safe Driving
  • Documentation
  • Customer Service
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Transportation of Goods
  • Checking Traffic Reports
  • Loading/Unloading Goods
  • Planning Routes/Deliveries
  • Compliance with Regulation
  • Logging Delivery Information

Different types of HGV Drivers

  • ADR Driver
  • Tipper Driver
  • Multi-Drop Driver
  • Class 1 (C+E) Driver
  • Refrigerated Goods Driver


Your HGV driver starting salary in the UK comes in at around£29,000 and can increase to £39,000 per year. Besides your work experience, your average annual salary is affected by your HGV driver position. If you work as an HGV driver class 1, your annual salary will range from £31,000 to £40,000 HGV driver class 1, whereas you will earn less in the job of an HGV driver class 2 or hiab. Here, your annual salary starts at £27,000 and can increase to £36,000. Keep in mind that your annual wages are further influenced by your employer and your company’s location.

Shift Work and its Influence on Your Salary

Did you know that working shifts can increase your weekly/monthly/yearly HGV driver salary? Depending on your employer, you may earn an extra 10 to 30 % of your fixed wages when working weekends or nights. This means that you will earn considerably more when you tend to work these (fought-over) shifts.

Working hours

You will likely work between 38 and 52 hours a week, including evenings, nights, and weekends. Your job naturally involves a lot of driving and long-distance travelling, which you should also take into consideration. This means that you will spend a lot of time away from home which, in turn, affects your private life. 

There are a few more important factors you need to know when it comes to your working hours. Keep in mind that you are required to take a break after 4,5 hours into your shift which must last at least 45 minutes. You should not drive more than 9 hours a day and are only allowed to do 10-hour shifts twice a week. The absolute maximum of weekly working hours must not exceed 56 hours.


If the job of an HGV driver is the right choice for you, you naturally want to know where to look for your first job. You can find employment in almost any industry that requires the services of goods transportation. Here are a few examples of potential employers: retailers and supermarkets, distribution and logistics companies, courier and delivery services, pharmaceutical companies, and waste management companies.


Working in the HGV driver profession first requires that you are at least 18 years of age. Then, you need a professional driving qualification known as the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). You can gain further necessary qualifications by doing an apprenticeship which requires GCSEs, including English and maths, as entry qualifications.

Besides, you should look into commonly used software, such as transport management systems (TMS), fleet management software, and navigation apps. These can include Paragon Routing, Transporeon, Teletrac Navman, Verizon Connect, and Waze.

The job as an HGV driver could be suitable for you if you have one or more of the following qualifications:

Before we take a look at three important skills you should have when you want to become an HGV driver, we recommend the following: always check the respective job advertisements for the competencies required to apply for and get the job. But for now, let’s explore some of the skills and competencies that will likely also pop up in said job posts and which will enable you to perform an outstanding job.

Is the HGV driver job a good fit for you? Typically, an HGV driver should have or develop the following skills:


Working as an HGV driver will require the highest level of concentration – regardless of the time of day you are driving through the country. You need to be constantly alert to be able to react fast and appropriately. Therefore, you must not take your eye off the ball, so to speak. If you notice your concentration slipping during a shift, you should stop and take a break. This way, you ensure your safety and that of others.

Physical Skills and Endurance

In the job of an HGV driver, you will be tasked with loading and unloading your lorry. As you know, HGV stands for heavy goods delivery and makes it obvious that physical skills are essential to succeed and stay in this job. Therefore, you should be on the “sporty” side and ensure that your physical lifting and carrying skills as well as your physical endurance meet the requirements of your job.

Driving Skills

Naturally, you should also possess excellent driving skills. After all, you are not driving a Mini, you are driving a seriously large vehicle that is loaded with heavy and sometimes even dangerous goods. Knowing how to steer, reverse, park, and ensure overall road safety is essential if you want to make it from A to B – and it once again also ensures the safety of all traffic participants.

Career Path

After you have been an HGV driver for some years, you can think about specialising and doing further training. An interesting option could be to train for your Advisory Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) Certificate or to look into becoming an HGV driving instructor. You can also think about moving into management and turning to a more admin-based side of HGV driving.

Educational Background

If you want to become an HGV driver in the UK, you can look into doing a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driver C and E Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship. You can find your right apprenticeship in the civilian world and with the Royal Forces. 

Alternatively, you can complete the appropriate course which must include passing your CPC/Driver Certificate of Professional Competence. Various institutions are offering this course, such as the National Vocational Driving Instructor Register (NVDIR). 

Another interesting option is to take part in a Skills Bootcamp in HGV Driving. These boot camps are free of charge and offer you the following: a job interview guarantee with an employer near you and a category C or CE driving licence.

Entry Level

Your HGV driver career can start with the entry-level position of a junior driver, for example. Here, you start with driving smaller lorries that carry less risky goods. With years of work experience, a clean driving record, and maybe a specialisation, you can progress to more senior positions where you take on more responsibilities, different goods, and more complex routes.

Continuous Learning

To advance your HGV driver’s career, you need to continuously look into professional improvement. You can do further training in specialised driving areas, for example, Accredited Driver Training (ADR) which qualifies you to transport dangerous goods. Another useful qualification is the so-called HIAB training (Hydrauliska Industri AB) with which you are qualified to operate hydraulic lifting equipment. You – and your company – can also benefit from eco-driving training where you learn to drive sustainable and eco-friendly.

A Day in the Life of an HGV Driver

You already know that your job driver involves a lot of long-distance driving and travelling. Your time on the roads is necessary to get goods from one place to another. Before you head out for your first drive of the day, you will perform other tasks. And some of your daily tasks wait for you at the end of your working day. These we will take a look at in this section.

Vehicle Inspection

Inspecting your vehicle is probably the most important task in your working day. You need to ensure that everything is in working order – be it the brakes, the indicators, the gears, the lights, or the engine. You also need to check that you have plenty of fuel for your first trip. If everything is as it should be, you can advance to the next task on your daily agenda.

Loading your Vehicle

Loading your vehicle with all the goods that need delivering is your next job. For this, you also need to check the order and delivery logs and ensure that you have all the information and details you need about the companies or people waiting for their goods. You also should have all the documentation with you so you can check each delivery off.

Adapt to Challenges

Even though you have mapped out your day down to a T, you will likely be faced with the odd road-related challenge. This can include traffic jams, roadworks, and horrendous weather conditions that can cause serious delays or even mean that you will not be able to do a delivery. You need to be adaptable to these challenges and have a plan b at the ready. This way, you may still not be able to deliver, but you will have a possible solution that helps you deal with delays etc.

Tips for Thriving as an HGV Driver

Your skill set and your professional background are important puzzle pieces that ensure your thriving in the job of an HGV driver. In this section, we would like to focus on these pieces a bit more and tell you how you can further thrive by improving them. So, here are three more tips that help you thrive:

  • Work on your communication
  • Stay updated
  • Self-care

Work on your Communication

Excellent communication skills are vital if you want to be a successful HGV driver. Even though you are mainly responsible for delivering goods, you also need to communicate with everyone involved in the deliveries – be it your suppliers, your superiors, your colleagues, road and traffic personnel, or your customers. Therefore, we recommend that you always do a little refresher course for your communication.

Stay Updated

Your job requires that you are up-to-date on everything connected to your job. This is not only limited to road and traffic updates but also to health and safety measures, legal requirements, and company policies. This way, you will always be on the safe side and ensure that you perform a flawless HGV driver’s job.


Being an HGV driver means that you perform one of the most strenuous, time-consuming, and challenging jobs in the world. Therefore, it must always be one of your priorities to spend time on self-care. Yes, this can include wellness and spa trips, massages, and trips to the gym. It can also involve sitting on your sofa, reading a book, or binge-watching your favourite Netflix show.

Other jobs that are similar and might also interest you:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an HGV driver earn?

When working as an HGV driver in the UK, you can expect an annual salary ranging from £29,000 to £39,000. Your position also affects your average annual wages. In the position of an HGV driver class 1, you tend to earn £31,000 to £40,000 per year. The job of an HGV driver class 2 or hiab pays you less. Here, your annual salaries range from about £27,000 to £36,000. Note that your employer and your company’s location will further influence your annual wages.

What qualifications do I need to become an HGV driver?

One required qualification to become an HGV driver is for you to be at least 18 years of age, and to then gain your Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). You can get further qualifications by completing an apprenticeship, such as a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driver C and E Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship. To qualify for an apprenticeship, you need some GCSEs, including maths and English. Moreover, you should familiarise yourself with various software, such as Paragon Routing, Transporeon (transport management software/TMS), Teletrac Navman, Verizon Connect (fleet management software), and Waze (navigation app).

What is the job of an HGV driver?

In your HGV driver job, you have to perform a multitude of tasks that include transporting heavy goods in various heavy goods vehicles, adhering to traffic and road laws as well as safety rules and regulations, and navigating road and traffic challenges. Your HGV driver job also has an admin side which includes checking order and delivery logs, documentation, and filing. It is also your job/responsibility as an HGV driver to invest time in your personal and professional competencies to ensure excellent work performance.