Truck Driving School: How to Pass Your Practical and Theory Driving Tests

Going for your heavy-vehicle license can be daunting and stressful. It can be intimidating driving a large, heavy vehicle, let alone being assessed by a truck driving school at the same time.

The team here at Aus LoadShifting are here to relieve some of the pressure by giving you some top tips on how you can increase your chances of passing your practice and theory, heavy vehicle driving test.

What is classified as a heavy vehicle?

When you go through your assessment for a truck license in New South Wales, you need to complete your HVCBA (Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment) to obtain your license. 

Here at Aus LoadShifting, we are registered to provide training and assessment for five different categories of heavy vehicle. These include:

  • LR – Light rigid – small buses or trucks
  • MR – Medium rigid – Medium rigid trucks or buses
  • HR – Heavy rigid – Heavy rigid trucks or buses
  • HC – Heavy combination – Heavy articulated vehicles
  • MC – Multi combination – B-doubles, prime mover, road trains

In NSW you need a license to drive any truck above a 4.5-tonne GVM (gross vehicle mass). Hefty fines apply for driving these vehicles without the required licenses. 

The experts here at Aus LoadShifting conduct tests and assessments for these vehicles at our Londonderry training centre, or on-site at your own place of employment utilising your companies equipment.

How long does the process take?

If you prove to be a competent operator, then most assessments can be obtained in one day. Here at Aus LoadShifting, we think it is essential to spend as much time operating the vehicle as possible so we can give you the tools you need to be a safe and skilled HR driver.

The minimum drive time required for your license in five to six hours, depending on the class of heavy vehicle. Your theory exam takes about approximately an hour to complete.

What are the prerequisites for a heavy vehicle license?

Each student obtaining their license through Aus LoadShifting must have a current drivers license or C-class car license. This license must have been held for a minimum of one year on a P2 or full license. You must also pass an eyesight test, or have the correct prescribed glasses for your personal requirements.

What is involved in a DKT?

Your driving knowledge test (DKT) will involve two parts, a practical assessment of your on-road knowledge and driving skills, as well as a theory assessment on the safe operation of the vehicle, skills and understanding of road rules and protocols for driving heavy vehicles.

How to best prepare for your test

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Driving a heavy vehicle can present some real challenges and takes the utmost responsibility and vigilance.

The more you can do to prepare for your test, the easier it will be, and the more confident you will be behind the wheel for the first time. Here are some things you can do to best prepare for your assessments.

Study online

There are many resources online that can teach you more about driving and maintaining a heavy vehicle. Transport for NSW provides Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbooks and practice tests that will give you a good idea of what your assessment may entail. 

You can also find useful information at Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Safe Work NSW and Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). To pass your assessment, you will have to show high competence in both tests, so best to get a head start.

Plan ahead

Make sure you know what you need to bring on the day. The day of your assessment, you will need to make sure you remember:

  • Current driver license
  • Logbook
  • Closed in shoes or boots
  • High visibility workwear

If you book your assessment with Aus LoadShifting, you will be notified if anything else is required on the day. Feel free to contact our friendly staff if you have any questions.

If you know someone who already has their Heavy vehicle license, it may be worth asking them some questions too. You can learn a lot from other peoples experiences.

Extra tips

Although the pass rate is very high, not everyone passes their license attempt first go, and some may have to resit their test another time round. Here are some other things worth considering.

Don’t forget the basics

During your test, you will be expected to know and adhere to all road rules and show full control over the vehicle. Under the pressure of a trial, you can sometimes miss simple things.

Some diligent study beforehand, to better understand the laws and road rules pertaining to your new vehicle license, would serve you well.

Get to know heavy vehicles

The dynamics of a truck are quite different from that of a car. You are dealing with a much higher, longer and heavier vehicle than you may be used to. 

You will have to be extra diligent with breaking and showing due care when turning corners and slowing down at stop points. There are many resources online discussing the physics of trucks and carrying loads, and it is worth doing some investigation.

Learn basic pre-checks

Every truck has its unique checks, but many pre-checks on heavy vehicles are universal. Getting familiar with them before your test can lessen a bit of the pressure on the day. Pre-checks could include things like:

  • Fluids – oil, brakes, radiator, power steering
  • Tyres and wheel nuts
  • Mudguards, kilometres and RUC
  • Engine, hose and leak checks
  • Fuel caps
  • Lights

There is a range of other checks that will probably be required, so it is worth committing as many to memory as possible before the test day. 

The team here at Aus LoadShifting has been helping people gain their heavy-vehicle licenses, and high-risk tickets since 2009. We provide smaller classes to give you more machine time and personal attention so you can be confident in your heavy vehicle driving skills.

If you are looking for an experienced and reputable truck driving school in Sydney and surrounding areas, then call our friendly staff today for more information. Fill out our enquiry form, and we can contact you at your next convenience.

 

The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Truck Licence In Sydney

Have you heard that Australia is quickly running short of truck drivers? The decline is expected to continue into the next decade. It is projected that between 2010 and 2030 truck freight will have doubled. Age is one of the biggest factors affecting the availability of truck drivers today. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Data, almost half of the drivers will be in retirement by 2026. This means that as more truck drivers reach retirement age, trucking will be a viable niche for sustainable employment now and in the future.

So, if you are interested in upskilling and taking control of your career path, why don’t we take a look at the reasons why you should become a truck driver?

 

Attractive pay rates

 

Like with any job, your pay rate will depend on your experience. In the trucking business it also depends on your truck licence and employer. Salaries for entry-level truck drivers in Sydney generally start at approximately $29 per hour and reach the average of $35 per hour once you have some experience and perhaps further training. Senior truck drivers can earn even more – up to $45 per hour. So, a trucker’s pay rate can be very attractive especially when you factor in night shifts.

 

Flexible hours

 

One of the great benefits of being a truck driver in NSW is the flexible working hours. Truck drivers can start early in the morning or late in the day. Some Sydney companies accommodate flexible working schedules so long as the driver does not compromise their work. Flexible driving hours makes for a better work-life balance than any nine to five job with the same financial security.

 

Consistent pay and job security

 

With the decline in truck drivers, the NSW transport industry is thriving. No shortage of jobs in 2020, many driving contracts offer tenures of two to six years, which means steady and consistent work.

 

Truck driving schools

Aus Loadshifting truck driving school in Sydney has courses that can be completed in a minimum of five to six hours for the different classes and gearboxes, providing you are a competent driver. In other words, you can start your trucking career in no time at all.

 

Beautiful scenery

 

Another great perk of being a truck driver is that you have the chance to see Sydney’s beauty and nature, while breathing in the fresh air you won’t get working in any office.

 

Always a story to tell

 

When you are behind the wheel of a truck you have a unique position. Truck drivers see it all and always have an interesting story to tell their spouses and kids.

Now that you know why it is so great becoming a truck driver, let’s have a look at the types of licences you can hold. The difference in licence applies to the carrying capacity and axle numbers.

 

Light Rigid (LR)

 

The GVM (gross vehicle motor) is no greater than eight tonnes. A towing trailer must not weigh more than nine tonnes. Examples are small buses or trucks.

 

Medium Rigid (MR)

 

A Medium Rigid licence allows you to drive any GVM but limits you to two axle trucks and trailers of no more than nine tonnes. Examples are medium rigid trucks and buses.

 

Heavy Rigid (HR)

 

A Heavy Rigid licence allows you to drive an unlimited vehicle GVM with no axle limitation, but the trailer is still limited to nine tonnes. This includes heavy rigid trucks and articulated buses.

 

Heavy Combination

 

The only limitation on this licence is the number of trailers you can tow. Your maximum is one.

 

Multi Combination

 

This licence entitles you to unrestricted operation of road registered heavy vehicles and includes B-doubles, prime movers, the low load dolly and low loader trailer combinations, as well as road trains.

You have seen what kind of licences you can hold if you are a driver. What types of jobs can you get?

 

Types of truck driving jobs

 

These are the types of jobs a course from a truck driving school in Sydney can lead to:

 

  •         Truck driver
  •         Delivery driver
  •         Removalist
  •         Labourer
  •         Street sweeper
  •         Long haul driver
  •         Tow truck driver
  •         Multi-drop MR licence driver

 

Preparation and requirements

 

To drive most commercial trucks in Australia you will need a Light Rigid Driver’s licence or higher. You must hold at least a P2 licence if you want to obtain an LR, MR or HR licence. In the instance of securing your HR licence you must hold your P2 licence for at least two years. Moving up to an HC licence requires you to hold your MR or HR licence for at least one year. 

In hindsight, it will take at least four years to go from no licence to a Heavy Combination licence.

 

Applying and testing

 

Licensing is administered at state level and undertaken in person. All states require the passing of a theory knowledge test, Roads and Maritime driving test, eye test and the HVCBA (Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment).

When you sign up with Aus Loadshifting, expert trainers will train you, while an external assessor will assess you in Sydney.

 

Why choose Aus Loadshifting for your truck driver school?

 

Not only can Aus Loadshifting help you become a Heavy Vehicle licence graduate in one day, our truck driving school in Sydney is fully insured, RMS accredited and specialised in truck driving tuition. Here is why our school is a cut above the rest.

 

  •         Aus Loadshifting is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO)
  •         With years of experience in education and training, trainers hold a certificate IV in training and assessment and are WorkCover accredited.
  •         Small classes and increased truck time
  •         Flexible training schedules to suit your needs
  •         You can either use our trucks and facilities or we can work onsite with you
  •         Flexible operating hours
  •         Personal experience tailored to you
  •         Operates in Western Sydney and surrounds

 

Want to become a truck driver?

 

Now you really want to become a truck driver? Look no further than Aus Loadshifting for your truck driving training and make yourself the ultimate prospect when it comes to truck driver employment opportunities.

 Improve your resume with the skills that are in high demand in one of Sydney’s largest industries.