If you want to drive a heavy rigid vehicle of three axles or above and eight tonnes or greater, then you need a Heavy Rigid Licence (HR). This license gives you the flexibility to apply for jobs as a coach driver, concrete truck driver, tow truck operator, furniture removalist, etc. You can also work in general freight delivery or in refrigerated transport.
There are some good reasons to get your HR, and there are a few steps you’ll need to take to get your license.
Is it worth getting my license?
Working with heavy rigid vehicles pays well and has a low barrier to entry. The current average weekly wage for someone working full time with their HR is $1,300. While this is only right at the median national weekly take-home pay, it is quite high for the skill rating it requires.
You do not need any extensive schooling or training to work with heavy rigid vehicles, and the government of Australia predicts moderate future job growth in this industry. Additionally, more than 90 percent of those with an HR licence are able to find full time work.
Is there more than one type of HR licence?
There are actually three heavy rigid licenses based on gearbox. A Heavy Rigid Condition A (HRA) qualifies you to drive only vehicles with an automatic gearbox. Heavy Rigid Condition B (HRB) allows you to drive either a manual or an automatic truck.
The third type of licence is known as Heavy Rigid Unconditional, and those who hold this licence are qualified to drive any type of vehicle, including those with a non-synchromesh gearbox that requires a double clutch.
What do I need in order to get my licence?
First, evaluate your current position. There are two things to consider before you begin. First, you need to look at the licence you already have. You must hold an ordinary driving card for at least two years in order to be eligible for HR training and licences. You will also be in a better position if you already have a licence to drive manual transmission cars.
Second, you need to evaluate what type of licence you want to have and what kind of rigid vehicle you will use for the driving test. If you have a job in mind already, it’s always best to practice with the type of vehicle you plan to be driving. If you aren’t sure yet what you want to do but wish to maximize your options, then training and applying for a unlimited licence is best.
Then, choose a training facility. Ideally, you want a government-approved training course for a heavy rigid licence with courses that will be recognized everywhere across the nation.
A good training course offers several different training options where you can learn the theory and practicality of heavy rigid driving. If you have some experience, you can often finish a condensed course in a day, while two and three day courses help you master the double clutch or get the hang of things if you’re starting from scratch.
What do I need in order to apply?
In addition to possessing a car licence or higher for at least two years, you need to have an alternate form of ID. If you only have a car licence, you need to pass the written knowledge test from the Department of Transportation as well as the road practical driving test.
If you have any medical conditions, you need a certificate specifically for whichever type of licence you want to obtain, and if you are interested in driving buses, you need a passenger transport driver authorization.
If you’ve been thinking about getting your licence, now is the time to apply. It doesn’t take long to get the training, and once you do, a world of opportunities opens up for you.