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Towing restrictions on new drivers will change soon. You will not have to take a separate test to tow up to 3500tonne mam trailer as a lot of people have had to since 2013.

Quite rare for old laws to be relaxed.
 

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I've moved this to the Idle Chit Chat section.
I assume this is in an effort to relieve the shortage of delivery drivers of heavier vehicles, although I am not sure how it helps with HGV shortages.
 

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So 50,000 extra HGV tests promised. Or 192 tests a day.

  • Car drivers will no longer need to take a separate test to tow a trailer or caravan, allowing roughly 30,000 more HGV tests to be conducted every year
  • Tests will be made shorter by removing several elements and having them tested separately by a third party
  • Drivers will be able to get a licence to drive an articulated vehicle without first getting one for a smaller vehicle, making around 20,000 more HGV driving tests available every year.
I hope this does not lead to a drumming down on standards. Personally putting Rigid & Articulated seems odd as they need totally different driving requirements. So if the test is shorter, are they just going to test in one type & say fine to drive both?

 

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The old way of training and testing for HGV (when I did it 35 years ago) allowed anyone to go straight to 'Class 1' test which was an Articulated vehicle, if one can drive a car other than the size a rigid vehicle isn't that different so Artic training should equip you for it, the anomally back then was that a Class 2 or 3 entitled you to drive a rigid and also a rigid with a trailer, the rigid with trailer is much more difficult than an artic especially if the trailer has a steering axle yet it still required no specific additional training. The current licence is either Group C, a goods vehicle, or C+E, a goods vehicle with trailer either an artic or a rigid and trailer, so still not a comprehensive solution. I don't know what is proposed for this quicker testing for goods vehicles, it may just be that as the examiners will no longer be spending time examining car and trailer combinations they will have appointments available for goods vehicle testing, and there's also the suggestion of getting a third party to check some elements, not sure what, but maybe the 'show me, tell me' section on things like coupling up a trailer.
As a miserable old cynical truck driver with 35 years in the game the idea of making car drivers get some extra training before hooking up a trailer was a good one as a lot of people pulling caravans etc seem to have no idea, maybe requiring them to get some training at an approved provider and having evidence of the training would suffice. Rushing a lot of new HGV drivers on to the roads may sound simple to a government minister but just as most old car drivers might say 'You may have passed your test kid, but now you need to learn to drive' newly passed HGV drivers are only trained to the minimum standard, I have over the years had newbies with me to learn the job and it usually took a couple of weeks before I could say to the boss they could go it alone. Despite the governments desire to make HGV drivers 'professionals' they seem to think it's an unskilled job and giving someone a fortnights shared lessons and a certificate will be sufficient. But then they'll probably just increase the level of regulation and penalties to solve the mess which is why so many people who are qualified already don't even want to do the job.
 

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I've got a Class2 HGV licence, and its seems ludicrous that they are going to remove the reversing and hitch/unhitch aspect of the Class 1 test. - My test was 15 years ago, and can only drive a rigid, the reversing manoeuvre was to back to within 1 foot of a marker board, using mirrors only. (it was the scariest part of the test due to the foreshortening aspect of mirrors)

Even now i spent quite a lot of time reversing, and to be honest most class 1 drivers would say this is the bread and butter of their day, as vitrually all artics a rear loaded from loading bays. These changes will make little difference to the current crisis in driver shortages, and the only way to change that is to increase the wages, reducing the maximum hours allowance, and promoting career progression all of which would make HGV work more appealing to younger people.

As for the Caravan/Trailer amendment, i'm not tat bothered. There will still be idiots who will tow trailers/caravans above the speed limit, regardless if they have a separate test or not. Trailer manouveing is one of those skills that come through experience anyway.
 

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Just out of interest, I only learned recently that when I had to re-apply for my driving licence upon reaching 70, I can now not tow above 750kg? without taking the trailer test.... I have been towing trailers since I was 17? and also, it is ludicrous that you re-apply and self certify without the need to get a letter from your gp?
 

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Yep, HGV drivers have to have to have a health medical every 5 years from the age of 45...and due to that change in the law, some have lost the category to tow a car trailer over 750kg, but have retained their class one or wagon & drag entitlement....

(I've heard that its a computer clitch that can't deal with grandfather rights so automatically removes this entitlement, so worth checking with the DVLA to see if it can get re-instated)
 

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Just out of interest, I only learned recently that when I had to re-apply for my driving licence upon reaching 70, I can now not tow above 750kg? without taking the trailer test.... I have been towing trailers since I was 17? and also, it is ludicrous that you re-apply and self certify without the need to get a letter from your gp?
750KG? Do you mean 7500KG? That is the usual limit without medical after age 70. Or before if you have had health issues.
 

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Towing restrictions on new drivers will change soon. You will not have to take a separate test to tow up to 3500tonne mam trailer as a lot of people have had to since 2013.
3500 tonnes? Is that a ship? Or do you mean kg. There's a bit of a difference - by 1000!!!
Mebbe a decimal point is missing........
750kg is the limit for an unbraked trailer btw.
 
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