Are you thinking about becoming a HGV driver? Are you wondering how much money you will actually make as a HGV driver? However, you should know that there isn’t a single definitive amount that a HGV driver should receive as salary. On the other hand, there are some statutory minimums, helpful guidelines and trends to help you determine the right salary for you. You also need to consider costs of becoming a driver as there are specific qualifications you need, find out more at Surrey and Hampshire HGV Training. Here is what you need to know about a HGV driver’s salary. The Statutory Minimums The HGV industry has many rules governing it but the legal minimum wage requirements are still applicable. Therefore, as a HGV driver, you are still covered by the National Living Wage (NLW), the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the Apprenticeship Levy. To meet the NMW you can expect the following wages per hour. • If you are aged 21 to 24 years of age your wage per hour should be £7.38. • If you are aged 18 to 20 years, your wages per hour should be £5.90. • Finally, as an apprentice, you can expect £3.70 which is subject to a few conditions. Keep in mind that this might be the minimum wage legally but it’s not exactly what you will get. Many HGV employers actually pay their drivers more money to motivate their performance. Note that the NLW is a system that’s designed to provide liveable, secure wages for employees of different age groups. The NLW is dedicated to employees of at least 25 years of age and above. The minimum level is £7.20 and was set in 2016. It has since increased in 2017 to £7.50 and to £7.83 in 2018. As of April 2019, it is £8.21, a 4.85% increase from the previous levels. In April 2017, the Apprenticeship Levy was introduced. Any firms with a gross payroll cost of more than £3m will have to pay at least 0.5% of the gross payroll into the apprenticeship levy. Those who pay the levy can claim back their payments through approved training sessions. Driver Subsistence There has been a huge controversy when it comes to reimbursing HGV drivers. HMRC introduced a new system that brought about a lot of confusion and extra work in September 2017. The new system has various size options for employers to help them reimburse and pay HGV drivers consistently. These are the new options available: • Benchmark scale rate payments • Agreed industry scale rate (where lorry drivers get an overnight subsistence allowance) • Bespoke agreements • Other allowances • Overseas scale rates • Agreed industry scale rates • Direct expense claims Note that, as much as there is no set payment amount, there is an agreed industry reimbursement scale for HGV drivers who sleep and work away from home. It has been in use for many years and has remained the exact same since 2013. Any drivers with a sleeper cab, the reimbursement is £26.20. For drivers without a sleeper cab, the rate is £34.90. Employers can choose whether or not they want to reimburse the actual costs or use the scale. However, if your employer uses the scale, there will be HMRC checks to guarantee that they are following the rules accordingly. All this information might sound a little confusing for you but there is a bit of good news too. In the last year alone, at least 79.1% of HGV drivers received a pay increase. The average increase was reported to be around 2.57% of their total salary. In the south, the pay increases were a bit higher compared to those in the north. Note that, at least 85% of HGV drivers are earning a lot more than the NLW but it’s tough to get the actual numbers. However, it all depends on your employer. Therefore, if you decide this can be a good way for you to make a living, you can try it out and see how much you earn in a year then assess whether or not it’s a good career path for you.
Any car that is over three years of age will require an annual MOT test to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy. If for any reason the car fails this test, you need to conduct the necessary repairs so that it matches up to these standards. Many of the checks are basic, so even when you do not know a lot about cars, you can still conduct your own pre-Mot check in order to lower the chances of your car failing. For anything more than basic, the garage services Reading which are carrying out your test will be able to advise and make repairs. General Turn on your ignition and ensure: • The horn works. • Your windscreen wipers and washers are working. • Your screen-wash has been topped up. • The rubber on your windscreen wiper blades is intact and not loose. If they are missing pieces or they are loose, you can source a replacement from most of the motor retailers. They are also easy to fit. • Your seat belts must be in good working order and they cannot be cut or frayed. • The mountings need to be secured, while the belts need to disengage and engage correctly. • When you pull the belt sharply your inertia-reel needs to lock. Tyres Walk all the way around your car and examine all your tyres, make sure: • There are no cuts or any bulges along the sidewalls. Also, check for any objects which may be lodged into the tread. • The tread needs to be a minimum of 1.6 mm deep. You can either use a 20-pence piece or a tread depth gauge. If you are using a coin, put it inside the groove and run it around your tyre. If the rim of the coin is standing proud, you need to replace your tyre. • Make sure that each of your tyres matches up to the opposite on the axle when it comes to construction and size type. • Your spare tyre needs to be road-legal. Lights Lighting is a common cause for MOT failure, make sure: • All the exterior bulbs work. • The lens on each light is free from damage or cracks. • Check that your headlights, which include the main beam, dipped, rear and front sidelights, the reverse lights, stop lights, rear and front fog lights, your indicators, and the number plate light are all working. Bodywork You need to make sure that the outside of your car is free from sharp edges which could injure pedestrians. The bumper needs to be secure, and you should be able to access your car from any door as well as open the doors from both the outside and inside of your car. Brakes Even though it is not possible to check on your brakes accurately if you do not have the right equipment, here are a few things you are still able to do: • Look under your bonnet to ensure the fluid levels inside the reservoir for your brake system is between the minimum and maximum indicators. If you are not sure where the reservoir is located refer to your manual. • Pull up the handbrake. If you need to pull up your lever very far through a number of clicks, let the tester know that the cable needs adjusting. • At the same time, if the lever releases with a slight tap, it will usually require tightening. Steering Similar to your brakes it is not easy to check on your steering without the right equipment: • The steering wheel on a car should usually be relatively tight on its column. If there are unusual movements when turning or it feels loose, the support of the column may have worn down. • Listen for any knocking sounds when you turn your steering wheel all the way to the right and then all the way to the left. In addition, if you hear an excessive whining coming from the power-steering pump, this is usually an indication of worn components. Shock Absorbers Your dampers or shock absorbers cannot have any differences or leaks when it comes to absorbing pressure. You can get an idea of whether the shock absorbers have become faulty by bouncing on each corner of your car. The car should be going downwards when placed under pressure, followed by rising back up to its full height, before it settles down slightly. Bouncing that is excessive is an indication of worn-out or faulty dampers. Mirrors and Windscreen Small chips caused by stones doesn’t mean your car will instantly fail but: • The areas that the wipers sweep over should be free from chips and cracks. • Any damages outside of these areas cannot exceed 10mm in diameter. • The mirrors need to be attached securely, while the glass should be clean and in a good condition. Exhaust Your exhaust needs to be corrosion-free and secured. Rev your engine while your car is stationary. With the doors open and parking brake on, listen for any unusual noises or rattles which might be a sign that it may need replacing soon. If there is any smoke present, your vehicle might fail when it comes to the emissions portion of the test.
Among the most common questions that new drivers will ask when obtaining their HGV licence and changing to HGV driving is how much they will make. We understand the need to know the answer to the question. Everyone will be interested in understanding how well they will be compensated for doing the work they’re hired for and it’s a big consideration before they can make the decision to move to the new job. The difficulty in answering the question about how much they will get paid is that there is no definitive answer for every driver. Even so, there are some guidelines that will likely be helpful. There are statutory minimums and some known trends that can help you understand whether the pay will be sufficient. That’s what we’re going to cover below.
There are a number of specific rules this industry is governed by but the legal wage minimums still apply here as they do elsewhere. This includes when someone is at the Apprenticeship Levy. Under the regulations of minimum wage if you are age 21 to 24 then you can expect £7.38. Those who are between 18 and 20 will get £5.90.
Anyone between the ages of 16 and 17 will likely not be driving but if they’re working then the minimum wage is £4.20. The apprenticeship rate is subject to certain conditions but is generally £3.70. It’s also important to understand that those are the minimum wages that are required by law but as long as it meets the minimum then it’s not necessarily what you’ll get as you could get over that.
Employers that want to recognise the value of their drivers to encourage them when they have good performance may do so by paying more. The living wage is meant to provide better security for employees respective of their age. In 2016 employees who were over 25 years old had a minimum wage of £7.20.
The Apprenticeship Levy starting in 2017 increased to £7.50. The following year it increased again to £7.83 and in the spring of 2019, it again increased to £8.21. When a firm has a gross payroll above £3m who have to pay half a percent of gross payroll were informed of the Apprentice Levy that came into effect April 2017. When they provide approved training using Trailblazer or England apprenticeships then they can get their payment back.
Over the years there has been some controversy about reimbursing drivers. The HMRC introduced a new system that ultimately created a lot of confusion and additional work. This caused the need for a new system to be used starting the fall of 2017. This gave away for employers to be able to pay and reimburse drivers more consistently. It accomplished that with the following:
- Benchmark scale rate payments
- Bespoke agreements
- Industry scale rates
- Overseas scale rates
- Other allowances
- Direct expense claims
- Industry scale rate
Although there isn’t a set payment amount, the industry has agreed on the scale for reimbursement and pay for the HGV drivers who are working and sleeping while away from home. The scale has been around for several years and stayed the same since the year 2013. Drivers who have a sleeper cab are paid £26.20. Those who do not have a sleeper cab can get up to £34.90. An employer can decide for themselves whether they want to reimburse the costs or use the scale and which you get will depend on where you work. If the employer does use the scale then they are checked by HMRC. This is done to make sure they follow the rules correctly.
You needn’t worry if some of this sounds confusing. Almost 80% of drivers say that they’ve got an increase in pay over the year before. The average increase was more than two and a half percent. In the South, the rate was even higher. In the north, they were somewhat lower. It is currently estimated that about 85% of HGV drivers make more than the national living wage. It’s difficult to know for certain by exactly how much more they are making. You can go to page 5 to view a more detailed report to see how much you might earn.
To guarantee their own safety – and that of other road users – HGV drivers mainly rely on their driving skills day in day out. Any HGV driver training centre will tell you you need to keep your heavy goods vehicle in good driving condition, always, just like you would with any other vehicle. You need to take your HGV through yearly inspections and keep it well maintained to ensure that it remains in perfect driving condition.
The Main Reason Behind Yearly Safety Checks
These machines – HGVs – are large and high tech. To ensure that the entire vehicle continues to operate without any issues, the many moving parts and systems within them need to work together seamlessly at all times. Problems, such as brake failure and inefficient fuel consumption, may result from inconsistencies within the overall system. Every part of the vehicle, from the tachograph to the brakes, needs to be in perfect working condition. Heavy goods vehicles need to pass a yearly safety inspection in the same way cars need to pass an annual MOT to remain on the road. Passing this inspection means the HGV is safe to drive for the next 12 months as the inspection assesses the vehicle’s roadworthiness. The testing is highly comprehensive, and quite rightly so – every HGV driver who has participated in the inspection can attest to this.
The Focus of the Inspection
A daily walk-around inspection of your vehicle should be part of your daily routine as a HGV driver. These routine checks are quite standard. On the other hand, your vehicle’s condition and roadworthiness will be assessed against a variety of minimum standards, which it needs to pass, during the annual inspection which is carried out by an inspector. The main areas of focus include:
The Top of the Vehicle
Usually carried out on a hard surface, the first part of the check focuses at the top of the HGV. The following checks are included in this part of the inspection process:
• Comparing the VTG6 plate with your HGV’s identity
• Checking the condition and fastening of the mirrors’ fairings
• Ascertaining whether the passenger and driver doors close and open properly
• Ascertaining whether the tyres in use are of the proper rating and are in good condition
• Are you using the right sized spray suppressors?
• Checking to see whether all the lights, such as headlights, indicators, fog lights and repeaters are properly aligned and in good working order.
All visible parts of the HGV are checked during this part of the inspection process. As the inspector meticulously checks each part of the outer structure and cab of the vehicle, they are accompanied by the driver. If any problems exist, the driver should have had prior knowledge as most of the elements checked are part of the routine checks conducted by HGV drivers.
The Underside Inspection
The vehicle will be moved over a pit to enable the inspector to check the underside after the topside inspection is completed. The focus of this part of the inspection process includes:
• Checking the alignment of the axle
• Checking the steering
• Checking whether the air brake is in proper working order
• Checking the condition of the shaker plates
• Checking the foot brakes
• Looking for possible fuel or oil leaks
• Checking the condition of the bearings
As trained professionals, the inspectors are trained to keep an eye out for all sorts of warning signs including loose bolts and any indications of wear. We believe that the thorough nature of these professionals is completely justified when it comes to guaranteeing safety on roads.
If you’ve just done your HGV training or you regularly drive on motorways or even on conventional roads, chances are you’ve come across a fair share of heavy goods vehicles commonly known as HGVs. Some are usually branded with huge logos on the side, giving you an idea of what they are transporting. Others are entirely blank, leaving you wondering what they are hauling. This can make a fun game to play while on long journeys: Guess what the HGV is carrying.
The point is that while these vehicles are common on the UK road, most individuals take them for granted, not realising how their lifestyles – and the economy in general – rely on them. In this read, we are going to take a look at some of the facts you may not know about HGVs:
Almost All Goods in the UK are Moved By Road
Perhaps the most impressive task about HGVs is that they move about 98% of all goods consumed in the United Kingdom. That consists of everything from food and drinks to clothing, shoes, and jewellery. Road transport is the backbone of the economy and without HGVs, the economy would be in huge trouble. Most of these goods come from overseas, and that’s why there is substantial tension in regards to the outcome of Brexit.
Given the fact that road transport is the backbone of the UK’s economy, it’s not surprising that haulage happens to be one of the biggest employers as well. After all, it is not just the drivers who are involved in haulage, but also individuals who load and unload goods from warehouses and HGVs, transport planners, warehouse managers, and many others. The UK haulage industry alone employs over 2.5 million individuals and this makes the haulage industry the fifth largest employer, behind the NHS, the military and HMRC.
The transportation of goods and HGV driving provides about 600K jobs for the United Kingdom residents. That is 600,000 people who currently have jobs all thanks to the heavy goods vehicle industry. However, only 1.2% of these people are female, meaning there’s some equality that needs to happen. Unfortunately, even with the high numbers, there’s still a shortage in drivers and logistics companies are estimating that they will have a substantial delay in filling 36% of the vacancies as they look for the right candidates and 15% of the vacancies will not be filled at all.
Age is Just a Number
When it comes to working in the HGV industry, you will come across all kinds of demographics. There are male and female drivers, people who have done nothing but drive since they left school and even some who used to be insurance salesmen. However, did you know that the average age of an HGV driver is 48 years? Not just that, but 13% of the drivers are EU nationals.
The Industry is Worth a Lot
Other than being one of the biggest employers in the United Kingdom, the haulage industry is worth a lot. According to estimates, this industry is worth about £124 billion. So, when we say that this is the backbone of the UK economy, we mean it. Haulage makes a lot of money for the UK each year and the numbers are only bound to increase. However, due to the uncertainty regarding Brexit, experts are not so certain about the future of this currently stable industry.
Heavy Goods Ahead
At this point, you already know that HGV stands for a number of things. However, when it comes to the heaviest, things get a bit interesting. For example, there are over 520,000 commercial vehicles that weigh over 3.5 tonnes registered in the United Kingdom. This is around the same weight as that of an African elephant in the adolescent stage. Over half of those vehicles are driven by the Road Haulage Association (RHA) members, which is usually a stamp for a high-quality driver.
As you can see, there is actually a lot about the heavy goods vehicle to know. These are all interesting facts that certainly make you appreciate this impressive industry.