Would you want to drive a heavy haulage truck? A Heavy Rigid (HR) licence allows you to drive trucks and buses with three or more axles, a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of above eight tonnes and a towing capacity of up to nine tonnes. Read this excerpt to learn how to apply for an HR driving course and how to pass the test.
People that intend to apply for the course must be 18 years or above. Besides, you must have held a class C licence for at least two years. If you do not have a class C licence, you should have held a medium rigid (MR) or light rigid (LR) licence for one year. You can apply for an exemption if you are an immediate family member or employee of a person who runs a trucking or agricultural businesses.
Applying for the Course
HR driving courses are conducted at Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). Conduct some internet research to identify accredited RTOs in your area. Besides, you could also seek referrals from friends to know which RTOs have experienced, professional and friendly trainers.
The HR course contains theory and practical lessons. During theory classes, your trainer will explain the details of truck operation. You will learn how the transmission and braking mechanisms work, how to detect mechanical issues and preventive maintenance procedures.
During practical classes, the trainer will take you around the truck and teach you how the various mechanisms work. The professional will also train you on how to attach and detach a trailer. Driving a truck can be difficult at first since you have to juggle high and low gears. Besides, you may have a trailer attached. However, you will become competent after a few hours of practice.
How to Pass the Test
Students should apply for the practical driving assessment (PDA) once they are confident that they can drive HR trucks on their own. Below are some tips to help you pass the test:
- Be composed and confident. Sometimes, you may be asked to wear a body camera as proof that you attended the test.
- Conduct a pre-inspection to ensure all controls are functional. Seek clarification from your instructor if you are unsure about the truck's controls.
- Ask the assessor how long the test will last or what they will examine.
- Situational awareness is a vital character trait for each truck driver. Keep your eyes on the road, maintain a comfortable speed, beware of road signs and other road users.
You should now have an easy time applying for your HR driving course and attending the practical driving assessment. If you do not pass the course, ask for more training and apply for re-assessment within seven days.