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How to Become a Truck Driver: A Guide for Students and Individuals?


Truck driving is a demanding career that requires specific knowledge and skills. If you are considering becoming a truck driver, then it's important to start by understanding the industry. This guide will help you learn about the different types of truck drivers, what qualifications you need to become one, how much money can be earned as a professional truck driver and more!

truck driving training NSW

There are different truck driving courses to start a new career as a truck driver.

1. Heavy Combination Automatic HC Truck License course

This course is suitable for people who are looking to get their license as a semi-trailer combination driver. This course will have you experience this type of truck and the driving requirements involved in operating it on public roads. You will also learn about the types of work performed by HC drivers, what they do, how they do it and why they need specialised training.

The Heavy Combination Automatic course covers vehicle stability load distribution limitations which is an important aspect when considering combinations vehicles that carry loads both at the front end (in or out) and up high along with loading techniques for various trailers used in heavy haulage operations such as reefer trailers, double drop gearbox trailer set (drive axle overload), tandem lever braked trailer sets.

2. Heavy Combination HC Road Ranger Course

The heavy combination course is the most popular with our students, as it covers all aspects of driving a truck in one package. The HC Road Ranger Course consists of Heavy Rigid Training and Assessment (HR), Medium Rigid Training and Assessment (MR) for R-Doubles or Triples Combination Vehicle License courses.

These are followed by an assessment to determine whether you have sufficient skills and competence to be granted the license. You will also undertake training on how to deal with vehicle emergencies such as fires and flat batteries which may occur while travelling long distances on Australian highways. 

truck driver Newcastle

3. MC Multi Combination Automatic course

This consists of three days training and assessment in order to complete your license for multi-combination vehicles. The training will teach you how to drive forward and reverse with no blind spots as well as learn about safety procedures when driving this vehicle type. There are two different scenarios that students must be able to demonstrate; firstly, manoeuvring around obstacles such as cars, mailboxes etc., then reversing out from parking spaces or into them if required.

4. HR Heavy Rigid Training and Assessment

A heavy rigid license is a class of driver authorisation required to operate certain vehicles in the NSW Heavy Vehicle National Law. It requires drivers to undertake additional training and assessment before receiving their full HC License.

HR Rigid Training Course includes all topics that are covered in an MC course plus more advanced driving skills such as night-time driving, hill starts, four-wheel drive operation and working on unsealed roads. Trainees will also get experience with different types of vehicles including trucks, tractors and trailers up to 50 tonnes GVM or 105 metres long (whichever comes first).

Training courses last for approximately three weeks with each day running from 0730 - 1630 hours (excluding public holidays).

5. MR Medium Rigid Training and Assessment

MR Medium Rigid Training and Assessment is a course that allows you to learn how to drive the more common medium rigid trucks. This includes vehicles such as refrigerated trailers, semi-trailers, tipper trailers and tanker/liquid tanks. The training takes place over two days with one day at Chris Shilling Transport in Newcastle and then another day on site for assessments where students can put their skills into practise under supervision of our trainers.

truck training courses Newcastle

This course consists of: A comprehensive theory component which will include driving techniques, load restraint systems plus loads from different industries.

What qualifications you need to become one?

You will need to have a minimum of P-plates, hold your full license for at least one year and be over the age of 18.

Mastering heavy vehicle driving skills is not as easy as it sounds. The course requires a lot more than just memorising road signs or how to manoeuvre through city streets with live traffic. When you enroll in an accredited training course, chances are that they will start by teaching you about truck operations:

  • How brakes work
  • What gears do what on various types of clutch/transmission combinations
  • Which ones require braking before changing down.

How much money can be earned as a professional truck driver?

In Australia, the average annual salary is about $60,000. This amount could be higher or lower depending on experience and qualifications. Some truck drivers might earn up to $80,000-$100,000 annually.

truck training courses in Newcastle

The heavy vehicle driving training courses offered at Chris Shilling Transport Training in Newcastle are designed for any person irrespective of gender/ethnicity with a genuine interest in entering the transport industry as a driver. Our comprehensive course will prepare you for all facets of operating trucks from how to drive them safely through traffic management skills that encompass accurately reading maps and using GPS units effectively right through to understanding loading requirements so there's no need to worry about your safety!

We understand just how much money can be earned as a professional truck driver, so we strive to provide you with the best possible truck training.

One of our trainers will be able to guide you through all aspects of completing your application for a heavy vehicle license or any other category that suits your needs. Get in touch with us today!

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