A truck licence is a handy thing to have, especially with the changes happening all around us. Getting a heavy vehicle licence provides the opportunity for employment in the industry, as well as uniquely qualifying you for daily life! Want to rent a truck to move? Easy, you can drive it yourself. Always wanted a caravan trip with the family? Now you can be confident in your skills. But there are so many types of heavy vehicle licencing and it can get confusing, between organising the test and understanding industry jargon. So here’s a breakdown to help you decide which qualification works best for you.
Medium rigid (MR)
The medium rigid (or, MR licence), will give you control of a typical two-axel truck or bus, no trailer attached. Purple Truck Driving School trains drivers for both synchromesh and automatic teaching. Synchromesh is an option with all trucks, and it defines the truck as a manually operated transmission vehicle. Some people say the synchromesh gearbox is easier to change gears with. The only prerequisite to train in the MR is having had your Green P car licence for at least a year. This is the licence level you’d want for moving house, or going on a cross-country caravan trip.
Heavy rigid (HR)
A heavy rigid licence (HR) works with three or more axels, and certifies you for rigid truck or bus driving. The HR truck qualifications are Unrestricted (road ranger) and Restricted, which covers synchromesh or automatic. To test for this licence, you must be on your second year of Green P or more.
The heavy combination (HC) is where things get bigger and better. This will qualify you to drive a truck (usually three-axel) with a trailer, as well as a prime mover or a semi-trailer. The condition to the trailers is that they are not above 9 tonnes. The HC has the same licence qualification options as the MR and the HR: Unrestricted or Restricted. To operate one of these, you must have had an MR or HR licence for at least a year.
Last but not least is the multi-combination licence (MC). These vehicles are defined by the fact that they tow more than one trailer, each of which weighs more than 9 tonnes. They can also be called B-Doubles or Road Trains. Purple Truck can help get your MC licence as Unrestricted, automatic, or synchromesh, and require any applicant for this certification to provide the B-Double. This licence has more prerequisites than the previous ones. Before you can get in the MC, you must have had an HR licence for a year, have a current HC licence, and have sufficient knowledge of the MC vehicle. No one on their Green P level licence can get an MC qualification.
And those are the core four truck licences! There is more in-depth information at the Purple Truck homepage, or you can give us a call and we can elaborate on our training processes.
Hope to see you on the road!