A large goods vehicle is sometimes abbreviated as a LGV, and it may also be referred to as a heavy goods vehicle (HGV). This term is used to describe trucks in the European Union that are able to handle cargo weights of 3,500 kilograms. There are also subcategories for these types of vehicles.
For example, the subcategory N2 is utilized in order to define vehicles that may handle cargo weights between 3,500 kilograms and 12,000 kilograms. The subcategory N3 is utilized in order to describe every goods vehicle that can handle over 12,000 kilograms. Stipulations for vehicle weights and subcategories are found in the European Union’s Directive 2001/116/EC.
Medium goods vehicles typically handle cargo weights between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes; however, based on European Union guidelines, these trucks are also considered to be large goods vehicles. Commercial carrier vehicles that are able to handle under 3,600 kg are called light commercial vehicles, and they are categorized as N1.
Licensure Rules for Large Goods Vehicle Drivers
Four different types of licenses exist for drivers of large goods vehicles in the European Union. Anyone who wishes to drive one of these trucks or vans must obtain valid licensure in order to adhere to the law.
The first category is C1. This category permits the license holder to drive a large goods vehicle that carries up to 7.500 kilograms in cargo weight. Trailers may be attached to these vehicles. If they are, they may carry a total weight of 750 kilograms (trailer and trailer cargo only). This type of license may be obtained by anyone aged 18 or older, who passes the test. This sort of license used to be called an HGV Class 3 license. The new license has slightly different stipulations, but it is essentially the same.
The second category is C1+E. This type of license permits the driver to pilot a large goods vehicle that is able to carry up to 7.500 kilograms, with a trailer of over 750 kg. The total authorized mass of the trailer should not exceed the unladen total mass of the vehicle being driven. Both vehicle and trailer should not weigh more than 12,000 kg.
Category C is the third type of European Union large goods vehicle license. This type of license permits the license holder to drive a large goods vehicle with a total mass of 750 kilograms. Also known as the new HGV Class 2 license, this updated license has slightly different stipulations.
Category C+E permits the holder to drive a large goods vehicle (with trailer) that has a total authorized mass of over 750 kg. This license may only be obtained after six months of experience driving a Class 2 truck. It’s possible to take tests back to back, in order to facilitate getting the Category C+E license.
Large Goods Vehicles Are Prone to Serious Accidents
Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) are commonly described as goods vehicles that may carry more than 3.5 tonnes of maximum permissible gross vehicle weight. Road traffic accidents involving these heavy vehicles are usually more severe than other accidents, due to the large size and mass of these trucks. Buses or coaches may be considered large goods vehicles in certain cases, along with some minibuses.
What Do Large Goods Vehicle Drivers Do?
A large goods vehicle driver will typically transport and deliver goods between suppliers and customers. These drivers will work from depots, distribution centres and warehouses. They carry cargo all over the European Union. Of course, the EU isn’t the only region with large goods vehicles. However, other countries, such as Canada and the United States, will have their own categories for these trucks, and their own licensure guidelines and requirements.
While working as a large goods vehicle driver, you will be able to drive commercial vehicles that include rigid trucks, articulated lorries, tankers, transporters and trailer wagons. Duties for drivers include planning deliveries according to specific timelines, deciding on routes, ensuring the safety and security of cargo and completing all paperwork.
Drivers may also need to become adept at filling out customs forms. Because these types of large goods vehicles often need to cross national borders in order to deliver their medium or heavyweight cargo, they must transport legal cargo, and all paperwork for customs must be completed accurately. Large goods vehicles may be checked by customer personnel to ensure that they carry no contraband.