Learning to drive safely and to handle emergency situations on the road are crucial skills any driver should strive to acquire, but which are even more important when driving heavier vehicles.
Light rigid vehicles
Light rigid vehicles, such as buses and trucks, weigh between 4.5 and 8 tons, and driving them requires holding a light rigid, or LR licence. These can be passenger vehicles, carrying a maximum of 12 people, or they can transport goods, and in this case, the truck can carry a trailer that does not outweigh 9 tons.
You will need to attend a driving school, where a qualified and experienced instructor can help you get your LR licence. Whether you need to take these classes for personal reasons or to get a job, you can upgrade your licence or simply learn to drive minibuses, school buses, and small trucks, with a typical student to teacher ratio of 1 trainee per instructor. Light rigid truck licence classes can be test only, or can include theoretical lessons in the classroom, as well as practical training on the road, depending on whether you need to learn to drive or to upgrade. Tests can last up to 1.5 hours on the road, plus a theoretical examination that can be taken before or after the practical test. If you want to learn more regarding LR licence continue reading here for details.
Tests and lessons can be carried out either on one of the school’s vehicles, or on your own. Enquire with the driving school whether they charge lower fees when the student drives their own light rigid vehicle, as costs can go down significantly in such a case. Note that your vehicle will need to be part of the light rigid category, be insured, registered and in good condition if you are to be able to learn or be tested on it. Furthermore, both your light rigid vehicle and your trailer must be fitted with a front and a rear registration plate.
When it comes to upgrading your licence, note that each country and state have their own age and other requirements, but usually, you will be asked to show your driver’s licence and other documents that confirm your identity. You will also need to have held a driver’s licence for a set time prior to upgrading; this can be 12 months or more. As with all categories of heavy vehicles, you will have to write down a statement confirming that you are fit to drive this type of vehicle according to the state’s fatigue regulations.
To make sure you will not waste your time and money, research carefully all of the requirements before actually paying the test or training fees.