7 Things To Know When Choosing a LGV School
The 7 Things You NEED To Know When Choosing Your LGV Training Provider
1 – Beware The Broker!
Many of the training companies you will find on Google are not training companies at all, they are brokers. They will portray themselves as training companies but actually have no vehicles, no instructors and no training experience. What they will do is low ball a price then try to find a company willing to do the training for that reduced price (whilst still taking their cut off the top). You can imagine the quality of training you will get if you are the unlucky victim of this system. Ask yourself why the training company would be willing to work for a fraction of the price of other companies. Hint: It’s not because they are so busy with referrals from happy customers that they can’t keep up with demand!
2 – 2 to 1 Training.
Not many LGV training companies train with just one student to one instructor – many will pair up their students and train 2 to 1. One to one training is essential to really understand the way you learn and avoid diluting your time by pairing you up with someone you’ve never met before. Companies can sometime be less than transparent about doing their training 2 to 1 so be sure to check.
3 – Who’s Training You?
It’s a little known fact that anyone can train people to drive a lorry, providing they have held a licence for the specified time. You need no instructional ability, just buy a truck, stick some L-plates on it and you’re an LGV Driver Trainer! Look for companies whose trainers have a NRI (National Register of Instructors) or ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) qualifications.
To be entered on to the NRI trainers have to take a theory test, a classroom presentation assessment, a driving test and a test of their instructional ability.
To become an ADI is a tough process which requires high standards to pass. ADI’s are also government tested regularly to ensure they maintain their standards, a Government Enforcement Officer will regularly assess the instructors ability and could strip their qualification from them if they are sub-standard.
4 – Automatic Trucks.
If you’ve never driven a lorry before you may be surprised to learn that lorry gearboxes are completely different to the ones found in your car. Trying to use an 8 speed gearbox, a four over four or range changer can be mind boggling for someone who’s new to lorry driving! These days most companies use automatic trucks, these are are so much easier to drive than their manual counterparts, meaning that you can keep the course length shorter and the costs down – and you don’t have to worry about learning to use a complicated gearbox for your test. You’ll still get a full manual entitlement even if you train in an automatic truck, so why make it harder for yourself?
5 – Size of Training Vehicle.
The size of the vehicle that you take your test in does not define the licence category needed to drive it, it’s the weight of the vehicle that is important. So why take your test in a larger vehicle than necessary? You didn’t learn to drive in a stretched limo, so why do some training companies use large lorries when smaller ones are easier to drive and perfectly acceptable on test? If you mount a kerb on your LGV test you will fail. Using a smaller vehicle means less chance of kerb strikes and more chance of passing.
6 – Check Locations.
When choosing a LGV training company, location plays a big part right? It’s wise to check which test centre a company uses and how much time will be spent in that area. We have heard stories of candidates attending a 4 or 5 day course and only actually visiting the test centre area for an hour on the last day. Now, it is true that when you are qualified you will often be driving on roads that are unfamiliar. But part of what you’re paying your training company to do is to show you around the test centre area and give you guidance on any tricky situations or junctions that you may encounter on your test, so you know how to deal with them correctly. Spending the majority of your driving course in a different area to where you will be taking your test is a recipe to fail.
7 – More than just driver training!
Most LGV training companies won’t really be interested in talking to you until you have completed your medical, got your provisional and done your theory test. There are some companies that will also help with arranging your medical, arranging theory test revision material and helping to book the test, and will support you with the DVLA licence application paperwork as well as provide all your driving tests, CPC and practical training.
You can do these steps independently if you prefer and just use a training school for the practical driving element, but having a one stop, all inclusive service takes the stress out of qualifying and gives you a single point of contact, making the process quicker and easier. You shouldn’t expect to pay much more than £150 for a company to arrange these first steps for you.
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