Thursday, 30 August 2012

Training and Qualifications to Become a Dangerous Goods Driver

A lot of truck driving jobs consist of transportation of hazardous or dangerous materials. These materials could include hazardous wastes, peroxides, gasoline, asbestos, propane, radioactive materials, and much more. This job is actually one that many strive to get into. To become a dangerous goods driver there are certain qualifications you will need to have, which you can attain through training. The easiest way for you to achieve these qualifications is to enroll into a driving school where they can train and assist you to get the license and certifications you need.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods
ADR is used to describe the European agreement that administers the transportation of dangerous goods internationally through different countries in the union. For a truck driver to be permitted to do this, they would have to obtain a certification, particularly the Driver Training Certificate that is handed out by the DVLA. This certification is earned after successfully finishing a course, along with the examinations accredited by the SQA or the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

ADR Training
Going through ADR training will help you to understand the danger that comes with carrying hazardous materials. At the same time, this training will help you comprehend the scope of your duties as a dangerous goods driver. Training will also teach you how to act in the event of an emergency while carrying dangerous goods. Any company, who plans to get involved in the transportation of dangerous goods, is required by law to assign a DGSA or Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser.

Duties of a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser
A DGSA is responsible for monitoring the fulfilment of the rules related to dangerous goods transport. They have to provide advice to the company they work for, and also prepare annual reports for the company’s activities regarding transportation of dangerous goods. Not just any dangerous goods driver can become a DGSA. To obtain this position, you will have to pass an exam that is provided by the SQA.

Qualifications for becoming a Dangerous Goods Driver
To become a dangerous goods driver, you will have to obtain a Driver Training Certificate. However, to become a DGSA, the Driver CPC or Driver Certificate of Professional Competence must be earned as well. This is a qualification that is required for an individual who has intentions of driving vehicles that go over 3.5 tonnes. Ultimately, the goal of going through training and obtaining these qualifications is to land a job, and aid in improving road safety for all drivers. This is because it will make drivers more qualified, thus ensuring safer journeys. Drivers who will be handling medium or large vehicles carrying goods are legally required to hold a Freight CPC.

All this information on training and qualifications to become a dangerous goods driver may be overwhelming for you. You can make the process easier for yourself by enrolling in a truck driving school. There, they will teach you everything you need to know about the job, and also assist you with obtaining all the qualifications you need. If you don’t want to miss anything, or if you have no idea where to begin your career as a driver, this is the best option to go.

Horseboxes and Trailers: UK Driving License Rules

So many people are confused regarding the UK driving license rules for horseboxes and trailers. This is quite understandable, because the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) rules on this matter are a bit complicated. Essentially, the rules are based upon the time that you passed your driving test. In most cases, those who passed their test before 1996 have it easier.

Individuals who passed the Driving test before January 1, 1997
If you passed the driving test before January 1, 1997 then by now, you should have a license with a category B+E. This indicates that there is no need for you to take extra tests to be permitted to tow a horsebox or trailer, so long as what you are towing does not go over 8.25 tonnes.

Individuals who passed the driving test on or after January 1, 1997
If you passed the driving test after January 1, 1997, then the rules are different for you. Your driving license will be under the category B+B1. This means, you are only permitted to drive cars or vehicles with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes, and tow horseboxes and trailers with a maximum weight of 750 kg. If you want to tow something that exceeds this weight limit, then you are required by the DVLA to take an extra test, so that category B+E can be added to your driving license.

How to Determine if you are Required to take the Additional Car and Trailer Test
In order to determine if you would need to take the extra test, you have to check the information below. This information can be obtained through the guidebook or manufacturer of your vehicle or trailer.

  •             The towing vehicle’s unladen weight
  •             The towing vehicle’s Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM)
  •             The trailer’s MAM

What you will be Tested for in the Additional Car and Trailer Test
If you find that you do need to take the extra test, you will be asked to complete a number of requirements. The test is derived from the lorry-driving test, and it lasts about an hour. It normally includes questions on vehicle safety, reverse off road manoeuvre, controlled stop, driving on road, and coupling, or un-coupling of the trailer. The test for the category B+E driving license will also have ten minutes of independent driving. This is meant to display your capacity to drive safely, while making decisions on your own.

Where can you take the test?
To take the test, you will need to go to a lorry driving test centre or a vocational bus test centre, as this test is not offered in any ordinary centres. As of 2011, the cost of the test is £115 if taken on a weekday, and £141 if taken on a weekend or at night.

At first, the UK driving license rules for trailers and horseboxes may seem a bit tricky. However, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. You just need to review your basics and keep calm on the practical test.