Heavy Vehicle

Top 6 Tips for Getting Your Heavy Vehicle License

So, you’re ready to take the next step in your career and get your heavy rigid licence with TDT Australia. Congratulations! To help you get off on the right foot, here are our top five tips for getting your heavy vehicle license (also known as a driver’s license or operator’s certificate)

Start with a full license because it’s faster. If you already have a full Class 1 driver’s license, you can get a Class 2 or 3 endorsement added. The process is faster and less expensive than starting from scratch—and it means you can drive both passenger vehicles and heavy vehicles after only one test.

1.   Get to know the theory behind driving a heavy vehicle

In order to pass your Heavy Vehicle Theory Test and Practical Driving Assessment, you’ll need to know about the specifics of your vehicle and how it all works together. You can find this information in the New Zealand Road Code. The test takes about an hour and has 50 multiple-choice questions, so it pays to study up before going in. There are some great practice tests available online that will help familiarize yourself with the format of the exam.

2.   Practice makes perfect

The more practice you get behind the wheel of heavy vehicles (or whatever vehicle class you’re going for), the better prepared you’ll be when it comes time to sit your test. We recommend getting as much experience as possible so that by the time of your actual test day arrives, handling heavy vehicles will be second nature!

3.   Paperwork

Firstly, make sure you have all the correct paperwork before booking in to sit your test. This will save you time and money, and make the whole process much smoother! You may also need to take another test first depending on the vehicle class you’re looking at. For example, if you want a truck license but only have a car license, you’ll need to take the HR test before trying for any truck licenses. This is not an issue for people who already have a license for a certain vehicle class though – for example, someone with an MC license wanting to upgrade to an HC would not be required to go through any other tests beforehand.

4.   Take advantage of technology

Most trucks today come equipped with extra features like air conditioners, adjustable seats, and power steering—but they don’t help if you don’t know how to use them. Make sure you’re familiar with all these functions before your test so that they’ll be second nature when it comes time for your exam!

5.   Don’t drive all over the place

This is a common mistake among those who are just starting out, and is the most basic tip anyone can give you. If you’re driving around, there will be extra weight on your vehicle as a result of the motion, and it will become difficult to control it properly. Driving slowly in a straight line is generally best practice when you’re first learning how to handle heavy vehicles.

6.   Make sure the vehicle is loaded properly before you get started

Another easily avoidable problem is forgetting to load the vehicle correctly before you set out on your trip. A heavy vehicle has a much different center of gravity than lighter vehicles, and if it’s not balanced correctly, it can tip over or veer off-course very easily. Before you begin driving, make sure everything inside is distributed evenly throughout the vehicle so that it doesn’t get thrown off balance by sudden movements or sharp turns. (If you’re using something like a forklift to load heavy items onto your truck, keep in mind that this can also contribute to an unbalanced distribution of weight.)

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