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HGV Classes Explained

HGV Classes Explained

HGV classes are the different types of licenses needed to drive a heavy goods vehicle. There are a number of different classes of licence dependent on the type of vehicle you are wishing to drive. HGV’s and LGV’s are classified into different categories dependent on a number of elements, including height, weight and usage, each relating to a class licence. It is essential that if you are driving a HGV or LGV that you have the correct licence required to drive it. Below is a guide on the different types of HGV classes. 

Class 1 

Also known as category C + E, a class 1 licence allows you to drive a vehicle that is 7.5 tonnes or more and has a trailer that detaches. These type of vehicles are generally larger in size and often used for long haul routes. 

Class 2 / Cat C

Class 2 or category C licences, are required for vehicles which are over 7.5 tonnes that have a rigid body base and if the cab does not separate from the trailer, such as fire engines or refuse collection vehicles. These types of trailers are usually used around towns and cities rather than long haul. 

Cat C1

A cat C1 licence is required if your vehicle is over 3.5 tonnes but below 7.5 tonnes. You will automatically gain this type of licence if you passed your driving licence before 1997.  Anyone who passed after this time will need to undergo another test. 

Cat C1 + E

A Cat C1 + E licence is needed is similar to the Cat C1 but allows you to also tow a trailer behind the vehicle too. 

Cat B + E

Cat B + E is a licence that allows you to tow an item behind a regular car. If you passed your driving test before 1997 will automatically gain this licence. If you passed after 1997, you will need to undergo another test to gain this. 

Cat D

The Cat D licence allows you to drive a bus, coach or a vehicle of any size designed to carry passengers. 

Cat D1

The Cat D1 licence enables you to drive a minibus with up to 16 seats. Again, if you passed your driving test before 1997 you are already qualified for this licence. 

There are also other qualifications you can gain additional to your class licence. This includes the following. 

Lorry Loader / Hiab 

Lorry loader or Hiab training allows you to operate a lorry loader. This is a piece of machinery that utilises hydraulic attachments that deposit items onto the long bed at the rear of the trailer. This type of training enables you to properly operate attachments such as lorry loaders and truck mounted cranes. 


A forklift qualification allows you to learn how to operate a counterbalance forklift and a reach forklift. This will enable you to load and unload goods onto trailers and trucks efficiently. 


ADR or Accord Dangeroux Routier is a qualification for those transporting dangerous goods, This is usually required for those driving fuel tankers or drivers carrying flammable liquids or corrosives. It teaches drivers the hazards that come with transporting dangerous goods.

Transport Manager CPC

The transport manager CPC training course is a qualification that allows drivers to gain knowledge and skills on running a transport operation and teaches drivers how to become effective managers. 

Plant Machinery

There is also training available for those needing to operate plant machinery. This includes a number of equipment types, including, excavators, diggers, dumpers, tractor loaders and bulldozers. 

It’s important that you have gained the right qualification and licence to enable you to drive your HGV or LGV. Make sure you also purchase the correct parts and spares for your vehicle too, to ensure safe and secure haulage and cargo transportation. For more info on choosing the right trailer parts, including ratchet straps, commercial body fittings and tail lift parts, simply get in touch and one of our team members will he happy to help.

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