How To Get A Truck License

Becoming a “truckie” is a great way to see the country, with high levels of job security, great salary, and flexible working hours – plus, you’ll be contributing to crucial supply chains across Australia. 

By obtaining a truck license, you will be able to take on roles that you may not have ever considered before, such as driving freight, working in construction, or working delivery jobs. In fact, road transport jobs are among the most in-demand jobs in Australia.

Here’s how to get a truck license, as well as many questions regarding truck licenses answered.

  • How much does it cost to get a truck license?

The cost of obtaining your truck license will depend on a few factors, such as the size of vehicle you intend to be driving. 

The highest class of truck license you can obtain is a Heavy Rigid (HR) license. An HR truck license acquired through Major Training will qualify you to drive medium rigid or light rigid vehicle classes. However, if you wish to drive a bus or a multi-axle truck greater than 8 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), or have the option to tow an additional trailer up to 9 tonnes, you will be required to choose from the following gear box options:

  • Road Ranger (open class) – standard on US and large Japanese-made trucks
  • Synchromesh (Condition B) – standard on most European heavy trucks
  • Automatic (Condition B) – often seen in mine site equipment, some buses and refuse trucks.

The cost of a HR license is approximately $125 per hour (duration depends on your competency level and your individual circumstances), or $1,145 for an 8-hour course.

  • How to get a truck license

You can get a truck license either by upgrading your current driver’s license, or by training within a licensed training group. You will be required to take both practical tests and written tests. If you are after a Heavy Rigid license specifically, you must have held your driver’s licence for 2 years and successfully completed HR licence training.

  • Can I drive a truck with a car license?

On a regular driver’s license, you may drive a vehicle that does not exceed 4.5 tonnes of GVM. It may hold up to 12 adults, including the driver. This is known as a light truck. Keep in mind that the 4.5 tonne cap also applies to the truck plus its load, and not the truck itself.

  • Do you need a license to drive a dumper truck?

In order to drive a dumper truck, you will need to complete Conduct Rigid Haul Truck Operations (RIIMPO338E), a nationally recognised qualification that qualifies you to safely operate a dump truck and haul truck. Other qualifications that permit you to drive a dump truck include the Conduct Articulated Haul Truck Operations (RIIMPO337E) and Conduct Belly Dump Truck Operations (RIIMPO336E). 

  • Can I get a truck license on P plates?

P platers can drive light trucks (that do not exceed 4.5 tonnes), which is a great start. After all, starting small can prepare you for driving much larger vehicles and obtain a more advanced level of truck driver’s license. If you are a P plater and wish to drive heavy vehicles however, you must hold a car (Open or P class) or higher drivers licence class for at least 24 months to be eligible for a Heavy Rigid truck driver’s license.

  • Do you need a licence for electric pallet truck?

If you have been looking for warehouse work or similar, you may notice that the job requires you to be able to drive a pallet truck. You do not need a specialised license to do so – in fact, you do not even need a driver’s license. Employers should be responsible for the safe use pallet trucks and training to do so.

  • Can I claim a truck license on tax?

Some fees can be claimed on tax if you are a truck driver. For instance, if you work a job that requires both a regular driver’s license and a heavy vehicle permit, you cannot claim tax on any cost related to your driver’s license (such as renewal fees). You can however claim the cost of the heavy vehicle permit, as this is an additional cost to work as a truck driver.

  • What is a HC truck license?

A Heavy Combination (HC) class vehicle is a truck, mobile crane, or heavy-duty truck that weighs more than 8 tonnes GVM, that can tow a trailer of over 9 tonnes GVM.  If you have a HC license, you can drive trucks with a single trailer, semi-trailers, floats, low loaders and more.

If you are interested in getting behind the wheel of a big rig, you can undertake numerous truck driving and license courses with Major Training across major spots in Queensland, including Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Cairns. Industry funding is available – contact us with any queries you may have.

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