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shortage of HGV drivers UK

(230 Posts)
JaneJudge Fri 23-Jul-21 20:35:46

how much is it to put someone through an HGV licence?

There must be loads of people out of work atm in the UK?

Are there any government initiatives/grant schemes/loans/bursaries to make this happen?

I thought Brexit meant we looked within our own country? which must mean training/infrastructure etc?

Katie59 Fri 23-Jul-21 20:50:48

Now that many migrant truck drivers have gone home, it’s not quick or easy to train new ones, expensive training and test, then drive a smaller truck for several years before you can drive a full size HGV. Then you get the privilege of living in the cab all week, getting home at weekends if you’re lucky, not too many women want to do that, can’t think why.

JaneJudge Fri 23-Jul-21 21:00:11

I thought people voted brexit in 2016? that was 4 years ago and they don't have to be men?

Deedaa Fri 23-Jul-21 21:15:33

Off the top of my head I think it's around £2,000 plus to train. In 1975 DH cashed in a couple of insurance policies to pay for his (Around £250)

The supermarkets do have schemes to train existing employees but of course you need people who want to do it and people who have and aptitude. To drive an HGV in a town is a very skilled art. It's a very big and dangerous vehicle, in an argument between a Ford Focus and a 42 tonner the Focus is not going to come out on top. The access to supermarkets is usually particularly cramped and is often complicated by customers who decide to just leave their car in the road.

Actually Katie59 Long distance can be fun. For several years in the 90s DH drove to Italy twice a week and loved it. Camping in the lorry, buying food in the local markets and finding some really nice restaurants. I used to go with him and, as long as the delivery was made on time, it was like being paid to go on holiday.

The big worry at the moment is the government's knee jerk decision to extend the driving hours. They are strictly controlled for a reason and this could well be the thin end of the wedge.

Dinahmo Fri 23-Jul-21 21:27:06

James O'Brien chatted to an hgv driver this morning who was waiting at a depot to unload. Apparently he works 6 days a week, on his own and is paid for the hours worked. Many drivers are paid by mileage and don't get paid for the time that they spend waiting around. This driver also said that it was quite stressful in that one always had to keep an eye open for those car drivers who would overtake and then slam their brakes ion as they pulled in front of him. There is also the problem of IR35 regulations to deal with.

Katie59 Fri 23-Jul-21 21:35:41

It’s a lot more complicated than 1975, the long distance international drivers do make good wages, but it takes its toll on family life, day driving and home each night the wages are not great.

Kim19 Fri 23-Jul-21 21:35:59

I thought the shortage was due to the 'pinging' problem?

Kali2 Fri 23-Jul-21 21:38:44

That is what they are trying to make you believe.
Pinging is a minor problem- Brexit and the EU HGV drivers is the main reason.

Someone in the trade said today we are short of 90.000 HGV drivers.

Callistemon Fri 23-Jul-21 21:42:49

The rates of pay are not as good as they were and it does cost a lot to train HGV drivers.

Another problem is that training and testing have been disrupted by Covid.

Katie59 Fri 23-Jul-21 21:45:41

Before Brexit most driving agencies used East European drivers, they didn’t need working visas then so they went home
The government tell us that 5 million foreigners have applied for visas, not many have been approved yet, another benefit of Brexit.

Kali2 Fri 23-Jul-21 21:55:44

The app has been in place and working for 10.5 months- exactly the same app- so that is not the problem. The rising infection rate is...

HGV drivers having left in droves, and Brexit, for this and so many other reasons. And the transition period coming over from the end of June.

Flexagon Fri 23-Jul-21 22:01:41

The pinging is much about in-store staff absence. Food is reaching stores but there are few staff on duty to off-load goods and replenish shelves.

JaneJudge Fri 23-Jul-21 22:51:04

sounds like they are all blaming one another
it's been how many years since 'we' voted to leave the EU what was happening before that? and in between lockdowns?
what government money has been made available for people to train?

JaneJudge Fri 23-Jul-21 23:03:05

How many local authorities have had to cancel refuse collections this week?

Katie59 Sat 24-Jul-21 08:28:04

Special schemes were put in place for Harvest Workers on farms and some other areas but not truck drivers. Let’s not kid ourselves if driving a truck was so desirable there would not have been so many overseas drivers in previous years, pay and conditions are not good for most.

Kali2 Sat 24-Jul-21 11:56:22

Yes, it is not just Brexit- but a disastrous combination of several factors. Brexit is a disaster in so many ways for so many people- but the unforeseen combination of Brexit + Covid - is truly catastrophic for the UK.

faringdon59 Sat 24-Jul-21 12:16:24

Having been married to a HGV driver in the past I have a bit of an insight on this subject.
Most of them sleep in their cabs, so sometimes you'll sleep well, sometimes not. Your access to health food when away can be limited as well.
If you do continental work there is added paperwork to consider and nowadays possibly people trying to hitch a ride in the back of your lorry.
It's never been viewed as a profession, which is a shame, considering it's importance.
Recently there has been a government change in allowing the number of working hours on the road to be increased.
In view of safety I feel this to be a very retrograde move.

Deedaa Sat 24-Jul-21 12:42:33

I know what you mean faringdon59 My husband got out pof European transport in 2000 when the problems with "unwanted passengers" was only just beginning. Although he did once stop and let some Serbians siphon off some diesel for their van in Germany, which was very unlike him.

I read a driver today saying that Covid isn't the problem. He said none of them have the app because with the distances they travel they would be pinged 24 hours a day.

I really hope they don't extend driving hours any further. There are still firms out there "encouraging" drivers to find ways round tachographs we don't need the government saying long hours are fine.

Nannan2 Sat 24-Jul-21 13:06:31

Thats why Deedaa that i get nervy as a passenger on that side when im in my sons car (Focus) & we're on motorway- bloody HGV drivers should stay in slow lane!(thought they were making that a law?) Good job my sons a good driver! If they didn't make younger drivers wait till 25 for everything maybe they'd have more take it up- my sons been driving since 19- he's a very good careful driver, yet he can't even hire a luton van as he's only nearly 23! Its ridiculous- it should go more on how long you have been driving, how much experience etc. My middle son has now got long vehicle licence as he's trained as a bus driver, (also big) but still not allowed to drive a drive a lorry, & he's 32! They can't get experience if they can't do the training though , and my younger son would have liked to.But they just see he's a 'young driver'- it doesn't mean he's reckless though.Some of the HGV drivers being idiots on motorways are well older!

Nannan2 Sat 24-Jul-21 13:08:10

*drive x2.typo?

Whitewavemark2 Sat 24-Jul-21 13:14:00

Just travelled the length up and down of England on motor ways, and I do wonder whether tiredness is causing so much poor driving by the lorry drivers.

A lot frequently wander dangerously between lanes and twice I was boxed in by huge lorries, each time the one alongside attempted to turn into my lane with absolutely no space and each time if I hadn’t sounded my horn I would have been crushed.

Peasblossom Sat 24-Jul-21 13:23:55

I don’t understand Nannan2. You can qualify to drive heavy vehicles from age 21 - or even 18 if you meet certain training and experience requirements.

Are you not in the UK?

JaneJudge Sat 24-Jul-21 14:27:10

No where have I suggested HGV drivers shouldn't be paid well or have good/reasonable working conditions. I am against their hours/miles being extended, like most people. I just don't understand why none of this was foreseen and why no one is accountable for it. I don't think it's favourable Eastern European driver had poor conditions either.

I drive on the M25 semi regular and I am often a bit confused at how many lanes heavy vehicles drive in too fwiw. The lanes are so narrow on some parts.

JaneJudge Sat 24-Jul-21 16:34:53

found this but I'll have to contact them to get a quote

maddyone Sat 24-Jul-21 17:02:11


Just travelled the length up and down of England on motor ways, and I do wonder whether tiredness is causing so much poor driving by the lorry drivers.

A lot frequently wander dangerously between lanes and twice I was boxed in by huge lorries, each time the one alongside attempted to turn into my lane with absolutely no space and each time if I hadn’t sounded my horn I would have been crushed.

I agree that it can be quite frightening on the motorways with the numbers of huge lorries on them.

Brexit and Covid have arrived together and caused all sorts of difficulties. We could see and anticipate Brexit, but not Covid.