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The fact that the haulage industry is in the midst of a dire driver shortage is not a matter of dispute. A combination of retirements and insufficient lorry licence trainees has created a situation that is almost at the point being critical. Company executives and government officials alike are asking why, but one wonders if everyone involved really wants to know the answers.

The British Aggregates Association (BAA) claims that increased regulation is a significant contributing factor. Their recent remarks regarding regulations and the driver shortage are in direct response to a number of fatal accidents involving construction related HGVs. According to the BAA, increased regulation is unintentionally driving current HGV licence holders out of the industry. If they are correct, could it also be preventing younger individuals from becoming professional drivers?

Among the regulations cited by the BAA are the working time requirements that were first applied to the haulage industry in 2005. Owner-drivers found that the 48-hour workweek restriction inhibited their ability to make a decent living, causing many of them to sell their rigs and look for a new line of work. The situation was bad enough on its own, but it was made that much worse by the fact that the majority of owner-drivers are older individuals with extensive experience.

Another problem cited by the BAA is the CPC driver requirement that finally went into effect last year. Survey after survey revealed older drivers were willing to retire or establish new careers rather than comply with the law. CPC regulations now require all HGV drivers to undergo 35 hours of training every five years in order to retain their licences. Drivers often have to pay the expense themselves at a cost of hundreds of pounds.

Younger, Inexperienced Drivers

The BAA says the cumulative effect of increasing regulation has been one of haulage companies having to rely more on younger drivers in the absence of their older counterparts. In the past, older and more mature drivers were given the most challenging jobs while younger, newer drivers were allowed to slowly work their way into the system. That luxury is no longer available for many companies. They are forced to use younger drivers on jobs that require a lot more experience than these individuals possess.

Despite all of this, the HGV Training Centre wants to assure you that HGV driving is a very rewarding career offering good pay and long-term stability. Despite some recent high-profile accidents, the average lorry driver will go his/her entire career without a serious incident. We hope you will not be deterred from undergoing training based on what you have read here.

The HGV Training Centre offers lorry licence training to drivers who already possess a valid car licence and the ability to pass a routine medical exam. Our comprehensive training will prepare you to pass your tests on the way to becoming a successful and productive commercial driver. Call us if you would like more information.


  1. The Construction Index – https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/hgv-crashes-blamed-on-ill-considered-reforms


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