Larger vehicles are classified differently by the Department of Transport. A heavy rigid vehicle is regarded as a vehicle that has three or more axles and has a mass that’s greater than eight tonnes. You may have seen heavy rigid vehicles on the motorways. They are mainly used in the shipping and hauling industry with trucks moving from one part of the country to another. Driving a heavy rigid vehicle is not the same compared to a standard motor car. Modern passenger cars use one axle for rotating the wheels. When you turn the steering wheel, only the front wheels turn. The rear wheels automatically follow.
However, for larger vehicles, the driver must be careful when turning the wheel. If the driver turns the wheels too sharply, the whole vehicle may turn over. Due to the size of the vehicle itself, an accident can cause serious damage to other vehicles on the road. Therefore, the state requires drivers to apply for a special heavy rigid vehicle licence. The licence shows that the driver has undergone extensive training and has passed the tests required to become qualified to drive a larger vehicle.
Heavy rigid licence training is offered by plenty of institutes across Australia. Before you can learn to drive a vehicle that falls in the heavy rigid class, you will need a C class licence and experience in the LR and MR classes. The training must also be supervised by someone who has a licence in the HR class and who must have at least 4 years’ experience in driving an HR class vehicle. You don’t really need a learner’s permit, though you should be accompanied by the supervisor at all times during the training.
The Training Process
Before you can apply for the licence, you must complete your training. You will first need to pass an eye test before applying. The training is divided into two phases: theory and practical. During the theory phase, you will learn about the different rules and regulations regarding driving a heavy rigid vehicle. You will learn about the different parts of a heavy rigid vehicle and will also learn how to check different components of the vehicle.
Defensive driving is essential for heavy rigid vehicle drivers. You must have complete knowledge of your surroundings at all times. The training process includes a complete review of the system of vehicle control and securing the load. Reversing a heavy rigid vehicle is very difficult and you will have to polish your skills before applying for the licence.
There’s an extensive testing process involved before you will be awarded the licence. If you have completed the training, your chances of getting the licence are all but secure. The test is divided into three components. It begins with an on-road driving test and then proceeds to load securing and testing driving skills off the road. Finally, there’s a theory section that you must clear before you get your licence. The training company will guide you through the application process.