You can expand your employment opportunities if you can obtain a licence to drive a heavy rigid vehicle. Courses that are conducted for a day are offered at driving schools. Students come away from the training with a heavy rigid endorsement. Before you embark on the course, though, you need to get a Unique Student Identifier (USI) number, which can be easily obtained online.
What the Course Covers for Heavy Rigid Vehicles
Once you receive your USI number, you can present it for enrolment in heavy rigid vehicle training. A course of this type covers the following subjects:
- Road regulations and laws
- The system of vehicle control
- On-road driving
- Safe and affordable operation of the vehicle
- Load securing including the use of straps, ropes, or chains
- Reversing skills
- Instruction in defensive driving practices
- Possessing the right attitude whilst driving
This is a one-on-one type of training as one student is partnered with one instructor. On completion of the training for a heavy rigid licence in Melbourne, students must sit for their licence tests. This test features three sections. These sections include an on-road driving test, an off-road load securing and reversing skills test, and theoretical testing. The theory test is derived from the information found in the Victorian Bus and Truck handbook.
Receiving a Certificate of Competence
After the course and testing are complete, students receive a certificate of competence. The certificate is presented to a Roads Office in Victoria for licence endorsements. This type of course is also approved and accredited.
When you take the course, it is a good idea to keep the handbook that is provided as it can serve as a reference when you drive a heavy rigid vehicle. All the information that is contained in the book is needed for successfully acquiring a licence. The practical assessment of the testing will evaluate your skills in steering, managing the brakes and gear, and creating and maintaining a crash avoidance space.
Pre-Checking Your Vehicle: Learning the Process
You will also learn how to pre-check your vehicle and load and secure items for hauling. Some conditions that may impact your eligibility for obtaining a license may include vision loss in one eye, defects in hearing, angina or heart disease, epilepsy, diabetes, or certain physical disabilities.
If you are concerned about your eligibility medically, you should speak to your physician about your concerns before taking a driving course. Also, remember that just because you hold a vehicle licence in Australia, it does not mean you can automatically drive a passenger vehicle. People are only issued certificates if they already possess good driving records and do not have certain criminal convictions. These convictions may include drug, alcohol, or sex offences. Any enquiries along these lines should be directed to the Victorian Taxi Directorate.
In addition, if you plan to transport dangerous goods, you should be registered with the WorkCover Authority. You also need a permit issued by the same Authority. Carry this permit at all times when you are driving a vehicle that contains dangerous goods.