Safe Work Australia have finally released the new assessment instruemnts for High Risk Work Licence assessments under the national licensing scheme introduced in 2009. WorkCover are currently reviewing them with an expected introduction date for NSW of 1st January 2013.
There are some minor changes from the draft instruments circulated 3 years ago but there will be an increase in activities in assessments. This increase reflects the additional training we are now conducting so assessments will take longer to conduct. This will reflect the training currently being given.
There are a few simple steps to upgrade from a car licence to a truck licence in NSW.
Step 1. Decide which class of truck licence you require: Light Rigid (LR) between 4.5 and 8 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM); Medium Rigid (MR) over 8 tonnes with 2 axles; Heavy Rigid (HR) over 8 tonne with more than 2 axles; Heavy Combination (HC) prime movers or rigid trucks towing a trailer with GVM greater than 9 tonnes; or multi combination for B-Doubles and road trains.
Step 2. Get a copy of the Heavy Vehicle Drivers Handbook from your local Motor Registry or RTA outlet. You will need to study this handbook before taking your knowledge assessment at the RTA. You can also take practice tests on the RTA website or download an application for your smart phone at http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/licensing/tests/index.html
Step 3. Knowledge and eyesight assessments. Your RTA outlet or Motor Registry will conduct the 45 question knowledge assessment and an eyesight assessment. A fee is charged each time you attempt the knowledge test so make sure you don’t skip step 2!
Step 4. Practical Instruction. If you have access to a suitable truck and a licensed driver to supervise you can then go on to practical instruction. If you don’t have access to a truck you can book with us for your practical instruction.
Step 5. On Road Testing. Heavy Vehicle Testing can be conducted under the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA) scheme. This means that we are able to assist with your practical training and licence assessment. If you wish to use the HVCBA you will need to obtain a learner log book from the RTA. This allows our instructor to work with you to build your competency in each of the tasks to be assessed and safe operation of the heavy vehicle under a variety of driving conditions. When you are ready, your intructor will conduct the Competency Based Assessment.
So there you have it, 5 easy steps. Of course there are some age and licensing requirements to be met for the differrent classes and the RTA can provide advice regarding those.
How long does it take? Once you have successfully completed the knowledge test you may be surprised at how quickly you can upgrade your licence – of course experienced drivers of manual cars generally find it easier to build their skills. You can gain your upgraded heavy vehicle drivers licence with an automatic gearbox but as these are relatively rare in trucks we don’t recommend it. Find out more about our driver training courses.
There’s an article in the Brisbane Times about a woman who spent an 1 1/2 hours in a tree on the Sunshine Coast after being caught in a flood. The department of community services said a couple of things that I think are pretty important . . .
“It is easy for people to be caught out, even on familiar roads,”
“If you think local knowledge will get you through, think again.
An important aspect of driver training is knowing where and when to drive. Find out some more about our driver training courses and how they can help..