Unlike driving a car, where you are simply required to take 2 tests to prove you can drive safely, the process for passing your Driver CPC to become a HGV driver is a little more complicated. Those 2 tests are split down into 4, each of which taking time, money and preparation to pass. When it comes to the theory element, the preparation that will help you most is learning the materials and getting some practice time in behind the wheel with an instructor – after all, experience is the greatest teacher. But to prepare for the practical part of your Driver CPC test, there are a few things you can do to make sure you have the best chance of passing.
Pay Attention To The Traffic
One of the biggest mistakes new HGV drivers make when they are nervous is forgetting to look far enough ahead. As car drivers we are used to looking maybe 2 cars ahead to predict the traffic, but as a HGV driver you need to be more aware. Keep an eye on the traffic at least 5 cards ahead of you at all times, and use this as your gauge for when to slow down, speed up etc. HGV’s are heavy vehicles and take a lot longer than cars to stop, so you can’t rely on the brake lights just in front of you as an indicator – you will just cause an accident.
Take Your License
When you rock up to take your practical Driver CPC tests, make sure you have both parts of your license with you. I know that the paper part of the license isn’t necessarily needed since the government went single card, but if you still have it it’s worth taking. If you don’t have your license with you on the day you simply won’t be able to get in the vehicle and do the test. Instead, you will have to reschedule you test, which can take quite a long time to come through. Oh, and you still have to pay for the test you didn’t do as well!
Do A Warm Up Drive
While not something you ‘must’ do, we heavily recommend you take a 40-minute test drive before your Driver CPC practical. It’s the same idea regular driving instructors use – it helps you work off the nervous energy and get the silly mistakes out of your system before the real thing. It also gets you into the right mind set for the test, making you more aware and relaxed. We wouldn’t recommend longer than 40 minutes though, because your concentration might start to waver as you get tired at the end of the test, and you don’t want that!
There is nothing worse than trying to drive when you feel uncomfortable, so make sure you are wearing the right clothes. It isn’t a job interview – you aren’t expected to come in a suit and tie – so instead just make sure you’re comfortable. Whether that’s in chinos and a linen shirt or jeans and workboats – if you are comfortable in it, wear it. It will stop you fidgeting and getting distracted during the test.
Whenever we make a mistake, it tends to find a way or circling around in our heads and causing us to make even more mistakes. If you make a mistake during your test, don’t dwell on it. Just move on and focus on doing the right things going forward. You can still pass your Driver CPC practical test with 15 minor faults, so don’t let one silly mistake ruin the test for you. Instead just accept that you made the error and move on. Letting it unnerve you will only affect your performance for the rest of the test.
For more tips on handling your Driver CPC test, or to book onto your own training course to prepare, get in touch with our team today.