Being an HGV driver entails experiencing a dynamic and unpredictable work environment. Each day is unique, involving the transportation of different goods such as clothing or building materials. If you work as a freelance driver or under a driver agency, your job opportunities will be even more diverse as you cater to the needs of various clients. Acquiring additional qualifications expands the range of available job prospects. While often overlooked, transporting hazardous materials can be a lucrative career path for HGV drivers who possess the necessary licences.
The ADR license
Transporting hazardous materials by road is subject to strict regulations in order to ensure the safety of all road users. Therefore, if you are operating a vehicle that carries dangerous goods, it is necessary to possess an ADR licence. ADR stands for the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of dangerous goods by road, and it applies to any vehicle regardless of its size when transporting hazardous materials. While previously limited to vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes before 2007, the requirement now extends to all vehicles, including tankers and small commercial vans like Ford Transit. Obtaining an ADR licence grants validity for a period of 5 years, and renewal can be achieved by completing a refresher course.
Types of Hazardous Materials: An Informative Overview
- Explosive materials, known as Class 1 substances, encompass any substances that pose a risk of explosion, including those that could propel fragments or firebrands, as well as substances that present a fire hazard.
- Gases falling under Class 2 encompass various types, such as flammable gases, toxic gases, as well as gases that are neither flammable non toxic, like helium.
- Flammable Liquids, classified as Class 3, encompass liquids or liquid combinations that emit flammable vapours at particular temperatures and possess a flashpoint of no greater than 60.5 degrees Celsius.
- Flammable Solids (Class 4) encompass a variety of substances, Including highly flammable solids, solids prone to spontaneous combustion, and materials that emit flammable gases when they come in contact with water.
- Substances that have the ability to oxidise and organic pesticides, which are categorised as Class 5, encompassing agents that chemically react with oxygen and organic compounds used for pest control.
- Toxic and Infectious Substances, classified as Class 6, encompass a range of hazardous materials such as cyanide, arsenic, vaccines, and pathology specimens.
- Radioactive Materials (Class 7) encompass substances with a specific activity exceeding 70 kilo becquerels per kilogram.
- Corrosive substances fall under Class 8 and consist of both corrosive liquids and solids. These substances have the potential to cause extensive harm to living tissue upon contact and can also result in significant damage to other goods if there is any leakage.
- Miscellaneous items classified as dangerous are included in the Class 9 category.
Why is it necessary?
If you wish to transport any potentially hazardous substances via road, it is essential to possess an ADR licence. The ADR covers all items mentioned in the previously mentioned list, each of which may require transportation at some point. HGV drivers holding an ADR licence are relatively scarce compared to those with standard or other types of licences, leading to higher demand and often better compensation. Obtaining an ADR licence can be a valuable way to specialise your career and potentially increase your earnings.
To ensure compliance with UK regulations, it is crucial to select a reputable training provider for ADR training. The Department for Transport requires approval of All ADR training in the UK. The training typically consists of modules that encompass various categories, such as core modules, packages, and the safe operation of tankers. It is important to note that these topics may not be included in standard HGV training programs.
At The HGV Training Centre, we collaborate with multiple dedicated training companies that specialise in ADR licensing. Therefore, if you are currently undergoing your regular HGV training and you believe that obtaining an ADR licence would be beneficial, our knowledgeable team can assist you throughout the procedure and facilitate your enrollment in a reliable training program. Should you require further information, please feel free to contact us today.