A Guide to Obtaining a Heavy Rigid Drivers Licence in Australia


This type of licence allows a person to drive a rigid heavy vehicle with 3 or more axles, and a gross weight of over 8,000kg and tow a trailer that does not exceed 9,000kg. In order to apply for such a licence, the applicant must have one of the following:

  • A car (Class C) licence for at least 2 years.
  • A light rigid (LR Class) heavy vehicle licence for at least one year.
  • A medium rigid (MR Class) heavy vehicle licence for at least one year.

Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

If you meet the criteria and pass an eyesight test, you can learn to drive a HR class vehicle with a registered training organisation, and if you want to obtain a HR licence in Melbourne, there is an RTO locally where you can take the one day course. Should you pass the course, the training organisation will issue you with the correct endorsement and you can move on to actually take the HR test.

The Heavy Rigid Test

This consists of three separate sections, which are as follows:

  1. On Road Driving Test
  2. Off Road Reversing and Load Securing
  3. Theory Test (Based on Victorian Bus & Truck Handbook

This series of tests will be conducted by the RTO after the initial training, and should the applicant be successful, their licence application will be endorsed by the RTO.

Training Course Details

The course typically takes 6 hours to complete, and it covers the following areas:

  • Road laws and regulations
  • On road practical driving
  • Vehicle control
  • Reversing skills
  • Load securing – Using straps, chains and rope
  • Defensive Driving instruction

Ideally, the RTO would provide the learner with one on one tuition, where there is an instructor in the vehicle with the learner, as this is the best way to learn. Some schools will sit 4 or 5 students in the vehicle, and while this might help to orientate the learner driver, there is nothing to compare with actually driving, so, if you are thinking of applying for this licence, look for a school that will give you a one on one learning environment.

Automatic Gearbox Licence

Most modern trucks have an automatic gearbox, therefore you are well advised to apply for the licence that applies to automatic transmission, although you can take the test with a synchromesh manual gear change facility, should you think you might encounter the older type of truck. If you would like to know more about the details of applying for such a licence, an online search would give you the website of the State department where you are located, and they would furnish you with the relevant information.

When searching for a registered training organisation, it pays to select one with a high pass rate, and also a school that emphasises one on one, in truck tuition, which is the only way to learn. If you have any trouble locating a suitable training organisation, an online search will certainly help.

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