Your Path to Licensing: Truck License in Victoria

You know that feeling when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic, just watching the trucks cruise on by in the left lane while you inch along? Bet you’ve thought “man, I should just get my truck license and hit the open road.” Well, that’s exactly what I did a couple years back. Sick of being chained to my desk and my daily commute, I decided to take the plunge and getting the license to drive trucks here in Victoria. Let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I ever made!

truck driving school

Ready to get Your Path to Licensing: Truck License in Victoria?

The Journey Begins

So where do you even start with getting a truck license around these parts? I’ll be honest, all the acronyms, license classes, and paperwork seemed daunting at first. It’s a bit more involved than just walking into VicRoads and saying “one truck license please!” I had to do my homework and make sure I understood what I was getting into.

First thing was deciding what “class” of license I wanted. I’m no math whiz but even I could figure out that the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the license class number. I aimed for the HR (Heavy Rigid) which allows you to drive a rigid truck or bus up to 24.5 meters long and 42.5 tonnes. Figured that would cover most of the trucking and delivery jobs out there.

With the goal set, I hit the books – or well, the online study materials. Vic Roads has decent resources to help you prep for the knowledge test. I printed out those practice question PDFs and carried them everywhere – the park, the coffee shop, you name it. My coworkers always gave me a hard time about boning up on truck trivia instead of doing actual work.

Knowledge is Power (& Paperwork)

A couple study sessions in and it was time to bite the bullet and take that dreaded knowledge test. Despite my best efforts, some of those road rule and vehicle operation questions really tripped me up. I failed the first time! Can you believe it?

I re-scheduled for a few weeks later, hit those practice tests even harder, and managed to squeak by on the second go. I’ve never felt so relieved as when they handed me that passed knowledge test certificate. That little slip of paper was like a golden ticket.

Now I was a true truck apprentice, with a shiny new learner permit! It was a good ego boost cruising around town with all those endorsements listed out on my license. But of course, the real work was just beginning…

female truck driver

The Hands-On Stuff

I’m not going to lie, trying to learn how to drive a semi with a 22-meter trailer attached was bloody terrifying at first. I signed up for a professional truck training course to get as much supervised practice time as possible. Those first few times getting behind the wheel and just trying to get the truck moving without stalling had me sweating bullets.

My instructor was a gruff, no-nonsense bloke named Steve who had obviously been driving trucks since the the dinosaur ages. He had zero patience for my dumb mistakes but I have to give him props – he kicked my butt into gear and really pounded the fundamentals into me. Upshifting, downshifting, turning, backing up – Steve drilled me on all of it incessantly.

Those first few weeks I stalled the truck more times than I can count. I’ll never forget the time I was trying to do a simple left turn and just could NOT get the trailer to cooperate. After a few tense minutes of struggle with the trailer pushing me into another lane, Steve unleashed a stream of colorful language at me that would make a sailor blush. Let’s just say I got VERY motivated to smooth out my turning skills after that!

The Home Stretch

After racking up enough supervised hours with Sgt. Screamer (my nickname for Steve), it was finally time to go for the big license assessment. I’ve got to admit, I was bricking it as I waited my turn at the testing center. All that time, money, and effort – it would be gut-wrenching to fail at the last hurdle. 

When it came my turn, I pulled out every technique and lesson Steve had drilled into me. I triple checked my mirror setups, made all my turns precisely, and handled the reverse park like a pro. Despite a squirrely moment where the trailer got away from me, I managed to demonstrate safe driving and pass the test. Boom! Just like that, I was a fully licensed HR truck driver.

These days I’m driving locally for a decent freight company. The job has its challenges for sure, but I much prefer being out on the road to being cooped up in an office all day. I get to travel all across this beautiful state, be my own boss to an extent, and bring home a darn good paycheck.

I don’t regret the effort it took one bit to get licensed. If you’re on the fence about taking the plunge, my advice is to just go for it. Study hard, get properly trained, and take it one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be out there living the trucking life and getting paid to see Australia. It’s well worth the work, I promise ya!

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