How To Become A Heavy Rigid Truck Driver In The Australian Mining Industry

By: Chuck Bond

Truck driving is essential to the mining and minerals processing, oil & gas, construction and utilities sectors in Australia. Due to the lucrative remuneration prospects, many people want to get into the mining sector. To get a Heavy Rigid (HR) truck-driving job you will need an HR Licence and plenty of experience. HR class vehicles are any motor vehicles with three (3) or more axles and a gross vehicle mass exceeding eight (8) tonnes.

Can I Find A Mining Job Without Experience?

Many people think they can hop straight into a mining job driving 200 tonne trucks but it isn't that easy. While you can take an HR training course this won't automatically entitle you to apply for jobs at mines. You should get experience by working for a smaller company such as your local council or a reputable contractor. Many people don't want to do this but it's a critical step toward landing a mining job. If you build experience on smaller trucks, you will learn far quicker on bigger trucks at a mining site.

What Requirements Should I Meet For HR Training?

HR truck driver training, lessons and licencing is only open to people who meet certain entry requirements. In Australia you can do the training if you have a C (car) licence or a Light Rigid (LR) or Medium Rigid (MR) licence. However, in order to be granted an HR licence will need to have held the C license for at least 2 years or the LR or MR licence for at least 1 year. In both cases, you must be able to obtain a Western Australian HR learners permit called an HR-L. You do not require an HR-L if you already hold a current Australian driver's licence and you meet the eligibility requirements for the vehicle type you wish to learn how to drive.

How Much Does HR Training Cost?

There is no fixed answer simply because every driver comes with a different level of experience. As such there is no minimum number of lessons in order to take before being assessed. Per hour lessons cost between $120 and $140 depending on the region. Experienced drivers with MR licences will likely have a faster rate of progression.

How To Apply For A Test

Most driving schools will assist you with the process of applying to take the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA), you can start the application process at any Driver and Vehicle Services Centre or regional agent. In addition to the application form, eyesight test, application fee and proof of identity you may also need to take and present the results of a theory test. If you hold a C driver's licence or an LR licence you will need to sit the test. However, if you hold an MR licence you do not need to sit the test.

Where To Find Your First Job

As outlined above you should expect to gain experience before gaining employment in the mining sector. Once you receive your HR licence the most straight forward way to land your first job is to apply with your local council or a contractor. Familiarize yourself with the vast range of job boards and recruitment companies who supply firms in the mining sector with drivers. Keep your resume updated with the experience you gain and give yourself the best chance of moving into a job with the mining sector.

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Obtaining an HR license can be very beneficial since it makes you eligible for a mining job which provides lucrative remuneration. Click here to know more about TIS Recruitment, providers of leading mining jobs in Australia.

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