The 5 Steps to Getting Your Heavy Vehicle Licence

So, you’ve decided to a get a heavy vehicle but you’re a little worried and nervous about what the training and testing involves. You’ve never even sat in truck, let alone driven one! Well, that’s just fine because the overwhelming majority of Armstrongs clients are just like you. Everyone has to start somewhere.

At Armstrongs, we know that our clients are pretty nervous and a bit apprehensive when they first walk through the doors. It’s a new and unknown environment. You don’t know exactly what you’ll be doing and you might find yourself wondering why you’re at Armstrongs in the first place. These are perfectly natural feelings and you won’t be alone on that front. Just take a look around at all the other clients. Trust us, they feel the same way too.

Sure, it might be just a Tuesday for us, but we know this is a big thing for our new clients. We know our clients put a lot of thought into their decision to get their heavy vehicle licence and we are aware that getting their licence could literally be a ticket to a better job and a better life. We get it. We’re on your team. Our trainers will be there with you, supporting you throughout your course to get you where you need to be.


In order to reduce the nerves and anxiety new clients feel at the start of their course, he’s some critical things you need to know about getting your heavy vehicle licence.

1 – There is a 32 question multiple choice test based on the Victorian Bus and Truck Handbook.

You can download the handbook off our website under the Resources tab. Trust us, the sooner you start reading and familiarising yourself with the information in that handbook the better. Most importantly, you can’t sit your driving assessment unless you have passed your theory test.

If English is not your first language or you have difficulty reading in general, please don’t worry. We can arrange an ‘oral’ test with one of our trainers, or if you would prefer, we can arrange an interpreter to translate the questions into your preferred language.

2 –You Need to Attend the Pre-Drive Session

Armstrongs doesn’t believe you can be taught to drive a heavy vehicle by sitting in a classroom and we only conduct classroom based activities where we have to. The Armstrongs Pre-Drive Session is specifically designed to help you get through your theory test and introduce you to all the key concepts of operating a heavy vehicle that will make your life easier come time to jump in the cab and start driving. In the Pre-Drive session you will have the chance to ask questions about the information in the handbook before taking the theory test.

3 – Successfully Complete Your Off-Roads Skills Assessments

During your Pre-Drive session you will also be introduced, trained, and assessed on ‘Off-Road Skills’. These include:

Cabin Drill –  You need to show us that you know where all the controls are in the cabin of the truck. If a hazard appears unexpectedly, we want to know that you know where everything is – particularly the brake pedal!

Vehicle Inspection –  You need to understand some basics about the mechanics of a heavy vehicle and where to look for potential problems with your vehicle before you set off of any journey right?

Load Securing –  Very important. You need to know how much weight you can put on your truck, where to put it, and how best to secure it. Goes without saying!

4 – Commence Your Driver Training

Remember, MORE is MORE! Armstrongs courses are generally longer for a reason. We know for a fact that there is no way you can be a competent and SAFE heavy vehicle driver by spending a couple of hours behind the wheel. More time behind the wheel, means more practice, means better results come test time.

Instead of thinking “how long are we going to go round in circles for?” try thinking about all the trucks on the road at the same time as your wife, kids, grand kids, partner, and friends. You would want to know that those drivers have had a fair bit of training right? Well that’s how others feel about you being on the road with their wife, kids, grand kids, partner, and friends. You get the picture. Do the right thing.

As well as learning everything you’ll need to know to pass your driving assessment you’ll also you’ll also learn how to perform a straight line and off-set reverse.

5 – Successfully Pass Your Driving and Reversing Assessment

In order to pass your drive test you will need to demonstrate to your assessor that you can operate the vehicle in a safe and competent manner. Your assessor will provide you with instructions that you are to follow (such as “ the next intersection make a left turn”). Any mistakes that you make will be recorded by the assessor. Essentially, you will pass your drive test if you do not exceed the maximum number of ‘allowable errors’ or you do not do anything that is classed as an ‘immediate failure’. If you remember all your training, you won’t have a problem.

You must perform your reversing assessment in a very specific way in order to pass. Check out any of the heavy vehicle course pages for the Youtube clip that shows you what you need to do to pass your reverse assessment first time.

Now that you know everything about getting your heavy vehicle licence, all you have to do is give us a call. Let’s get you into that new job ASAP.