When is a 1 Day Course Really a 3.5 Hour Course?

Consider this hypothetical if you will.

You’re sick of that crumby job and you’ve decided to take up that offer of a driving job extended to you by your best mate “Robbo” who runs a transport company. He needs a couple of HR drivers to move freight from DC’s in and around the Melbourne metro area.

You get right on it and start Googling away like a mad man trying to find the cheapest and shortest course out because “time is money” and Robbo needs you to confirm with him you’ve got the license a.s.a.p because he can’t hold the position open for you for ever.

After having a quick look at all the training providers you make your decision based on how close one of them is to your house (first mistake!), how quick you can get it done (second mistake!!), and how cheap you can get it done for (third mistake!!!).

You’ve ended up booking in for a 1 day HR Synchro course for under a $1,000.00. It starts at 7.30am and finishes at 4pm (…and word on the street is it won’t even take that long).  You reckon you’ve made the right choice and that you’ve got yourself a pretty good deal.

We wouldn’t call approximately $270 per hour to learn to drive a HR Synchro a good deal, but hey, that’s just us…


Ok, Mr smarty-pants-Armstrongs, what are you talking about now?  Well, that’s what it equates to. Plain and simple.  Here’s how.

  • First, remove the 30 minutes or so it will take to complete your enrolment paperwork when you first walk in the door.
  • Second, take away the 45 minutes (at least) that it will take to complete and mark your theory test (hopefully you studied the night before because there is no time for mistakes).
  • Thirdly, take away the 20 minutes or so you’ll need to complete and have your load securing skills assessed.
  • Fourthly, subtract about another 30 minutes to complete your cabin drill and vehicle inspection training and assessment.
  • Don’t forget to deduct another 20 minutes for your reversing assessment.
  • Then deduct at least 75 minutes for the time it will take to actually complete your driving assessment and the required paperwork.
  • Oh, and lastly, don’t forget to subtract just under 1 hour for the time you will spend doing nothing (lunch, smoko, walking to and from the vehicle).

That leaves you with a grand total of about 3.5 hours to learn the thing you actually thought you came to learn – how to drive a HR Synchro.  Surely, no one in their right mind would be that ignorant (stupid?) to argue that this is enough time to learn how to drive a heavy vehicle in a safe and competent manner and actually be ‘employable’.

So, if you find yourself in this same “hypothetical” situation, remember:

  • You’ve actually been completely ripped off – you just paid about $270 per actual hour of behind-the-wheel training ($950/3.5 hours). That’s hardly what you could call value.
  • Your licence is literally worthless. It’s hard enough to get a driving role as a new entrant driver, let alone one who has only 3.5 hours of drive time under their belt (“Robbo” may be about to find out the hard way).
  • You’re going to get yourself into all manner of sticky situations that you simply won’t have the knowledge or skill to get out of.
  • You’re a risk to other road users, their families and their friends.

If you’re the type of person who thinks that the above is NOT a great outcome, then the solution is simple. Just look for a heavy vehicle courses with as much behind-the-wheel training as possible.  So if a real-life “Robbo” ever offers you a job, remember that when you’re doing the ring-around, focus on getting a straight answer on how many actual behind-the-wheel hours you’ll receive from each potential training provider first, THEN consider proximity to home and course value (pure cost is never an indication of value).

So, if you’re looking for a heavy vehicle licence we’ll be glad to give you an answer on how many hours behind the wheel you’ll receive at Armstrongs and the extra value you’ll receive when you do your training with us. You can find out about all your heavy vehicle licence course options here.  You’ll also find a sneak-peek at what the driving assessment looks like here.  Have a look and then give us a call!