It is worth getting a truck driver’s licence, as drivers are desperately wanted. However, some costs will be incurred before you have the appropriate driving licence. In addition, the licence is not automatically valid for life. You can find out everything about the requirements and recurring tasks here.
Truck driver’s licence: The requirements
If you want to obtain a truck driving licence, you first need a car driving licence, i.e. a class B driving licence. If you have this, you can learn to drive a truck at the driving school. The first step is the course for the C1 class licence, which allows you to drive trucks weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, whose trailers may not exceed 750 kg. Larger trailers can be towed with the C1E certificate. It allows you to drive a tractor of up to 7.5 tonnes and a trailer if the complete vehicle does not weigh more than 12 tonnes.
Driving licence C is required if you wish to drive tractors weighing more than 7.5 tonnes with a trailer weighing up to 750 kilograms. With a CE class driving licence, the maximum size of the trailer is unrestricted, so steering requires special skill and caution.
The minimum age
In order to obtain a C1 class truck driving licence, you must be at least 18 years old, while a C class licence requires you to be 21 years old. An exception, however, is made here for trainee professional drivers. They are always allowed to drive heavier machines when this is part of their training.
Tests for physical requirements
Since a truck driver must be attentive and quick to react in every situation and accidents often have devastating effects, medical examinations are among the requirements for a truck driving licence. These test
- your reaction capabilities
- your ability to concentrate
- your ability to cope with pressure
- your ability to find your way around
- your attentiveness
In addition, you will need an optician’s certificate that you are fit for the job.
Truck driver’s licence: Costs depend on the driving lessons
Legislation stipulates that, ideally, five practical lessons are sufficient to obtain a C1 driving licence. However, you may need more time – much more, because drivers usually need 20 to as many as 30 lessons to master the large vehicles well enough to pass the test. In total, costs arise for
- the registration at the driving school
- theory lessons including teaching materials
- Practical lessons
- Fees for the tests
- Fees for optician’s and medical examination
- Fees for issuing a truck driving licence
It is best to expect costs of around 2,600 to 3,000 euros before you have your truck driving licence in the bag.
How you can get your truck driving licence renewed
The truck driving licence is not valid indefinitely. Since 2016, it has been compulsory for you to renew it every five years. Legislators are trying to reduce the number of accidents caused by truck drivers being physically unfit. Don’t worry, you don’t have to retake any driving tests. According to the Professional Drivers Qualification Act, it is sufficient to complete certain further training courses within five years and prove this at the driver fitness assessment centre, where you will also complete a health check including an eye test.
Request renewal early
In order to avoid being without a valid driving licence at some point, you should apply to renew your driving licence in good time. It is recommended that you do this six months before your current driving licence expires. Anyone who still has a class 2 driver’s licence is a special case: These drivers only have to renew their truck driving licence every five years from the age of 50 onwards. But then the requirement is the same as for everyone else. So complete further training courses and apply for a renewal, otherwise you will lose your truck driving licence after 50.
Summary: The truck driver’s licence requires ongoing work
Driving a heavy vehicle like a truck requires expertise, skill and experience. As your abilities can also be impaired by physical ailments, you as a truck driver must undergo regular examinations. For this reason, legislation stipulates that the truck driving licence must be renewed every five years. In order to first obtain it, separate theoretical and practical lessons in the driving school are required.