In Australia, some of the most secure jobs are in the trucking industry. The country relies heavily on its efficient freight transport system and is paying big money to people in this field.
The trucking industry has a dominant role in the transportation of non-bulk freight around the country. Truck drivers crisscrossing the continent handle almost 10% of all non-bulk transports. If you want to be a part of this thriving industry, then here are some ways on how to enter the truck and freight transport as a medium rigid (MR) driver. Here are some of the benefits of becoming an MR driver through proper training.
Have a stable salary
A normal truck driver will generally make around $20 per hour. It is one of the highest skill-based jobs available in Australia today. There are two different types of truck drivers in the freight industry. There are company drivers and owner-operators, and both are in the massive freight delivery industry with various perks. There are differences between the two types of drivers.
Company drivers: These are drivers that work for a particular company. They work as employees with benefits provided by the company by law (i.e., health benefits, insurance, medical, and retirement plans). Aside from this, the company provides the necessary equipment or vehicle for the driver. However, the downside is that most company drivers have a fixed work schedule that reduces flexibility in time management.
Owner-operators: These drivers own their own trucks and usually contract freight delivery firms. These drivers have a flexibility of time as they can choose the deliveries they make. However, they also need to deal with all of the private transactions of the company. The upside to this is that owner-operators will get a higher income and will have independence in decision making, choosing clients and planning routes, schedules, and hiring other drivers.
Be a part of the growing truck and freight transport industry
According to recent statistics, almost 10% of all non-bulk delivery is handled by freight transport. It is an industry that is worth $46 billion and is expected to grow in the next ten years exponentially. Because Australia is focusing more on developing roads instead of railways, the truck and freight transport service will continue to expand every year. It is an excellent opportunity for anyone to enter this industry either as a company driver or an owner-operator. The market is vibrant, and getting a job in this industry will earn you a nice pay check.
How to become an MR truck driver in Australia?
The Medium Rigid or MR are heavy vehicles weighing 8 tons or more. Buses and most transport trucks used in the freight industry for delivering non-bulk goods are these kinds of vehicles. For you to drive this vehicle, you must have an MR class license. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to acquire this license.
Hold a Car or C class or LR license: All truck licenses require you to have held a car license or an LR (light rigid) license for at least one year. Light Rigid are heavy vehicles usually weighing 4.5 to 8 tons. These are typically vehicles with a 12-passenger capacity or an attached trailer. All truck drivers must undergo proper training and acquire this license before progressing in taking licenses for heavier vehicles.
Undergo MR driving training: Any truck driver needs to be adequately trained in handling heavy and long vehicles. It’s very dangerous for someone without adequate knowledge to drive a vehicle of this size, especially in public highways. Usually, the topics included in MR driving training are.
- Positioning and stopping
- Gear changing techniques
- Hazard identification / problem-solving and troubleshooting
- Hazard perception
Most truck driving schools cover these topics. An MR driver can allow you to drive vehicles for deliveries, furniture removal, and passenger services. Acquiring an MR license is often enough for a truck driver to have stable employment in the truck and freight industry.
Complete the DLA1 application form: After holding the required license for at least one year, you can apply for an MR license. You can apply by filling-up the DLA1 application form. You are to submit the form along with your proof of identity in person.
Pass the Heavy Vehicle Theory Test: Upon submission of the application form and requirements, you are then required to take and pass the HVT test. The test usually consists of 10 questions of which you must correctly answer 8 to pass. Here is a link to the site where you can find the questionnaire and application forms needed for Medium Rigid Licence MR.
Pass the Practical Driving Test: After completing all the requirements in your application, you are then required to undergo a practical driving test in an MR class vehicle. You will be assessed on your driving skills and how you handle the difficulties in driving a heavy vehicle. If you fail this exam, you can retake it after seven days. If you pass the exam, you will get your MR class license.
Maintain adherence to the Heavy Vehicle Competency Standard
As a truck driver with an MR class license, you must adhere to the Heavy Vehicle Competency Standard issued by the transportation department of Australia. This small guideline outlines the necessary standard a truck driver must maintain during his work.
Competency in operating the vehicle: The ability of the driver to operate an MR class vehicle.
Competency in controlling the vehicle: The skill of the driver to manoeuvre the vehicle while in the performance of work.
Competency in driving orderly in traffic: The ability of the driver to perform driving techniques in traffic without hesitation.
Able to minimise mistakes and conflicts: The driver’s ability to reduce human error and mistakes by adhering to safety regulations, proper driving techniques, and traffic regulations.
Capable of managing crisis situations: The driver’s ability to function during a crisis. They must be able to assess an emergency with a sound mind and make good decisions.
Capable of evaluation and adjustments when driving: A driver must also be able to improve his or her skills and become better through the years.