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A Guide on HR Driving Courses In Australia

A heavy rigid (HR) licence permits you to drive buses and trucks with a minimum gross vehicle mass (GVM) of eight tonnes and three or more axles. Trailers attached to the vehicle should not exceed nine tonnes. Below is a guide on how to acquire an HR licence in Australia.


Applicants must be 18 years and above to apply for the HR driving course. Additionally, you should have held a class C licence or above for a minimum of two years. Some states, such as Western Australia, have a one-year requirement. Licence suspension periods are excluded when calculating the total time you have held your licence. 

Training and Tests

You need to register at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to undertake HR driving courses.

To acquire the licence, you will undertake theory and practical classes. The theory segment will educate you on how the heavy truck operates, road safety when driving the truck and maintenance practices such as changing wheels and checking oil levels. People with a medium rigid (MR) or light rigid (LR) licence do not need to attend the theory classes.

Practical lessons are the fun part of your training since you get to drive a heavy haulage truck. Your trainer will teach you how the double-clutch mechanism works, how to use the various controls and most importantly, how to turn with a trailer attached. You will also learn how to identify your blind spots and how to react in case of an emergency.

You will apply for a practical driving assessment (PDA) once you complete your training. If you pass the test, your driver's licence will be updated, thus allowing you to drive vehicles in the HR class. If you fail the test, you have seven days to apply for a retake. In some states, you will be required to wear body cameras as you undertake the practical examination.

Other than the driving test, you will also need to undertake an eyesight test. Besides, you must declare any pre-existing medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive. You should also indicate what drugs you use to manage the disease.

It is normal to be a bit anxious when undertaking your HR driving course. However, heavy vehicles are not that difficult to drive once you understand the basics. A trainer with years of experience in the heavy hauling industry may provide useful tips on how to grow your skill as a heavy truck or bus driver.