7 Myths About HIAB Training in 2021

A white HIAB crane loaded lorry unloading pallets in a yard

Once you’ve got your HGV training done, you might be wondering whether it’s worth getting yourself HIAB qualified. And it’s fair to say there are a fair few myths about HIAB training out there.
It can sometimes be thought of as an unnecessary expense. Old hands will tell you that the best way, no, the only way, is to learn is on the job (because that’s what they did).
They might tell you it’s expensive and you can’t become particularly good at it with just a short training course. Practice indeed does makes perfect.
Well we thought we’d bust a few of the more common HIAB training rumors to see if we can help you decide whether, or not, you should do yours.


|Myth 1: HIAB means…

Let’s start at the beginning. HIAB is actually a brand name that refer to the Finnish company, Hydrauliska Industri AB, who enjoy a reputation much like hoover do in the vacuum industry. The generic term for the equipment is actually a “lorry mounted crane”, “lorry mounted loader” or “hydraulic lorry loader”.


|Myth 2: All lorry loaders are the same

When it comes to doing your training, you may not know the various different qualifications that you can get for lorry loaders and cranes.


But there is actually a pretty broad array of different equipment that you will want to become familiar with.
So, when it comes to choosing your training centre, the more they are able to train you in the better.


For example, do they offer training for hook, as well as brick grab? Does their equipment include a remote controlled crane? The more options you have once you’ve done your training, the more it will benefit your career at the end of it.


|Myth 3: Those that can’t do, teach

Hopefully, this isn’t the case. Instructors should be highly qualified and skilled. However, it really comes down to you to pick the best training school that can find.


If you have any uncertainties about the quality of instruction at a school, have a read online, find some forums and see what kind of reviews they get.


You can always visit the school first to get a feel of the place and the people.


Good to know: Our instructors are all qualified and experienced HGV drivers with years of HIAB experience behind them. They have a wealth of real-world knowledge they can pass on!


|Myth 4: You’ll become great at the claw game in the arcade

Okay, so this may not be an entirely serious assumption, but no, just no.


We are very sorry to be the ones to inform you, but the two are not the same, and the skill sets are not interchangeable. You won’t suddenly be able to impress all your friends at the arcade.


Myth 5: It takes a long time

This is a myth peddled by some training schools. The more time it takes you to train the more money they’ll charge you.


Most people who approach the training with the right attitude will manage to pass the test after only one day of training. If the provider you speak to is suggesting it will be a few days’ worth of training, try and find out why or shop around and speak to a few different ones.


Good to know: This isn’t the case with Forklift training, which can take up to five days, depending on your level of experience and the number of people on the course.


Myth 6:It’s expensive.

When it comes to operating large vehicles, the costs can quickly mount up. HGV training, DCPC and now this!


However, HIAB training is the quickest and thus one of the most affordable elements.


Think about what it will give you back financially over a couple of years and you’ll soon realise what good value it can be.


Remember, your training course shouldn’t take more than a day, two at the very most.


Myth 7: It’s not worth it

This is one of the most annoying ones, as anything that sets you above the competition is always going to be worth it.


And as we mentioned beforehand, this training is one of the quickest and most affordable.


Even if you don’t use it right away, it remains of value. So, if you have the time to do it we suggest you do. It should help you get more and higher paying work, so it’s literally win-win!

2021 Bonus! Myth 8: It won’t get you more work

You may have heard that the UK has left the European Union. This brings to an end Freedom of Movement which (whether you think that’s a good thing or not) means that skills shortages are going to be an issue across many industries for the medium term.


Having core skills like HIAB means that there’s always going to be more demand for your labour and this is only going to mean more opportunities and better pay for those who put the effort in.



HIAB training isn’t the hard or mysterious thing that some training schools make it out to be. For most people it’s a day course that gains you a great new skillset that’ll make you more useful to to employers in the long run.


However, those old hands we mentioned at the beginning of this article aren’t lying. The best way to get really good at something is to get some proper experience behind you.


Using a lorry mounted crane is no different. Any good employer though will know this and should facilitate your desire to become more skilled by offering you plenty of opportunities to practice on site (after you’ve done your initial qualification).


This will make you a more efficient and valuable employee – benefiting them as well as you, leading to more career options and higher paid work in the future.


If you never do your HIAB training, those doors to new opportunities and higher paid work may remain closed (or at least a bit stiff!).

To find out more about developing your HGV driving career, take a look at some of the great benefits we offer our elite drivers on our Platinum Field Staff Partners scheme. Then make sure you get in touch with your nearest branch.