During the petrol crisis at the end of 2021 we heard stories of soldiers helping to drive fuel tankers in a bid to minimise the disruption on the forecourts, but there’s actually a huge opportunity for ex-military personnel to become qualified HGV drivers.


Entitled service personnel can access a range of allowances and grants as part of the resettlement process. The IRTC Grant provides a contribution to the cost of re-training and is available to service leavers with six or more years’ service and all medical discharges.


“Those who work in the military already have experience in driving specialist vehicles, so transferring those skills and becoming an HGV driver is a natural progression and logical solution for those who are looking for alternative employment,” says Tim Rogers, Regional Manager at Backline Logistics.


“Some drivers already have their ADR licence, giving them the opportunity to move into a role that requires these particular qualifications,” added Tim.


As well as the transferable skills, there are other benefits of becoming an HGV driver if you’ve served in the forces, including:


Good rates of pay with flexible working

In the UK there is a drastic shortage of skilled HGV drivers. This is due to several factors: an ageing workforce, the Covid-19 pandemic halting the driving test process and also Brexit. However, the shortage of HGV drivers means that there’s plenty of work available, giving drivers a good choice of roles that suit their chosen lifestyle.


You’ve already got a head start!

If you already have experience driving specialist vehicles and operating heavy machinery then you may only require minimal training to obtain the certificates that are recognised on civvy street.


Whilst there is an obvious difference with the tasks that you’ll be given, the team at Backline will ensure that they support you in choosing the right training to obtain the certificates you need, making the transition from the military to a professional driver as seamless as possible.


As Kevin shared with us:I was approaching my 60th birthday and had been in service for nearly 41 years, so it was time to retire from the Navy but not necessarily retire from working completely.


I wanted something entirely different to do, something that would provide a new challenge. I’m a bit of a petrolhead and always enjoyed driving. Driving a truck is the only thing I’d never driven before, so I decided to give it a go!”


What you need next

Even if you do already hold an HGV licence it’s unlikely that you’ll have a Driver CPC qualification. The military are exempt, so unless you’ve been driving commercially whilst on leave, you wouldn’t have needed it.


However, to drive a commercial vehicle you will need to undergo your Driver CPC. There are two different types of CPC – which one you need will depend on when you obtained your HGV licence/s.


“At Backline we offer Driver CPC training which covers a variety of modules and topics that aim to increase your efficiency and safety when working on the road. All of our training is handled by our specialist training team, which we can support you with along the recruitment process,” said Tim.

You can check our events calendar to find out when our next Driver CPC courses are taking place.

To find out more about our current driver vacancies, simply visit our Jobs Board or call the team on 03333 201 221.