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Truck Licensing Lingo Simplified

October 27, 2016

If you are going for your truck licence for the first time, the terminology can be a bit overwhelming and at times confusing. We have broken it down so you know exactly what licence you need to get the job done!

Light Rigid

  • Any rigid vehicle, including buses and trucks
  • Greater than 4.5 tonne Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
  • But equal to or less than 8 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
  • Seating more than 12 adults including the driver

Pre-requisites?
You must have held a car drivers licence for at least 12 months

Medium Rigid

  • Any 2 axel rigid vehicle, including buses and trucks
  • Greater than 8 tonnes GVM

Pre-Requisites?
You must have held a car drivers licence for at least 12 months

Heavy Rigid (Synchromesh and Non Synchromesh)

  • Any rigid vehicle with 3 or more axels, including buses and trucks
  • Great than 8 tonnes GVM

Pre-Requisites?
You must have held a car licence for at least 24 months
Manual car driving  experience is recommended

Heavy combination (Synchromesh and Non Synchromesh)

  • Prime mover/single semi-trailer exceeding 9 tonne or a rigid vehicle plus a trailer greater then 9 tonne GVM

Pre-Requisites?
You must have held a car drivers licence for at least 24 months
You just have held a Medium Rigid or Heavy rigid Licence for at least 12 months

Manual car driving experience is recommended

Multi Combination (Synchromesh and Non Synchromesh)

 

  • Heavy Combination vehicle with one or more additional trailers

Pre-Requisites?
You must have held a Heavy Rigid or Heavy Combination Licence or a combination of a Heavy Rigid or Heavy Combination Licence for at least 12 months as well as a completion of an approved course.

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What is Synchromesh and Non Synchromesh?

Heavy Rigid, Heavy Combination and Multi Combination Licences are available in Synchromesh and Non Synchromesh. If you obtain a Synchromesh Licence, you can only drive a Synchromesh truck. If you obtain a Non Synchromesh Licence, you can also drive a Synchromesh truck.

Non Synchromesh: Double clutch with 18 gears.  Non Synchromesh or ‘crash box’ vehicle need to be double clutched in order to change gears.  With most manual transmissions gear shifts are quicker and smoother if you ‘double clutch’. To double clutch, check that you follow what the manufacturer’s handbook suggests on gear changes, or follow these steps:

  • Press the clutch
  • Shift to neutral
  • Release the clutch
  • Adjust engine RPM (Revolutions Per Minute, or Rev’s) to vehicle speed needed for the change of gear.

With experience, you will learn what the engine should sound like at the best moment for each gear change. Either let the revs die down or press the accelerator pedal to get the revs correct and then:

  • Press the clutch again
  • Shift to the gear you want
  • Release the clutch
  • Accelerate to required speed.

Synchromesh: Single clutch with 8 gears.  You do not need to double clutch in a Synchromesh vehicle.

 

What do I have to do to obtain a truck licence?
At AGB Training, once you have paid your deposit to secure your date you will be asked to come in and pick up a workbook and reading materials. All questions in your workbook must be completed before the day of your test, however, if you need assistance with any of the questions, your trainer can assist you on the day before your driving test.  Before commencing your practical driving test, you will need to complete a Vic Roads written examination. Once this is successfully completed, your one on one driver training will begin. Depending on the licence you chose to obtain, the test can take 1 or 2 days to complete.

 

Other useful information:
Light Rigid, Medium Rigid and Heavy Rigid Licence holders can tow a trailer up to 9 tonnes, however national load mass limits apply. For more information, please call VicRoads on 13 11 71.
All of our truck licences are national licences, so they are recognised all over Australia. AGB Training is VicRoads Accredited to provide Light Rigid to Heavy Combination one on one driver training. Please call us on 1300 123 242 or visit the licensing page for more information.