Have you wanted to drive a bus ever since you were a kid? Did you look up at your local bus driver in awe, wishing you could be in charge of such a big, beautiful vehicle? Did you sing ‘hail to the bus driver’ every chance you got, dreaming that someone would one day sing it about you? Or maybe you just decided that you wanted a change of scenery, and like the idea of helping people get where they need to go. Bus driving is still a very popular job, and it can be very rewarding. After all, thousands of people every day take a bus or coach to travel, from a quick trip to the shops to cross-country road trips or even international travel. And not only do you get to see those places, but you can meet new people, and help them see it too. So, how do you go about becoming a bus driver, and what training do you need?
As with any HGV driving qualification, the first thing you need to do is get your Driver CPC qualification. This proves that you are safe to drive in a professional capacity and understand the importance of safety on the roads. It involves theory and practical tests, a big dose of basic training and a few medical exams too. You can find out more about the Driver CPC here.
The Driver CPC will give you a basic understanding of how to drive large vehicles, the safety issues around them and how to meet all the regulations around HGV driving. This means that when you’re done with that, all you need is a top-up. You see, the Driver CPC just proves you have professional competence, but it doesn’t allow you to legally drive a HGV professionally. For that, you need a licence specific to the vehicle you want to drive. For a bus, that’s a Cat D licence.
Just to make things complicated, you also need a Cat B licence – and you need to do this first. The Cat B licence allows you to drive a vehicle of up to 3,500kg Maximum Authorised Mass, with up to 8 passenger seats. In other words, cars and trailers. From there, you can take your Cat D licence, which allows you to drive any bus with more than 8 passenger seats, as well as tracked vehicles (in case you ever wanted to drive a tank). With those 3 licenses, you can now become a bus driver.
Cat D Training
Cat D and D1 training are programmes specifically designed to teach you how to drive buses and minibuses in a professional capacity. Once you’ve achieved your Driver CPC qualification, you will need to take a Cat D training course as well.
During your Cat D training you will learn:
- The rules and regulations of the road, particularly relating to HGV’s
- The maintenance and general fixtures of HGV’s and busses
- Customer service skills
- Everything about the safety of yourself, the passengers and other people sharing the road with you
- Risk management and future sightedness
- Driving skills, with theory and practical skills and training for large, multi-seated vehicles
At the end of the training, you will be legally able to drive any passenger vehicle with more than 8 seats, and you’re ready to become a bus driver.
Where Do I Start?
By getting in touch with us! At Surrey And Hampshire HGV Training, we are experts in providing specialist HGV training to drivers of all ages and abilities. Whether you want to top up your existing license or start from scratch with the Driver CPC, we can help you work out what you need to do, and guide you through the process. And it doesn’t stop there – we can also help you find your first role as a bus driver as well!
To find out more, just get in touch with the team today.
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