Views Please

I wondered if I could have some candid views to help me make a decision.

I’m 46 and some months ago I decided I wanted to take my Class 1 and 2 licences as I felt that the factory I worked in was in a bit of bother and I was concerned that if I was laid off I had no skills or trade to fall back on.

Thanks to the advice from this site I managed to pass my Class 2 on the first attempt last month and my Class 1 is booked for the 28th November.

Now,here’s the rub!! My hunch regarding my place of work has partly come true in that they have asked for voluntary redundancies. My figure is pretty good and would certainly pay my mortgage off.

Since I passed my Class2 I’ve been signed up with a couple of agencies and have informed them of the days I’m available for work (am currently a shiftworker) however up to now I’ve had no work. I’ve been told that as soon as I get my Class1 there will be better opportunities.

So I’m trying to decide whether to take the redundancy,pay the mortgage off and be available to drive all the time or stay where I am and drive occasionally.

I must add that I have no dependants at home so nights out etc would not be a problem and although I have had no driving jobs yet I still feel that I would enjoy the job.

Any views would be appreciated. I will have to make a decision in the next couple of weeks.

I jumped from full time work to agency driving and it worked for me, not had a day off (apart from weekends :laughing:). Mind you I’m near to Manchester so work is pouring out of the seams, don’t know about Grimsby though. They’re right about Class 1, it will always get you more work ( and a slightly better rate too)

tezza, I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t been offered any work. Usually, at this time of year, there is plenty going on during the run up to Xmas. I say usually because things are quiet here also.

My recommendation in respect of Agencies is to always look for REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) accrediation. They have ‘Codes of Conduct for Drivers’ and a search engine for members.

My advise is to visit a few other agencies and question them as to their ‘customer base’. Try and identify the ones that are involed in the food distribution sector.

Other then that, as I am sure you have seen proposed on this site before, print a few credit card size handouts, pack your bag and ‘hawk’ yourself around a few of the local companies early in the day. One of the biggest assets to find work within this industry is “getting your face known”

As regards your decision to take ‘voluntary redundancy’. That is a subject where I am not competent to offer advice.

If it was me, I would take the redundancy and make sure you pay your mortgage off.

To be in a position were you would receive enough to comfortably pay your mortgage off, seems pretty good to me.

Don’t belittle yourself by saying you have no trade or skills…your a sucessfull person, proven by being a home owner. Your attidute is commendable and your employability must be good. Go for the redundancy, do the class 1 … best of luck to you…

i would also take the volentary redundance.

also don’t just stick with the one agency put your name about a few of them.

as krankee says knock a few doors it can only help.

at the moment i think your looking for a bit off work at the weekend which most agencys can’t offer that much.
if you do take redundancy you would be avalible all week and more likley to get work from them.

anyway good luck with what you decide to do and good luck on passing that class1 your half way there :smiley:


Thanks for the replies so far.

I guess my biggest fear about giving up my current job is losing my guaranteed annual income!! It’s always difficult to bring up the subject of wages but I’ll take a deep breath and ask a question.
If I was available for Class 1 work on a full time basis would an annual income of around £20,000 be a realistically acheivable figure or am I way off the mark?

I hope you appreciate the reason I’m asking this is because I haven’t had any jobs yet so I’m rather naive as to what I can earn.

Krankee thanks for your advice as to hawking myself around the yards. I was intending to do this as I have seen this recommended on this forum in the past. However I was hoping to get at least a little experience throught the agencies before presenting myself directly to the employers. At the moment I’m signed up with TH Brown, Driverhire and another local agency.

Thanks again for the replies and any more views would be most welcome.


i cant remember the last time i hit below 20k.where i work at the moment(full time)the agency guys are on more money then i am and are getting to pick what start times they want.

i would have thought that driverhire would be able to get you class 1 work quite easily when you do pass.

hope that helps


This is just an personal opinion Tezza, as to what Id do in the situation youre in. I would take the shillings and pay for me house. If thats bought and paid for, the pressures off. And yes, a Class 1 will get you more offers, though im suprised you aint had more offers with a class2 even a 7.5 come to that. Maybe it might be an idea to sign with as many as possible, even approach a couple of hauliers? Good luck.


Hi Tezza,
Personally, I would take the money and run, but - a word of warning. When you pass your Class I, you may find yourself in the same situation as a lot of newly qualified drivers ie prospective employers may not want to know because of your lack of experience. I`m not trying to put a dampener on things, but just advising you to think very carefully before making your decision. Good luck to you, whatever you decide, anyway

All seems to be good advise. I would personally try harder at getting work from agencies (sign up for more of them, then weed out those who don’t suit) before commiting to redundancy, if you have that option.

Once you start getting work from agencies, then it usually flows in quickly. Possibly you are restricting your availability too much? There will obviously be less Class 2 work available because almost all distribution work is on artics, but I would have expected you to have some work by now.

Whatever you eventualy decide, let us know. If you start driving, which we hope you will, let us know how that goes as well. Newbie adventures usualy bring back rueful memories of our own skinned knuckles :laughing: . Always good fun :question: .

Take the redundnancy and your Class one if not you will regret it, paying off your motgage must be the thing we all want to pay off the most.

Nine years to go then what a party :laughing:

Being a father of three and only 32! A puppy.I would personally take the money pay of the mortgage at least youd be secure.As for earnings ive been pulling in four to five hundred a week so youve nothing to worry about there. This might sound like a lot of money but youve got to be willing to bang at least 70 hours a week in with 3 nights out.As ive said to other people before COULD YOU HANDLE THAT?

Being a father of three and only 32! A puppy.I would personally take the money pay of the mortgage at least youd be secure.As for earnings ive been pulling in four to five hundred a week so youve nothing to worry about there. This might sound like a lot of money but youve got to be willing to bang at least 70 hours a week in with 3 nights out.As ive said to other people before COULD YOU HANDLE THAT?

If you’re happy to do nights out and a 60hr+ week (pretty much the norm if you’re tramping, ie. away all week) then on the agency on class 1 you should easily see £27,300 topline, then your tax-free night out money on top of that.

I come to that figure from the following criteria :

Class 1, 60hr week tramping, 4 nights out

£7.50/hr for first 40hrs (the norm) = £15,600 (40hrs)
£11.25/hr after 40hrs (time 1.5) = £11,700 (20hrs)

£20/night out x 4 = £80/week x 52 = £4,160/yr tax free

£27,300 topline + £4,160 tax free… get in with a place where you enjoy the work and get stuck in. Be advised that agency work Jan-April is fairly dead.

The Yorkshire/Humbs latitude pays £7.50/hr class 1 and £6.00/hr class 2 on agency as a general rule. I wouldn’t work for less than these rates but be prepared to accept a little less if you’ve no experience and just passed your test.



I currently work with a coule of guys who did exactly what you are concidering.
But don’t forget its you who is going to have to live with the decision you make & there are more opertunities for HGV drivers than just agency work or haulage.

Well I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who gave their views. I was pretty sure I wanted to do it and a few days ago made my mind up.


Last night at work was the meeting with management to finalise how the redundancies were going to pan out. There aren’t as many redundancies as we first thought and the way they are going to work it is a points system dependant on how much time off people have had in the last 3 years and any disclipeneries etc. (Doesn’t seem voluntary to me).

Anyway I’ve made my request officially and now I have to wait until the 6th January to see whether I can go or not. To say I was gutted is an understatement.

I’ll let you all know in January what the outcome is and thanks again for your input.


Make the life change. My advice would be to take the redundancy now. You don’t say what the numbers are but in my experience voluntary packages are better then statutary ones, you have a degree of control over the timing and ultimately YOU are taking the decision.

Go and see a trusted financial advisor before you pay off the mortgage, unless you are certain of your reasons for doing so, there may well be better options if you do not have a regular income straight away.

Consider signing an exclusive deal with an agency for a guaruanteed number of hours. This will ensure that you will get work, it may not be glamourous work, but it will likely give you an insight into the many types of truck driving work that is out here, and then you may want to go in whatever direction you prefer.

Finally go and get your class one. With that you have so many more choices. You may not wish to use it but it will be there should you need to.

Good luck what ever path you choose.