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What is Tramping and Trunking in HGVs?

May 16, 2019

With over 1 billion tonnes of goods transported by road in the UK annually, the haulage industry is a significant one.

Here we look at some of the key terminology within the HGV industry, why there is a requirement for different types of drivers and where there is a shortage of drivers currently impacting the industry.

What is Tramping?

Tramping is the practice of making long distance deliveries. As the typical journey will take several days, or longer if travelling across Europe for example, the driver will sleep in their cab overnight.

A tramping job will typically see the driver be away from home for long periods of time, so their HGV could effectively be referred to as their second home!

What is Trunking?

Trunking is the practice of making deliveries using a regular route. It is referred to as trunking as the majority of the driving time is spent using trunk roads – dual carriageways and motorways. Trunking would not involve an overnight stop as is the case with tramping.

For example, a trunking job may see a driver given a regular route of London to Birmingham which they travel every day.

Why are different types of drivers needed in the HGV industry?

The HGV industry is a very large and varied industry with many requirements for different types of jobs. The types of job can include:

• Multi drop
• Single Drop
• Long Haul
• Short Haul
• Night driving

These may require different types of vehicle to be used and require drivers to work different shift patterns – days, nights or for extended periods away from home.

Different HGV and trucking licences

There are also different kinds of licences, depending which one a driver holds this will determine the types of vehicle they can drive

Category C+E – the highest licence, allows drivers to drive vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes, with a trailer over 750kg
Category C – the most common licence. This allows drivers to drive vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, with a trailer up to 750kg
Category C1+E – this licence allows the driver to drive vehicles between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes in weight with a trailer over 750kg
Category C1 – allows drivers to drive vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes. With a trailer up to 750kg

This need to hold an appropriate licence will determine the types of jobs drivers are able to do and coupled with the fact that drivers may have a preference over the type of hours and shifts that they work, the industry requires a range of different drivers to fulfil all of its transportation needs.

Where are there shortages in the HGV industry?

It has been widely reported that there is a shortage of HGV drivers both across the UK and across Europe as a whole. Yet it is difficult to pin point the exact areas of work within the industry where the shortages are being most felt. It appears that this shortage is really an industry wide one as the number of people applying for HGV licences stagnates given the rising costs and lack of Government funding to help support people through training.

Read our recent blog on what is being done to address the shortage of HGV drivers here.

Anthony Jones specialise in arranging insurance for the transport and cargo industry for those operating in the UK, Europe or worldwide. If you operate a single vehicle or large fleet of vehicles, then we can help you with managing risk and finding the best value insurance for your business. Get in touch with us today on 020 8290 9099 or email us on commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com

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