‘Bus driver’ is a perennially popular response when you ask children what they want to be when they grow up. It’s a career that’s well worth considering, even after you get past primary school! Bus driving is a challenging and rewarding career. Taking responsibility for a 12.5-tonne vehicle and helping hundreds of people get to where they need to go every day is a fine way to make a living! There are plenty of adults eager to take the big wheel and become a bus driver. What sort of training and preparation is required to become a bus driver, though?
Bus Driving: Licences And Regulatory Requirements
Government restrictions on driving rapidly become more stringent as vehicles get larger. Transporting passengers rather than goods adds further regulatory hurdles for the would-be driver. For a start, bus drivers need to pass the usual requirements for operating a commercial vehicle. These include:
* Being 18 years of age or older
* Holding a full car licence
* Obtaining a Driver CPC module 2 and 4 (Certificate of Professional Competence)
Driving a bus obliges you to seek out several other qualifications. The most important credential for a bus driver is a CAT D licence. If you want to drive a bus with a trailer attached, you’ll need a CAT D+E licence. If you’re seeking to drive a bus in a non-professional capacity, you also need to be over the age of 24. The CAT D licence entitles you to drive any passenger vehicle with seating for more than eight passengers or any tracked vehicle (so you can always line up a backup career operating construction equipment).
What About The CAT B Licence?
When you study the licencing requirements for driving a bus, you may be dismayed to discover you need a CAT B licence before you can even start working towards your CAT D. Don’t despair! Obtaining your CAT B licence is much easier than you think; in fact, you may already have done it. “CAT B licence” is simply the formal term for an ordinary full drivers licence.
Just as a matter of record, these are the restrictions placed on a CAT B licence: You can only drive vehicles weighing 3,500kg or less and those with no more than eight passenger seats. The towing limit on a CAT B licence is 750kg. This licence also entitles you (if you’re over 21) to operate a motor tricycle.
Let us assume, since you’re considering a professional career as a driver, that you’ve either already got this licence or are well on the way to getting it!
What You Learn In CAT D Licence Training
The CAT D licence is split up into sections, the theoretical and the practical. It shares this structure with most other commercial licences, like the HGV or LGV licences. A properly-designed CAT D training course will equip you with all the skills and knowledge you need to secure the licence and secure a job as a bus driver. Common training subjects include:
* Road rules and regulations with a specific focus on buses
* Fixtures, operation, and maintenance of buses
* Customer service
* Risk management and advanced driver awareness
* Safety training to protect you, your vehicle, your passengers, and other motorists
After completing your training, you set one test for each section, theory and practical. Once you pass the tests, you’re that much closer to being a bus driver.
What’s My Next Step For Getting A CAT D Licence?
Talking to us! The Easy as HGV school offers a range of different professional driving courses, and this includes the exact programmes you need to qualify for a Driver CPC and a CAT D licence. We have all of the training resources you’ll need to learn how to drive buses and other sorts of large vehicles. Get your career off to a faster start — our team will also provide guidance and assistance to help you find a bus driving job after you’ve completed your training and earned the necessary qualifications.