Before you decide to begin your journey and become a bus driver you will first need to secure your heavy vehicle licence. The primary means of obtaining a heavy vehicle licence is to complete a Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA) course with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
What is a heavy vehicle?
Heavy vehicles are classified as motor vehicles that have three or more axles with a Gross Vehicle Mass over 4.5 tonnes. Examples of heavy vehicles include:
- Trucks, towed trailers and semi-trailers
- Passenger buses
- Road trains
- Vehicle carriers
- Livestock/agricultural transportation vehicles
- Mobile cranes
- Other special purpose vehicles
As a HR driver, it is your responsibility to understand the road rules and regulations that apply to you and your vehicle. As these types of vehicles are much different to operate than a regular motor vehicle, such as a car, there are certain eligibility requirements for applicants who wish to apply for a Heavy Rigid (HR) Licence.
Getting a HR Licence
Prior to beginning the process of obtaining your HR Licence, it is important to understand the various licence classes issued by Transport NSW:
- MC - Multi Combination: this is the highest level licence which allows a driver to operate any vehicle on NSW roads (except a motorcycle)
- HC - Heavy Combination: these vehicles include vehicles with three or more axles and a GVM of over nine tonnes
- HR - Heavy Rigid: these vehicles with three or more axles and a GVM of over eight tonnes such as trucks and buses
- MR - Medium Rigid: these vehicles have two axles and a GVM of over eight tonnes such as trucks and buses
- LR - Light Rigid: these vehicles have a GVM of up to eight tonnes such as small trucks and small buses
- C - Car
In order to drive a heavy vehicle in NSW, such as a bus, you must obtain your HR Licence. Securing your HR Licence involves the following requirements:
- You must have held a class C licence or equivalent for two years or more - any time spent on a P1/P2 licence counts towards this but you must hold a P2 or full class C licence to practice on a HR vehicle
- You must pass the HR Licence knowledge test
- You must pass an eyesight test
- You must successfully complete the HVCBA Training and Assessment or pass a Roads and Maritime driving test
What does a HR knowledge assessment involve?
Securing your HR licence and becoming qualified to drive a bus or truck in NSW involves two components:
- Knowledge assessment (theory)
Before you apply for your HVCBA, you must first pass a heavy vehicle road rules knowledge test. The heavy vehicle knowledge assessment tests what you know about the general road rules as well as rules related to heavy vehicles.
In order to pass your heavy vehicle knowledge assessment test, you must first study the ‘Heavy Vehicle Drivers Handbook’ to ensure you are aware of all the rules and regulations surrounded by driving a heavy vehicle.
You can also access assessment question banks via the RMS website which gives you a glimpse into the types of questions you can be asked during the heavy vehicle knowledge assessment test.
Once you have passed your knowledge test, your ‘pass’ is valid for 36 months.
- Driving test/HVCBA (practical)
Once you have studied and passed the heavy vehicle knowledge assessment test, you will be able to book to undertake a heavy vehicle driving test at Transport NSW or with an accredited RTO, who will test your practical skills on the road.
Becoming a bus driver in NSW requires you to obtain your HR Licence. Once you have successfully passed both components, both theory and practical.
If you want to become a bus driver, a part of the process is that you must successfully pass the knowledge test and thereafter undertake the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment (HVCBA) as well as Bus Driver Authority Training. Completing these components means that you secure your NSW Bus Driver Authority Card and be able to hit the road.
Obtaining your NSW Bus Driver Authority Card is made a little more straightforward with Intertrain. We provide online Bus Driver Authority Training, allowing you to complete your assessment with ease and convenience, entirely online. All you need to do is register, study and apply.
Are you ready? Contact us today on 1300 222 776.