Heavy vehicle licence assessment

To get a heavy vehicle licence you need to successfully complete a knowledge assessment and a practical assessment, including an on-road driving and an off-road skills assessment.

Testing is performed by Heavy Vehicle Accredited Providers who will issue a Certificate of Competence to you when you have:

  • satisfied eligibility requirements
  • met the evidence of identity criteria
  • passed all tests to get a heavy vehicle licence.
See How to get a heavy vehicle licence for information on eligibility.

Preparing for your assessment

We recommend that you:

  • study the current edition of the Victorian Bus and Truck Drivers’ Handbook,
  • have had enough practice so that your driving skills are adequate, and
  • sign up for a myVicRoads account to check your licence status before your assessment. If your licence isn’t current, or you have a Fines Victoria sanction, the test results won’t be valid and you’ll need to pay for a new test.

See How to get a heavy vehicle licence for information on training and learning to drive a heavy vehicle.

Validity of Tests

The knowledge or practical assessment is valid for 12 months. An applicant who does not pay the necessary fees or satisfies evidence of identity requirements within 12 months of the issue of the Certificate of Competence must sit the tests again.

If you take an assessment while you’re subject to a Fines Victoria licence sanction, your test results won’t be valid and you’ll need to pay for a new test once your sanction’s ended.

The knowledge test is a written test based on the material in The Victorian Bus and Truck Drivers’ handbook.

The heavy vehicle knowledge test must be passed when you are applying for a heavy vehicle licence for the first time.

Multi Combination (MC) applicants must pass a knowledge test based on information presented during the training course.

The knowledge test must be passed before the applicant is permitted to commence the Competency Test (CT) or the Final Competency Assessment (FCA).

There are two types of practical assessment: a competency test (CT) and a final competency assessment (FCA). The CT is permitted where a licence applicant believes that he or she has the knowledge and skills to successfully demonstrate the competencies required to pass the assessment, without any formal training. The FCA can only be completed after formal training has been undertaken.

The practical assessment is made up of the on-road and off-road competencies outlined below.

Off-road competency

Pre operational checks
Tyres, wheels
and wheel nuts
Load securing
Vehicle posture Fluid leaks/levels
Vehicle measurements Loose/missing/broken
fittings
Air leaks Lights and indicators
Couplings Drive belts and pulleys
Cabin drill
Seating position Cleanliness
Seat belts Controls
Mirrors

On-road competency

Vehicle operation and control
Start, move off, shut down
& secure
Manages accelerator
Manages brakes Manages gears
Manages steering
Low risk driving behaviours
Create & maintain crash avoidance
space
Hill stop/start
Protect crash avoidance space Bus stop procedure (buses only)
Compliance
Obeys road rules Follows assessor's instructions
Addtional risk management
Reverse
Long reverse Off-set reverse
 

The Competency Test (CT)

Where a CT applicant exceeds the number of allowable errors or performs an action that is assessed as an “Immediate Failure” during the on-road assessment, the assessor must terminate the test and take over the driving.

Only applicants undertaking a training and assessment program for a rigid vehicle may at any time choose to undertake a CT rather than continuing with the training and assessment process.

The Final Competency Assessment (FCA)

Where an FCA applicant exceeds the number of allowable errors during the on-road assessment, the assessor may permit the applicant to continue to drive the vehicle for training purposes.

In cases where an FCA applicant performs an action that is assessed as an “Immediate Failure”, the assessor may permit the applicant to continue to drive the vehicle for training purposes as long as safety is not compromised. Where safety has been compromised the assessor must take over the driving.

If an applicant fails the on-road assessment for either an CT or a FCA, a full on-road re-assessment must be undertaken. Off-road tasks successfully undertaken will continue to be valid for up to 12 months from the date of completion.

 

Minimum requirements for assessment vehicles

Vehicles used for assessment purposes must have approved seats and seat belts fitted to ensure all occupants are restrained in a safe manner during the test. You must undergo an assessment in a vehicle appropriate for the category of licence you are seeking.

When making your test booking, check that the vehicle you intend to use is suitable and has the type of transmission you want to use when you are licensed. The heavy vehicle must be equipped with a seat belt for all occupants present during the assessment.

Assessment vehicle types

Category Assessment vehicle types
Multi Combination (MC)
  • A Heavy Combination vehicle with more than one trailer. The vehicle must be B-Double rated and have all the pertinent documentation, permits etc.The combination must be at least 22 metres in length, in B-double configuration.
  • The minimum vehicle type for an MC is a 3 axle prime mover with an A and B trailer each with bogie axles.
Heavy Combination (HC)
  • A vehicle consisting of a prime mover and a semi-trailer. The prime mover must have a minimum of three axles and the semi-trailer a minimum of two axles. The vehicle must have a GCM rating of at least 24 tonnes or
  • A Heavy Rigid vehicle which is towing a trailer.  The trailer must have at least two axles and a GVM of 12 tonnes or more.
Heavy Rigid (HR)
  • A rigid vehicle, not being an unladen prime mover, with a minimum of three axles and a minimum 15 tonnes GVM or
  • A modified 3 axle prime mover with a certified detachable tray (with the capacity to carry 75% of its specified GVM) with a minimum GVM of 15 tonnes and holds dual registration (HC & HR) or
  • A Three axle articulated bus (refer “Use of Buses, Coaches and Motor Homes”) or
  • A Three axle bus above 15 tonnes GVM (refer “Use of Buses, Coaches and Motor Homes”).
Medium Rigid (MR)
  • A Two axle rigid truck, not being a prime mover, above 8 tonnes GVM or
  • A Two axle bus above 8 tonnes GVM (refer “Use of Buses, Coaches and Motor Homes”).
Light rigid (LR)
  • A Rigid truck above 4.5 tonnes GVM but less than or equal to 8 tonnes GVM or
  • A Rigid bus with less than or equal to 8 tonnes GVM or seats more than 12 adults, including the driver (refer “Use of Buses, Coaches and Motor Homes”).

Buses or motor homes will be permitted to be used as an assessment vehicle for light rigid assessments only as long as the vehicle fits the specification for a light rigid vehicle (see above).

Restricted vehicle types

Most vehicles will be suitable for on-road tests, however some have restrictions placed on them as follows and cannot be used for licence testing:

  • armoured vehicles
  • dual control vehicles
  • vehicles displaying trade plates
  • vehicles carrying a placard of dangerous goods
  • Special Purpose Vehicles (except emergency service vehicles)
  • cranes, specialised road working vehicles and farm machinery
  • Federal Interstate Registered vehicles.

These vehicles may only be used if a special permit has been supplied by the relevant transport authority:

  • livestock transport vehicles, if the load is livestock
  • buses, coaches and motor homes
  • buses or motor homes will only be permitted to be used as an assessment vehicle for light rigid assessments only as long as the vehicle fits the specification for a light rigid vehicle
  • for all other vehicle categories, buses, coaches and motor homes will only be approved for use as an assessment vehicle in special circumstances as determined by VicRoads. In such circumstances these vehicles are exempt from carrying a load. Assessments must not be conducted in these vehicles when carrying passengers, with the exception of VicRoads auditors.

In Cabin technology

For assessment purposes heavy vehicles will be equipped with cabin technology approved by VicRoads. The practical assessment will now be recorded using audio, video and GPS technology. Both the applicant and assessor will be recorded during the assessment.

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