The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has unveiled plans to allow trainee LGV drivers to take their practical test in a truck with automatic transmission (Commercial Motor).
Currently, all vehicles presented for test must have at least eight forward gears, which is achieved using a variety of manual transmissions.
New legislation, set to be implemented later this year, will do away with the minimum number of gears required and allow the use of two-pedal transmissions. The only stipulation is that the truck must have a manual selector facility (such as a paddle) to allow the driver to change gear manually, if required.
Whereas car drivers who learn to drive in an automatic are not allowed to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission, LGV drivers who pass on a two-pedal transmission will be permitted to drive a truck with a manual gearbox, according to Commercial Motor.
However, Sean Pargeter of Surrey-based EP Training believes that new drivers who pass using an automatic vehicle are likely to be disadvantaged when they try to get a job.
Mr Pargeter said: “There are still a lot of manual trucks out there in the real world and an employer is more likely to offer the job to a candidate who has had experience with a manual gearbox.”
In another significant change also expected later this year, trucks presented for test will need to be laden.
Click here to read the full Commercial Motor report.