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What licence category were 4 tonners?


Book Reviewer
Back in the day when we did the 4 tonner driver training and test, etc... what licence category was that for?
I did a dual tests for normal licence and hgv 3 in 1985 at woolwich barracks. So the answer would be hgv 3
Seems odd now, but the army HGV 3 course could be taken/tested simultaneously with the standard car test.

Quite a number went from no licence to HGV 3.

Edited for being too slow.
My Bad.. The 3&4 ton designation was the carrying weight...
HGV3 Whatever that means now. Can't remember what the Bedford RL was though.
Originally classed as a 3 tonner during the sixties and early seventies, and then upgraded to a 4 tonner.
Seems odd now, but the army HGV 3 course could be taken/tested simultaneously with the standard car test.

Quite a number went from no licence to HGV 3.

Edited for being too slow.
I could not drive, and so in training I was taught by a civvy instructor in Catterick, first in a LWB rover, test passed and a red book licence was issued. and then straight onto a Bedford RL 3 Tonner. On completion a HGV black book licence was issued. Two licences, the red book I still have, dated September 14th 1972.
I did all my driver training on an RL, passed the test in 1968 and got a red book driving licence, then later on got an HGV 3 on the grandfathers rights or whatever, then did my HGV 2 in an AEC 10 tonner in Duisburg, loads of fun !!


Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Pre Feb 1970 there wasn't an HGV license to hold
If you could provide evidence you had been driving Heavy Goods Vehicles for 6 months you gained Grandfather rights and automatically got the HGV.
Yup, certainly applied in my case. I was 'spammed' when I did a stint at Rifle Depot as s DI to drive a 3 tonner to Wales. I only had a car and motobike license and was advised that was fine. That was during 60s. In around '72 I acquired a HGV bit on my licence. Gave up when I was early 40s.
In 1979 you wouldn't have had a theory test, just a few questions based on the highway code conducted after the driving element of your test.
Exakkerly, I had a little jock full screw from the resident battalion, in Ballykelly, grunt and point at a few road sign pictures and that was that. Much more involved now
ah the RL! a more basic design vehicle couldn't have been possible, and in the sixties all you needed was a car licence.
I arrived from bleeders to my first unit just as a crash out was called, the s/sgt said to me can you drive? yes staff, good well bring the g10 wagon, we didn't need no steenking licences or any of this famming up bollix then :)
Was mooching about various .gov websites as a result of this thread and came across this.

Take a practice theory test - GOV.UK

Test for cars. Got 46 out of 50. Some very different questions to my test in 1979
49/50. Meh. Who said kids need seatbelts anyway? Not bad considering I don't have a UK Licence anymore :)


Gallery Guru
The MJ was 9650kg MAM I think. The ones that weren’t 4X4 were I think less than 7.5 tin but MOD had us do our tests in them. They were 4 cylinder not 6 like the MJ, some had turbos though.
Like you have all said, to drive the Bedford range you had to pass an HGV 3 test.

The 3 axle 10 tonners required an HGV 2 test.

I never had a car licence (only motorcycle) when at Bordon for my basic Recovery course (1976) and on passing my HGV 3, I automatically was issued a car licence. Obviously as a Recy Mech I did class 2 as well.

I have kept my licences up to date, and have just had my 4th medical. (My first was at 45 years of age, Cost now: £60 and up) Apart from the medical you will also need a 'digicard' for tachometers (Cost £32) and to have attended 35 hours of CPC (drivers) instruction, this is an attendance course of 7 hours over 5 days. (cost: £70 per day ish,)

The medical, your CPC course and 'digicard' need renewing after 5 years.

All of the above is required if you want to drive professionally.
43 out of 50 for me. Not bad for a non-driver, but obviously room for improvement.


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