Master A HGV In This Truck Driving Experience

Truck driving

Ice Road Truckers fans - this is for you. Step up and play with the big boys' toys in this awesome HGV Truck Driving Experience. Get into the driving seat and behind the wheel of a monstrous juggernaut as you learn how to master these massive machines, which certainly put the Goliath in HGV. You’ll rule the road and enjoy a truck-load of thrills as you tame the beast and learn how to control, steer and reverse it around an off-road circuit. Happy truckin'!

If you’ve ever pressed your nose against the window as a fire engine roars past, or stared in awe as truck drivers manoeuvre around tiny roundabouts, this is your chance to step into their boots and find out how it’s done. Leave the Eddie Stobart spotter’s book at home and prepare yourself for a herculean experience which is less Lily-Anne and more Lumberjack Larry. You’ll be king of the road and the torque of the town as you master these burly beasts, which prove that size certainly does matter.

There are different ways to take part in this horn-honking experience:

  • The Truck Driving Experience (sometimes called the Juggernaut Driving Experience) will see you get behind the wheel of an immense artic truck, learning how to master up to 16 gears and manoeuvring the beast through a series of obstacles.
  • The Supercar and Taster Truck Driving Experience is the best of both worlds with a spin in a hot supercar plus a go in a HGV truck
  • The Drive a Fire Engine experience sees you take control of a heavyweight truck. Retired from the fire service it is now used to let people like you race to the scene of a fictional incident, blue lights flashing and siren wailing.
  • A worthwhile variant of truck driving, particularly for those who have mastered an LGV, is a Bus Driving Experience. Take the wheel of a double-decker and a bendy-bus to see how tricky being a bus driver can be.

HGV Truck Driving Experience

On the day you will be briefed about your chosen truck before learning about gear changes and best practice when handling a vehicle of this size. Then it’s into the air-suspended driver's seat of the cab (or ‘tractor unit’ as it’s known by the pros) for a further briefing, and you’re off! You will get one-on-one tuition from a qualified HGV driver which will be tailored to suit individual requirements, and there’s usually the opportunity for a family member or friend to sit in the adjacent seat too.

The instructor will provide tuition and help you to steer the truck through a variety of obstacles, working your way through the gears and even attempting to reverse. After the experience there will be time for questions and photographs with the truck (please note that there is not always a photographer at the scene) and the participant will also receive a certificate.

Expect to spend around 15-20 minutes driving with additional time for registration, briefings and familiarisation. Altogether the experience will take around 2 hours.

Want longer in the truck? Look out for the extended experiences which offer more driving time. This is particularly handy if you are travelling a fair distance to reach the track in the first place.

Participants must possess a full and valid UK driving licence. Wear flat shoes or trainers suitable for driving.

Master 16 gears! - What You Need To Know

  • WHEN: Events are held on selected dates throughout the year, come rain or shine.
  • WHERE: Truck driving experiences mainly take place at race tracks dotted around the UK.
  • WHO: This experience is great for anyone with an interest in road haulage, logistics, suppy chain operations, or simply shiny-looking trucks. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to drive something so dauntingly massive, this is your opportunity in the safety of a dedicated facility with an instructor by your side. It's also a great option for anyone considering a career in long distance road haulage as you'll get a short taste of life inside the cab.
  • OCCASIONS: This is a great gift idea for a birthday present or Christmas present. It's also a good choice as a gift for passing a driving test.
  • PRICES: Expect to pay £100 for a taster session or just shy of £300 for the best available. (correct at the time of writing)

Top HGV Truck Driver Experiences

There's a small number of experiences available. Here's my top picks.

Dennis RS V8 Fire Engine Driving Experience

Head to Bicester, Oxfordshire, and jump into a 10.6 litre 240bhp V8 Perkins diesel Dennis RS V8 Fire Engine. You'll get to grips with this essential piece of firefighting kit, spending around 10 minutes behind the wheel. Make childhood dreams of becoming Fireman Sam a reality.

From £49 per person from Experience Days (at time of writing)Learn more°

Truck Driving Experience

This is the standard truck experience that takes place in a 480 break-horse-power DAF XF truck. The 45-foot long articulated truck is tricky to master - as are its 16 gears - but with direction from your instructor, you'll suss it out quickly. The group experience lasts a few hours and within that, you'll get up to 20 minutes of drive time.

From £69 per person from Activity Superstore (at time of writing)Learn more

Supercar and Truck Driving Experience

Combine the daunting challenge of handling a 480BHP DAF truck with the thrill of licking a supercar around a race track. This 2-in-1 experience pairs the two options together. Spend up to 15 minutes behind the wheel of a 50-foot rig before racing a supercar (including models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin) for six-miles around a track. This is a great choice for petrolheads with a curiosity into the life of a trucker.

From £125 per person from Buyagift (at time of writing)Learn more°

Extended HGV Driving in Devon

Most of the people who contact me want to spend as much time as possible in a truck. 20 minutes just doesn't cut it. That's why this experience in Honiton, Devon, is my top pick. The experience lasts around 1½ hours in total and, refreshingly, you will drive the truck for most of this time. Better still, it's on a 1:1 basis so you don't need to share the ride with other customers. Tow a 40 tonne, 55-foot long, three-axle trailer with an automatic 460 bhp tractor unit around a massive airfield. This is a top rated experience and rightly so.

From £275 per person from Into The Blue (at time of writing)Learn more°

(Photo credit to Dakhlallah)


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Hi, I'm David. I love finding unique gift ideas, so decided to blog about the best ones here. You won't find junk or tacky products here - I'm only interested in proper presents worth giving (and receiving).

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Ask David

    • The 15 minute driving sessions are fixed. I believe there are optional extras available, such as booking weekend dates, or taking out a collision damage waiver, etc.

  1. Hi David would like to enquire / book. Lorry experience my partner in late aug early sept for my partner. Believe one in Louth. Do you have details many thanks derek

  2. Hi David.

    I’ve been reading all the details, thinking of the requirements mentioned about minimum height for HGV driving, I might just be OK. However, is there also a minimum foot size requirement for the pedals?! Thinking my feet are only size 3, and HGVs are probably designed more with men in mind to be driving them. Is this likely to be a problem? Thanks DebW

    • They are larger pedals but so long as you satisfy the height requirement, I can’t see it being an issue. It might be worthwhile double checking with the company you plan to buy this experience from, just for peace of mind, but I honestly don’t think that would be a problem.

  3. Hi been looking at truck driving experience days and twenty mins does not seem a lot just driving. Would it be possible for upto90 mins driving time including reverse manuvering etc. .howmuch would this be. I’m looking in the northwest area..Thanks nick.

    • I’m afraid these experiences are very rigid. There’s one experience in the south of the country that is far more exhaustive than the others, but I suspect that’ll be a hefty journey to get there and back.

  4. Hi
    In searching for a HGV Experience day as a present for my wife ,I can find no locations anywhere near our home in Merseyside.
    Can you help,please ?

  5. I’m interested in an extended HGV driving session. Can you let me know if any are available? I live in Watford nr London but travel all over the UK with work.

  6. I would like to surprise my husband for 70th birthday with hgv driving course, family would loke to come so hotel near be good. We live in North Wemald Epping

    • That’s exactly how I would do it. As there aren’t many places in the country offering HGV experience days I would most likely book a hotel and make a holiday of it all. I’d suggest buying the experience day voucher and giving that as the birthday gift and then book the course (and hotel if you choose to) for a date that suits everybody.

  7. Do you have 40 ft lorry drive gift experience in Norwich area.
    This would be a surprise present for my son’s 55th birthday.
    Regards Dorothy

  8. Hi,I would like to book the 30 minute truck driving experience but not sure if it can be done at Honiton, really don’t want to travel too far,not much down this end.

    • Only the 90 minute experience is listed as available at Honiton, Devon. This is a great experience and one of the best truck driving experiences available.

    • Dates are available to pick and choose from once you have bought the experience. The 90 minute experience normally takes place on Saturdays throughout the year and some selected weekdays depending upon both demand and availability.

  9. I want to book a present for 2 hour drive experience in hgv for my wife I live in leeds where is the closest and when

    • Elvington is the closest to Leeds and here you’ll be able to enjoy the Taster experience or the Taster & Supercar experience. Dates differ between venues but you can check with the experience day suppliers above to find out when they are available. From what I can find these experiences are typically available on selected Friday to Sunday’s between March and November. Weekend dates tends to incur a small additional premium. Each location may be slightly different though.

    • These are normally available at selected locations including Bruntingthorpe (Leicestershire), Elvington (Yorkshire), Gainsborough (Lincolnshire), Honiton (Devon), Longcross (Surrey), Louth (Lincolnshire) and Norwich (Norfolk).

  10. I would love to book this for my Fathers 80th birthday as he was an HGV driver in his day, but I feel 10/15 minutes is not long enough behind the wheel to get a full experience. Taking into account travelling time to and from the venue it hardly makes for a day out.

    • This taster experience appeals more to people who have never driven a HGV before. There are 30 and 90 minute long experiences available (see above) and whilst these cost a bit more they offer a longer time in the driving seat.

  11. Would really like to try this experience have driven a steam train and aeroplane.
    Unfortunately as other people who have left comments.
    I am not prepared to travel so far for 15mins of actual driving experience.
    45mins would be basic minimum.

    • I agree with you too. I believe a longer experience used to be offered but I think the cost made it prohibitive for many. Experience days are offered only if there’s demand so I can only assume there wasn’t enough demand. Perhaps if enough people try the taster HGV experience a longer version will be offered before long? I’d love to see a longer experience on offer personally.

    • The only restrictions we know of is that you must possess a full UK driving licence to participate and that the minimum age is 17 years. There’s also a minimum height requirement of 5 ft.

      Presumably if your mother has a full driving licence then there shouldn’t be an issue with age. You might want to check with the suppliers above though just to double-check.

  12. 15-20 minutes seems a little short for a “proper present”.
    Yes, I understand that the whole experience may be up to 2 hours but it still seems very brief for something that we may have to travel a fair distance for and will end up costing closer to £200 with additional travel costs.
    Is there no way of extending the time driving the HGV? Perhaps by booking twice?

    • I fully understand where you’re coming from. I think there used to be a longer version of this experience but cannot find it offered now suggesting that not enough people opted for it to keep on running it. Experience days like this aren’t usually run back-to-back so the option of buying two experiences probably wouldn’t work here. That all said, it’s a fun experience and there’s nothing quite like getting behind the wheel of a truck. Forget supercars, this is where it’s at!

      • It’s not ideal for everybody but as a taster experience it’s a great way to get behind the wheel of a truck, without getting a provisional HGV licence and taking some lessons.

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