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Do you need a HGV licence to drive a mobile crane?

Understanding the legal requirements for operating heavy machinery, like a mobile crane, is paramount for ensuring the safety and efficiency of operations within the UK. One crucial question is: Do you need a HGV licence to drive a mobile crane? The concise answer to this is yes, you generally require a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) licence to operate a mobile crane in the UK. Let’s delve deeper into the licensing requirements and explore the different types of HGV licences, highlighting the appropriate one for mobile crane operation.

Licensing Requirements for Mobile Crane Operators

Operating a mobile crane is not a straightforward task and thus requires specific licensing. Mobile cranes are categorised as heavy goods vehicles, and UK law mandates operators to hold a valid HGV licence.

It’s vital to ensure that all mobile crane operators are fully licensed and trained, enhancing safety and efficiency on the job site.

HGV Licence Categories

In the UK, there are several categories of HGV licences, each permitting the holder to operate different types of heavy vehicles. For operating a mobile crane, a Category C licence is typically necessary.

  • Category C1: Vehicles between 3,500 and 7,500 kg (with a trailer up to 750 kg).
  • Category C: Vehicles over 3,500 kg (with a trailer up to 750 kg).

Obtaining the Appropriate HGV Licence

To obtain a Category C HGV licence, which is suitable for mobile crane operation, you need to undergo specific training and pass both a theory and practical test. It’s essential to choose a reputable training provider to ensure the best preparation for the licensing examinations.

Application Process

The application process for a HGV licence involves several steps:

  1. Acquiring a provisional HGV licence.
  2. Completing HGV driver training.
  3. Passing the theory and practical tests.

Additional Certification

Beyond the HGV licence, mobile crane operators may also need to obtain a Crane Operator Certificate. This certification further ascertains their skills and knowledge in operating a mobile crane safely and effectively.


So, to reiterate, a HGV licence is generally required to operate a mobile crane in the UK. Ensuring all operators hold the necessary licences and certifications is paramount for upholding the highest standards of safety and professionalism within the industry. Those looking to embark on a career in mobile crane operation should begin by obtaining a Category C HGV licence and consider additional certifications for further skill enhancement.

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