HC Course Information

Watto Training – HC Info

Watto Training delivers heavy vehicle training (MR, HR, HC & MC), using vehicles owned by Ian Watson’s Driver Training Centre.

Training is conducted from 19 Blyth Road, Murrumba Downs Q 4503 unless alternate arrangements have been specifically made.

We can prepare learners for driving tests in classes (MR, HR, HC, MC) at the following Transport and Main Roads Customer Service Centres:

  • Redcliffe
  • Strathpine
  • Caboolture
  • Zillmere

HC (Heavy Combination)

Q: What options do I have for HC training?

A: There are 2 pathways for the HC class:

HC (open)

The open licence which means you can drive any HC. If you choose this pathway you need to train and be assessed in a non-synchronous transmission. This is a form of based on gears that do not use synchronizing mechanisms. The non-synchronous transmission type requires an understanding of gear range, torque, engine power, range selector, multi-functional clutch and shifter functions. You will be required to use a double-clutching technique for gear changing. (see below for more information on double-clutching)

HC (B)

The B restriction licence means you drive HC vehicles with synchronous transmissions, (nicknamed synchros) as well as a automatic vehicles. You will not get a licence to drive a heavy vehicle with a non-synchronous transmission if you choose this pathway.

Q: Do I have to do a driving test to get my HC licence or can it be done by competency based assessment?

A: WATTO TRAINING conducts training in MR, HR and HC to prepare a student for a driving test with a TMR examiner. Only the MC (multi-combination) is competency based at this stage. Competency based training and assessment will come into all classes of the heavy vehicle in the future on a national level, but at this stage there is no fixed date as to when this will occur.

Q: What is double-clutching?

A: Double-clutching (also called a double declutching) is a driving procedure primarily used for vehicles with an unsynchronized manual transmission. (NB: truck drivers in unsynchronized manual transmissions will often not use the clutch at all when driving but for the purposes of a driving test in Queensland you must use the clutch).

The double clutching technique involves the following steps:

  • The throttle (accelerator) is released, the clutch pedal is pressed, and the gearbox is shifted into neutral.
  • The clutch pedal is then released, the driver matches the engine RPM to the gear RPM either using the throttle (accelerator) (when changing down) or waiting for RPM to decrease (when changing up) until they are at a level suitable for shifting into the next gear.
  • At the moment when the revs between engine and gear are closely matched, the driver then instantly presses the clutch again to shift into the next gear. The whole maneuver can, with practice, take no more than a fraction of a second, and the result is a very smooth gear change.

If you have not changed gears using this technique prior to training, do not be alarmed. We have trained many people from scratch who have successfully passed a driving test and gone on to work in the transport industry.

Q: What sort of trucks do you use for crash-box training?

A: Roadranger gearboxes in 2 x Mitsubishi 15 speeds and an Isuzu Gigamax 18 speed

Q: What sort of trucks do you use for synchromesh training?


HC (open) Specific Information

Lessons Required?

(NB: all crash-box training is conducted from Murrumba Downs only)

  • 4-8 hours: experienced truck drivers with significant crash-box and trailer experience
  • 8-12 hours: experienced truck drivers with and some crash-box and trailer experience
  • 12+ hours: some or no truck driving experience, double-clutching, reversing of trailers

Lessons are normally conducted in 2 and 3 hour sessions in the HC class.

If you are graduating from an MR licence to a HC licence, it is common that students have lessons in the prime mover first without the trailer on. That way you can focus on the crash box at the HR training rate which is $110.00 per hour, then put the trailer on when you’re ready to focus on that and you’ve got the gears sorted.

HC (B) Specific Information

Lessons Required?

(NB: all crash-box training is conducted from Murrumba Downs only)

  • 4-8 hours: experienced truck drivers with significant trailer experience
  • 8-12 hours: experienced truck drivers with trailer experience
  • 12+ hours: some or no truck driving experience, reversing of trailers

Lessons are normally conducted in 2 and 3 hour sessions in the HC class.

Test Day Fees

$450.00 (including the government booking fee of $50.50. For tests Monday to Friday, this fee includes a 90 minute warm up before the test).

Deposit to secure test time and location: $150.00 (NB: this is non-refundable unless 2 working days notice is given, and is a condition under which training is under taken with each client. The balance of $300.00 is paid on the test day prior to the warm up session).

Other General Information on HC training

Q: Do you do refresher training?

A: Yes, at the hourly rate.

Q: Do I need a learner’s permit?

A: If you are graduating from an MR or HR licence to a HC licence, no.

Q: How do I know if I am eligible for my desired class of licence?

A: WATTO TRAINING can offer advice but if you want to check to confirm that you are eligible for a particular class of licence then you should go to Transport and Main Roads or call 13 23 80. (Operates Monday-Friday 8am-5pm excluding public holidays).

It is a condition of training and go for a test through WATTO TRAINING that the learner takes 100% responsibility for their eligibility to do a test. This includes overseas students, SPERs issues and medical issues such as diabetes. The $150.00 deposit paid to WATTO TRAINING IS NOT REFUNDABLE if we go for a test and find out when we get there that you are not eligible. The $150.00 will cover WATTO TRAINING’s expenses for the government booking fee and WATTO TRAINING running costs.

How Long Does the Test Take to Complete?

The following table sets out the average on-road test times for each licence class:

Licence Code Average On-road Test Time
RE and R Not more than 35 minutes
C and LR Not more than 35 minutes
MR and HR Not more than 70 minutes
HC Not more than 80 minutes
What Do I Do After I Have Passed the Practical Driving Test?

If you are the holder of a learner licence and are applying for a provisional licence for the first time, you are required to pay a licence fee.

If you are already the holder of a Queensland provisional or open licence, you will need to give up your driver licence so that new driver licence showing the new class of licence may be issued to you free of charge.

Note: Ensure that you remove each L plate from your vehicle before you leave the centre.

What If I Fail the Practical Driving Test?

If you fail the test, don’t panic. After you have had more practice, just simply book a further practical driving test. But before you leave the centre, make sure you understand what driving tasks or skills you need to work on.

How Many Practical Driving Tests Can I Take?

You may take as many tests as is needed, but you are only allowed to take one test in any given day. It will also cost you for each test.

The Q-SAFE Test

Test Day Procedure
  • Make sure you have paid any outstanding driving fines.
  • Meet a trainer for a 90 minute hour warm up session before the assessment.
  • Bring your licence.
  • It is a requirement to arrive at the Test Centre 10 minutes before test time
  • Hand in completed yellow application form and driver’s licence at TMR.
  • Read “A Message from your Driving Examiner”.
  • Go out on test with examiner.
  • While on the driving test the examiner is required to give clear and early directions. At times examiners will chat with you, and other times they may remain quite. Don’t allow nerves or the examiner’s personality put you off the task at hand which is to drive safely and obtain your licence.
  • When the test is completed the examiner will discuss errors with you and then inform you if the test was a pass or a fail.
  • If you pass, you will receive a new licence from the customer service centre when the paper work has been completed (usually 5-10 min). If you fail, then another practical test will need to be done.
How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on the following key elements of driving a heavy vehicle:

  • Pre-drive checks;
  • Manoeuvres – reversing exercise (left and/or right);
  • Gear changing;
  • Hill start;
  • Specific driving situations;
  • Vehicle operation skills;
  • Hazard recognition and decision making skills.
Test vehicles (Information as provided by TMR)

For your driving test, you must drive a vehicle that is representative of the class of vehicle authorised to be driven under the particular class of licence.

Standard test vehicles for each class of licence
Licence class  Vehicle requirement 
LR (light rigid) A bus or truck more than 4.5 tonne GVM but not more than 8 tonne GVM.
MR (medium rigid) A bus or truck more than 8 tonne GVM, with not more than two axles.
HR (heavy rigid) A bus or a truck more than 15 tonne GVM, with at least three axles.
Note: the test cannot be taken in a bobtail prime mover.
HC (heavy combination) A prime mover more than 15 tonne GVM with at least three axles and semi-trailer with at least two axles.A truck more than 15 tonne GVM with at least three axles and trailer more than 9 tonne GVM with at least two axles.

A vehicle of more than 12 tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM) must be equipped with at least three portable warning triangles for the test.

On-road driving test times

The on-road driving test times for the different heavy vehicle licence classes are:

  • LR – 25 to 35 minutes
  • MR and HR – 60 to 70 minutes
  • HC – 70 to 80 minutes

Unless the test is terminated for any reason, the minimum drive time will be 25 minutes for a class LR test, 60 minutes for MR or HR test, and 70 minutes for an HC test.

Uncontrolled and unpredictable events such as road works and traffic crashes may affect the duration of a test.

Q: I wish to book, what do I do next?

For more information, please contact us.

Watto Training RTO Number 40791

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