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What type of license do you need to drive a Concrete Pump?

What type of license do you need to drive a Concrete Pump?

Concrete line pumps and boom pumps are essential tools in the construction industry, but this specialised equipment might require a specific type of driver’s license to operate. So what license do you need for your vehicle, and why?

This hot-topic question within the construction industry has had everyone scratching their heads for a while now, but thanks to the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), we have a definitive answer.

To operate and drive a truck-mounted concrete pump in the UK you must hold a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) as well as a vocational driving license.

How are vehicles mounted with concrete pumps classified?

Put simply, the weight of your vehicle will determine whether you need a category C (HGVs and large vehicles) or category B (standard) license to drive a vehicle fitted with a concrete line pump or boom pump.

The CPA states that any truck-based rigid vehicle with mounted equipment must be below a certain weight to be considered a vehicle compliant with Construction and Use Regulations (“C & U”). If the vehicle is over this weight, it is considered “engineering plant”.

The threshold for the weight of the vehicle depends on the number of axles it has. A vehicle is classed as engineering plant if it exceeds the following weights:

  • 30,000kg for vehicles with four axles (or 32,000kg if fitted with Road Friendly Suspension)

  • 25,000kg for vehicles with three axles (or 26,000kg if fitted with Road Friendly Suspension)

  • 16,260kg for vehicles with two axles

There are some other nuances to these distinctions, which you can check by reading the CPA’s note on driver’s licenses.

So, what license do I need?

If you drive a concrete pump classified as engineering plant (over the weight threshold) and are operated under The Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types) (General) Order 2003 (STGO), you only need a standard driver’s license. This is subject to you receiving a VSO (Vehicle Special Order) for your vehicle. There are two types of VSO’s for Concrete Pumps:

  • VSO Type 1 is only suitable until March 2025 and applies to concrete pumps that exceed standard weights by 12.5%.

  • Concrete Pump VSO Type 2 applies for concrete pumps that exceed standard weights by over 12.5%. (See our letter from the department of transport for further clarification).

Meanwhile, if you drive a vehicle classified as C & U Compliant (under the weight threshold), you need an HGV license. It’s that simple.

Even if a vehicle is classified as “engineering or special plant” on V5C registration documents, it might still require an HGV license to drive. It all comes down to the gross weight of the chassis combined with the concrete line pump or boom pump, and the number of axles on the vehicle.

Difference between a concrete line pump and a boom pump

Different kinds of concrete pump are usually mounted onto different kinds of vehicles. Concrete line pumps are lighter than boom pumps, as they are designed for smaller projects where concrete only needs to be transported over a short distance, like creating a foundation for a residential house.

On the other hand, concrete boom pumps are designed for larger and more complex projects, like transporting concrete to the roof of a high-rise construction project. Additional components, like hydraulic booms and outriggers, make boom pumps on the whole much heavier than line pumps.

What license do I need to drive a concrete line pump?

It’s very common to see concrete line pumps mounted on 7.5-ton chassis. Because of this, a common misconception is that you only needed a standard driver’s license to drive them. Grandfather Rights means that drivers who obtained their Cat B car license before January 1997 have automatic rights to drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes However, it’s very likely that you do need an HGV driver’s license to drive a concrete line pump if you obtained your driving license after 1997. According to the DVLA’s INF52 pamphlet, Cat C license would most likely also be required if the concrete line pump weighs over 7.5 tons.

The CPA makes it clear that by mounting concrete pumping equipment to the vehicle, it’s automatically considered either a “C & U compliant” vehicle, or engineering/special plant. That goes for other equipment like excavators and volumetric mixers, too. If you’re mounting the equipment on a relatively light vehicle, it probably won’t reach the weight threshold to be classed as engineering plant. For example, take our TB40 Concrete Line Pump, which has a total weight of 5360kg (chassis and pump), well below the threshold to classify as engineering plant.

What license do I need to drive a concrete boom pump?

Being heavier and built for more intensive projects, rigid trucks mounted with concrete boom pumps has been a bit of a grey area, as they were usually classed as engineering plant or special vehicle on V5C registration documents. Many drivers thought they didn’t need an HGV license to drive concrete boom pumps.

Because the C & U regulations override the classification on V5C documents, it’s worth checking the combined weight of your concrete boom pump vehicle to see whether you do need an HGV license to drive it. At the very least, this clarification allows everybody to be on the same page about the license required to drive a concrete boom pump.

Concrete Line and Boom Pumps from Utranazz

Because of these regulations on vehicle classification and driver’s licences, you might be looking for concrete line and boom pumps that fall into certain categories when mounted to your vehicles. This could be the difference between needing an HGV driver’s license and a standard driver’s licence. Obtaining the proper license is essential for the safe and legal operation of a concrete pump. If in any doubt about what license you need, you should check with the DVLA.

If you have any questions about concrete line pumps or concrete boom pumps from Utranazz, our concrete experts can help. Whether you’re looking for a concrete pump with certain specifications or you’ve got a general query about concrete solutions, just give us a call on  01280 820770  or visit our contact page to get in touch with our friendly team!

What type of license do you need to drive a Concrete Pump?

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