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What is a Light Rigid Vehicle?

A Light Rigid licence enables a driver to legally operate vehicles with higher GVMs.

What is a light rigid vehicle?

A light rigid vehicle is a vehicle “with a GVM [Gross Vehicle Mass] of more than 4.5 tonnes, but not more than 8.0 tonnes (any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9.0 tonnes GVM) vehicles up to 8.0 tonnes GVM which can carry more than 12 adults including the driver,” according to Transport for NSW.

Australian drivers are increasingly looking to expand their skill-set to ensure they’re ready to drive a wide variety of vehicles for work and/or play.

One of those conveyances is a light rigid vehicle (LRV or simply LR).

In this yarn, we’ll address several salient LRV-specific issues.

Read on.

What does light rigid mean? 

Light Rigid refers to a light rigid vehicle which is, as mentioned earlier, a vehicle “with a GVM [Gross Vehicle Mass] of more than 4.5 tonnes, but not more than 8.0 tonnes (any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9.0 tonnes GVM), vehicles up to 8.0 tonnes GVM which can carry more than 12 adults including the driver,” the NSW Government states.

A light rigid vehicle is a vehicle “with a GVM [Gross Vehicle Mass] of more than 4.5 tonnes, but not more than 8.0 tonnes.

Which vehicles are classed as light rigid?

Vehicles classed as Light Rigid Vehicles each have, as mentioned*, a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes, but not more than 8.0 tonnes, (and vehicles up to 8.0 tonnes GVM which can carry more than 12 adults including the driver.

* Good information and advice is oft repeated.

So, think small trucks and mini-buses.

What is a light rigid licence? What is its purpose?

A Light Rigid licence gives the holder the legal right to drive a LR vehicle.

An LR licence is the same class of licence throughout Australia but the laws and regulations applying to that licence vary by state and territory, so check the licence-specific terms of the state or territory in which you’re driving, whether that’s NSW, QLD, WA, VIC, SA, ACT, Northern Territory or Tasmania.

For your reference, a class LR – Light Rigid licence in NSW gives you the right to legally drive:

“Rigid vehicles with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonnes, but not more than 8.0 tonnes (any towed trailer must not weigh more than 9.0 tonnes GVM).

“Vehicles up to 8.0 tonnes GVM which can carry more than 12 adults including the driver.

A Light Rigid licence gives the holder the legal right to drive a LR vehicle. (Image: Mark Oastler)

“Vehicles with no restrictions on the number of axles.

“Any vehicle covered by a class C licence, but not motorcycles and scooters."

The purpose of a light rigid licence is so a driver can legally operate a light rigid truck with a greater load capacity. More weight than a dual-cab ute, van or small truck, or to drive a mini-bus commercially or as a volunteer.

A LR licence is a legal requirement for anyone driving a small truck or a mini-bus and it enables you to legally work as a removalist truck driver, a delivery driver, or the driver of a small courtesy-bus. 

A LR licence simply gives a driver more flexibility in terms of what they can legally drive, for business or pleasure.

The purpose of a light rigid licence is so a driver can legally operate a light rigid truck with a greater load capacity. (Image: Mark Oastler)

Is the licensing process different for light rigid vehicles compared to regular car licenses? 

Of course it is. What a ridiculous question. You should be ashamed of yourself.

For starters, the driver must have held a Class C (car) licence for at least a year before applying for a LR licence.

Proof of identity and proof of residence are also required as part of the application process.

As a commercial driver you may be required to meet national medical standards. 

A LR licence can open up a whole new bunch of driving opportunities for you.

How do you go about getting a light rigid vehicle license?

Licensing processes, testing guidelines and licence assessment may differ slightly by state or territory but, for reference, to apply for a LR licence in NSW, you must have held a class C licence (except a learner licence) or equivalent for one year or more, pass the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test, pass an eyesight test, successfully complete the HVCBA (Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment) with a registered training organisation or pass a heavy vehicle driving test.

A light rigid licence cost will vary depending on the volume of training your state or territory requires of you to successfully pass all assessments for a LR licence, as well as the cost of the licence itself, which varies from state to state/territory. 

But, as an example, expect to pay upwards of $800 per person for a one-day LR training course.

So, there you have it. A LR licence can open up a whole new bunch of driving opportunities for you.

If you want to step up to heavy rigid, well, that’s for another yarn…

Marcus Craft
Contributing Journalist
Raised by dingoes and, later, nuns, Marcus (aka ‘Crafty’) had his first taste of adventure as a cheeky toddler on family 4WD trips to secret fishing spots near Bundaberg, Queensland....
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