Candidate Case Studies

David Carroll qualified as a professional truck driver in the UK. He came over to Australia on a Visa 417 and worked for Driver Hire Sydney...

“The experience of working alongside Driver Hire Sydney is the best I’ve had. I’ve worked for a lot of agencies and none are as passionate or as hard working as they are”

David Carroll, HC Driver
Driver Hire Sydney

David Carroll
HC Driver, Driver Hire Sydney

David learnt of Driver Hire Australia whilst working in the UK for various agencies as an articulated truck driver. Struggling as a new driver to gain the experience he wanted, he took up the opportunity to work in Sydney and he hasn’t looked back!

We found out why and how he did it, and what it’s really like to work for Driver Hire Australia…

What made you firstly look at Australia as a place to work?

I was working as an articulated truck driver in the UK for different agencies, from postal services and general haulage to refrigerated goods. I was finding that to secure any sort of good work in the UK, you needed the ‘experience’ and as I had none, it was preventing me from gaining it in the first place.

Australia is somewhat familiar and it looked like a very interesting country, so instead of wasting my time in the UK getting poor work, I thought I’d travel to Australia and see if I liked working there as a truck driver.

I had learnt about Driver Hire Sydney whilst in the UK and it was part of my plan in getting work once I had flown over there. I already knew the steps I would need to take in order to acquire an Australian licence and I knew once I had done it, I could contact them for work.

“I had learnt about Driver Hire Sydney whilst in the UK and it was part of my plan in getting work once I had flown over there…”

How did you find the Visa 417 process?

Because of the time difference and the amount of checks that needed to be made by the Australian Government, it took all in all about two weeks to get my Working Holiday Visa through.

The cost of the visa was around £267, which is just to be allowed into the country and work. This doesn’t include flights, accommodation, transport, all things that would be necessary if you want to work down under.

How did you convert your licence?

To convert my UK HGV Class 1 licence over to an Australian licence, it only took me two weeks as I already knew how to drive trucks and the theory questions were simple – a lot easier than the UK tests!

My UK licence, which wasn’t taken off me or defaced, was converted to a HC driving licence, meaning I could drive single trailer trucks or semis. The next step up would be MC but I have to have driven HC for one year before having the opportunity to sit the MC licence test.

“I only had to apply for one agency as their service was beyond brilliant. Driver Hire Sydney not only got me work quickly but if an issue did occur, it was dealt with swiftly and professionally”

What was it like working for Driver Hire Australia?

I only had to apply for one agency as their service was beyond brilliant. Driver Hire Sydney not only got me work quickly but if an issue did occur, it was dealt with swiftly and professionally. The branch is located in Parramatta, it is small but has a very good family feel.

The experience of working alongside Driver Hire Sydney is the best I’ve had. I’ve worked for a lot of agencies and none are as passionate or as hard working as they are. I can’t think of anything that could improve the service I already received.

What type of work have you had whilst in Australia?

My first job was with a general haulage company that primarily dealt with toilet paper, the next two were refrigerated transport companies. I have spent most of my time with one company and brought the 2018 New Year in with them. If you want to drive American trucks, this company was the one to look for.

I then moved from Sydney to go and work for Driver Hire Brisbane and the company which I am currently working for is another general haulage firm. I drive everything from 6 tonne rigids to 44 tonne American behemoths.

What would you advise someone considering this opportunity?

My advice to anyone is read and learn everything first before you come over. There are no digital tachos yet, so the amount of paperwork is five times heavier than in the UK and for most deliveries, you will need a site induction. Most of the work you will be doing is local unless you go for a MC licence.

The upside to working here (even if for a little bit) is it’s Australia! It’s sunny 90% of time, you’re never more than an hour away from a beach and the people that live here are so laid back, it’s funny!

Further information…

If you are a UK HGV Driver and would like to learn more about travelling and working in Australia on a Visa 417, please read our working holiday guidance.

If you would like to get in touch with Driver Hire Sydney, please find their office contact details here.