441 Sutton Rd, Majura ACT 2609

(02) 6297 7187

Mon - Fri 7:30am - 4:30pm


Licence to drive a heavy combination vehicle

NSW Heavy Combination (HC)


As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), Transport Industries Skills Centre Inc. (TISC) is qualified to conduct heavy vehicle truck licence training and assessment on behalf of both the ACT and NSW Governments. Our facilities and fleet is located at the Sutton Road Training Centre with everything in one place to help you get your truck licence. Training and Assessments are delivered one-on-one with the trainer so students receive high quality training that can be customised to meet the students’ various needs.

The following course information is specifically for the Heavy Combination (HC) Synchromesh and Non-Synchromesh licence classes issued in the NSW.

There are different course information pages for larger vehicle classes and ACT licences.

What do I need to apply for an HC licence?

You must –

  • Have held a current medium or heavy rigid driver licence (provisional licence accepted) for a minimum of 1 year.
  • Be a minimum of 19 years old.
  • Have completed a TISC Enrolment Form
  • Pass the Heavy Vehicle Knowledge Test from a Transport for NSW Centre prior to enrolling in any heavy vehicle training or assessments. Students can complete this at the Queanbeyan Service Centre (13 77 88).
  • Pass an Eyesight Test 
  • Obtain the Competency Based Assessment logbook from a Transport for NSW Centre.

*NSW licence holders are required to complete a new Driver Knowledge Test’even if they already hold a heavy vehicle driver licence in a smaller class and only want to upgrade their licence.

The HVCBA has a training element and an assessment element called the Final Competency Assessment

The Final Competency Assessment is the final practical test you must complete at the end of your HVCBA training.  Your trainer and assessor will be 2 different people.

In order to pass the assessment, you must demonstrate the skills you have learned in your HVCBA training and show that you can operate a heavy vehicle safely.

Once you pass this assessment, the assessor will submit your results to Transport for NSW and keep your log book.

You can then attend a service centre in person to upgrade or obtain your new heavy vehicle licence.

HC Course Content

    • Criteria 1 – Pre-operational check
    • Criteria 2 – Cabin drills
    • Criteria 3 – Start, move off, shut down and secure
    • Criteria 4 – Manage steering
    • Criteria 5 – Manages gears
    • Criteria 6 – Manages brakes
    • Criteria 7 – Manages accelerator
    • Criteria 8 – Create and maintain crash avoidance space
    • Criteria 9 – Protect crash avoidance space
    • Criteria 10 – Road rules and directions
    • Criteria 11 – Reversing
    • Criteria 12 – Hill stop/start
    • Criteria 13 – Load securing
    • Criteria 14 – Bus stop procedure (if course is conducted in a bus only)

What is a Heavy Combination vehicle?

  • A prime mover to which is attached a single semitrailer plus any unladen converter dolly.
  • Articulated vehicles with 3 or more axles
  • Any towed trailer with a GVM more than 9 tonnes.

What is a Heavy Combination Licence?

This licence class is applied to trucks with a trailer.

If you’ve held a medium or heavy rigid class driving licence for at least 1 year, you could  upgrade your driver licence to a heavy combination licence and further your career in the transport industry.

Completing the course will give you a class HC licence which will allow you to drive automatic and synchromesh manual vehicles or a vehicle with a non-synchromesh gearbox.  You will be able to safely drive a rigid vehicle attached to a trailer with a GVM over 9 tonne.

Meeting the necessary HC licence requirements means you will be able to legally drive and operate a variety of vehicles used in the transport industry – increasing your skills and employability.

If you complete the course in a vehicle with a synchromesh gearbox, “Condition B” will appear on your licence, enabling you to drive trucks with and automatic and synchromesh gearbox.  You will however not be allowed to drive Class HC vehicles with a Non-Synchromesh gearbox (also sometimes referred to as a Crash box).

If you complete the course in a vehicle with a non-synchromesh gearbox, you will obtain an unrestricted HC licence.

What is the difference between a Synchromesh and a non-Synchromesh gearbox?

Synchromesh gearbox

A synchromesh gearbox is a manually operated transmission in which a change of gears takes place between gears that are already revolving at the same speed. It is often claimed that a synchromesh gearbox requires less effort to change gears.  These gear boxes have 8 forward gears with a low range and a high range lever.

Gears 1 to 4 are in low range with 5 to 8 in high range. The range change is made with the movement of a small lever located at the front of the gear lever at the appropriate time.

 Non-Synchromesh gearbox

The non-synchromesh gear box is sometimes referred to as a crash box and these gearboxes come in a 9, 13, 15 or 18 speed, depending on the truck.  The gearbox in our truck is an Eaton Fuller 18 Speed, with a low and high range lever as well as a gear splitter which enables the driver to use half gears.

When using half gears the gear changing technique changes from double clutching to a single clutch movement and the gear lever is moved in and out of the same gear position or to the next full gear position, but more on that as you progress through the course.

What makes this gearbox different is that the driver has to match the road speed (KM) and engine speed (revs) to enable a gear change to take place. These gearboxes require more driver input to ensure that you are able to change gears smoothly or at all. For every gear change the clutch is used twice, hence the term double clutching.

It takes an average of approximately 20 hours before someone is competent in the use of a non-synchromesh gear box due to the complexities in operating this gearbox.  Training sessions are recommended in 2 hour or 4 hour slots.

Resources for this licence class –

Practice Knowledge test


Knowledge Test Question bank


Guide to Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment


Heavy Vehicle Driver Handbook

Heavy Vehicle Drivers Handbook (nsw.gov.au)

Road User handbook


Load Restraint Guide


Course Details
  • All pricing includes GST
  • Full payment must be made at time of booking
  • NSW students are required to complete a minimum of 5 hours training before attempting an assessment
Licence Class 2 hour Training
Own Vehicle / TISC
Own Vehicle / TISC
Heavy Combination Synchromesh $545/ $580 $580 / $605
Heavy Combination Non-Synchromesh $515 / $580 $580 / $605

Individual training and assessment sessions can be booked in the following time blocks:

  • 8:00am – 10:00am
  • 10:15am – 12:15pm
  • 1:00pm – 3:00pm

In the first training session, students must complete a pre-departure check, load restraint and cabin controls before they can commence the practical driving component. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the course commencing to complete the relevant paperwork.

Heavy Combination Synchromesh – Students that have no experience in driving this vehicle class often require more than 6 hours of training before attempting the assessment.

Heavy Combination Non-Synchromesh – This is quite challenging and students take an average of 10 x 2 hour training sessions to be found competent. As a result, students are recommended to only book 2 – 4 hours of training at a time and then book an individual assessment when confident.

Combination of theory and one-on-one practical training

All students must –

  • Have a moderate level of English language.  A language, Literacy and Numeracy assessment might require completion prior to enrolment
  • Be confident in driving a manual vehicle.
  • Have held a medium or heavy rigid driver licence (provisional licence accepted) for a minimum of one year .
  • Be a minimum of 19 years old.
  • Have completed the Driver Knowledge Test from a Transport for NSW Service Centre prior to enrolling in any heavy vehicle training or assessments. Students can complete this at the Queanbeyan Service Centre (13 77 88).
  • Obtain the Competency Based Assessment logbook from a Transport for NSW Centre.
  • Pass an Eyesight Test 
  • Have a completed TISC Enrolment Form e-mailed to office@suttonroad.com.au together with your driver licence and knowledge test to finalise the full enrolment process or complete the enrolment at the bottom of this page.  During the online enrolment process, you will be asked to upload your driver licence and knowledge test so please have this ready.

*NSW licence holders are required to complete a new Driver Knowledge Test even if they already hold a heavy vehicle driver licence in a smaller class and only want to upgrade their licence.

  • Current driver licence.
  • Competency Based Assessment logbook provided by a Transport for NSW Centre.
  • Students are required to bring their own lunch; however fast food outlets are located in Queanbeyan if you prefer to purchase it. A fridge, microwave, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.
  • Enclosed shoes and comfortable clothing suitable for the expected weather.
  • High visibility vest. (We can provide you with one on the day)
  • Additional items depending on the weather such as a hat, sunscreen or rain jacket where required.

If you want to use your own vehicle, please note the following:

  • Someone who is licenced to drive this class will need to accompany you or bring and collect the vehicle.
  • Your vehicle must be ACT or NSW registered.  (It cannot be federally registered)
  • Must be 75% loaded – this load cannot be dangerous goods, livestock, or fluid (excludes busses) – we will require a weighbridge ticket.
  • Must have two or more seats, all fitted with full seatbelts.
  • We will require a copy of your vehicle registration papers with your enrolment forms.

The course is assessed with a practical demonstration that meets the Transport for NSW heavy vehicle licensing assessment requirements. There is no written or verbal assessment conducted on this course. There is no guarantee that students will pass the assessment and if they are found to be ‘Not Yet Competent’, they need to enrol in another individual assessment at a later date and pay the associated fee.

Students who are found competent will not be licenced to drive a Heavy Combination vehicle yet. You first need to present the appropriate documentation provided by the TISC Assessor to a Transport for NSW Centre. The course price does not include the cost for issuing a new driver licence.

As the assessment for this course is regulated, we are unable to RPL or credit transfers for students. Students with existing experience driving a heavy vehicle can complete a reduced amount of training but will still have to complete the practical assessment.

Students have a right to appeal any assessment decision. A student wanting to make a complaint or appeal will need to complete the Assessment Complaints and Appeals Recording Form. Students can obtain a hard copy of the Assessment Complaints and Appeals Recording Form from reception or request it via email. 

In the event that TISC is unable to complete the delivery of any of the course, a full refund will be issued. 

As part of TISC’s obligation to the learner, we will ensure that all training is compliant with the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTO) 2015 and is delivered to a high standard.

A student’s driver licence, HVCBA logbook and course enrolment forms are required within 48-hours of making a booking. TISC does not accept any tentative bookings and will only confirm a student’s enrolment upon receipt of the driver licence, HVCBA logbook for HC, course enrolment forms and course payment.

COVID 19 Policy

Your co-operation in helping to keep the Sutton Road Training Centre free of COVID-19 is appreciated. If you are unwell and have any common COVID-19 symptoms you should not attend the Centre.


Cancellations made up to one week (7 days) prior to this course commencing will receive a full refund. Any cancellations made after this time will not be eligible for any refund.
Failure to appear on the day will not attract a refund. However, TISC at their sole discretion may offer to rebook the student on a later course upon the presentation of a medical certificate for the course days that were missed.

We at located at 441 Sutton Road, Majura ACT.  Our training facilities are located on the left side of the road, approximately 900m from the Sutton Rd/Pialligo Ave intersection. There is ample free parking for students onsite.

Make a booking

Before you can make a booking, we ask you to answer a few questions first so we can determine if you meet the course prerequisites.  If you are eligible to enrol for this course, you will be directed to the booking page and you will require to upload the printed page with your details from your Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment Logbook (Knowledge Test) and Driver Licence.  Please ensure you have this ready to complete the booking.