Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Transport Manager

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Transport Manager

Any company holding a standard or standard international operator’s licence needs a qualified nominated transport manager.

The transport manager is someone who looks after a fleet of vehicles and supporting drivers. As a transport manager, you are required to ensure that:

  • Drivers have valid licences
  • Vehicles are taxed and insured
  • Vehicles have a valid and in date MOT, as well as being properly maintained
  • Vehicles are loaded safely
  • Vehicles are not overloaded
  • Drivers do not speed or break the drivers’ hours rules
  • The vehicle operator does not break any safety rules

In order attain a standard / standard international operators’ licence, you need to become a nominated manager. An operator’s licence is required when any vehicle over 3500kgs is being used for a trade or business. Once you have gained your Transport Manager Qualifications, this is valid for life, but it is recommended that you complete refresher courses.

To become a transport manager, you must also obtain the transport manager certificate of professional competence (CPC).

Road Haulage and Passenger

There are two main types of transport manager certifications you can obtain

Road Haulage

This certification is for goods vehicle operators. For example, those who have an HGV organisation.


This certification revolves around public service vehicles. For example, coaches or buses.

The Full Course

Completing the full Transport Manage Road Haulage course will take up to two weeks, which includes both the national and international CPC qualification.

You will be expected to cover the four core competencies in the training course:

  • Managing Business Operations
  • Managing Drivers
  • Managing Compliance & Risk
  • Managing Transport Operations

The Role of a Transport Manager

Regarding the drivers you may be managing, you must ensure that:

  • Drivers are taking the correct number of breaks
  • Drivers are recording their driving time, rest breaks and driving periods.

    (This is typically completed in the drivers’ hours books. You must also ensure that the records are returned for required inspection.)

  • You as a manager is contributing to both necessary training and disciplinaries needed.
  • Driver licences are being regularly checked.

In the instance of the vehicles, you must:

  • Keep all relevant vehicle details up to date on the Vehicle Operator Licencing System.

    (You are responsible for making sure that the vehicles are specified on the operator licence, as well as ensuring all vehicles are secure.)

  • Keep all vehicle maintenance records

    (Only for the previous 15 months. The traffic commissioner may ask to see the records. In this case, you must give them a copy.)

  • Make sure all vehicles and trailers are safe and roadworthy.

    (This is in relation to all safety inspections which must be carried out. This also includes liaising with the relevant individuals in the instance that a vehicle or trailer is not up to the required standard of maintenance.)

How much can a transport manager earn?

Updated 5th August 2023 via Glassdoor salary checker, the average salary for a Transport Manager is £45k on average. This can peak to £54k.

When taking the exam, 2 Start use the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), who are an organisation that approve the exam.

Working Hours for a Transport Manager

The hours you will work as a Transport manager will depend on the fleet you have to manage. The government give the hour and vehicle number requirements for you to adhere to.

2 vehicles or less2 to 4 hours per week
3 to 5 vehicles4 to 8 hours per week
6 to 10 vehicles8 to 12 hours per week
11 to 14 vehicles12 to 20 hours per week
15 to 29 vehicles20 to 30 hours per week
30 to 50 vehicles30 hours to full time
More than 50 vehiclesFull time and another staff member needed

Transport Manager CPC Training

Why do businesses need transport managers?

Some businesses need someone in place to ensure that all vehicles and drivers in the organisation are adhering to the transport laws. This not only helps in keeping vehicle tax and maintenance up to date, but also helps ensuring those who are driving the vehicles are staying compliant.

The transport manager is in place to help direct, coordinate and oversee multiple operations that are held within transport enterprises.

They also guide the fleet by being a figure to those in the business that are unsure about transportation standards.

What Qualities Should a Transport Manager Have?

Although this is not a necessity, it is preferably ideal that a transport manager should be able to:

  • Act as a leader of a team
  • Handle an array of tasks
  • Have constructive time management
  • Be meticulous in all tasks
  • Have effective communication skills

These qualities can aid the success of fleet and driver managements. Businesses may look for these qualities in a transport manager, but note that this is not a necessary requirement. Although, it may help you manager more efficiently.


When looking to complete the training and pass the exams, you should look at having some core/basic knowledge for certain subjects.

Civil law

This relates to the basic/main contracts used regarding road transport. This may also include obligations which could arise

Fiscal law

This law relates to rules around:

  • Vehicle Tax
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Income Tax
  • Tolls

Access to the market

Being familiar with occupational regulation regarding road transport for hire and reward will benefit you greatly when completing the full course.

Commercial law

In this instance, you should ideally be aware of the typical conditions laid down for transport operators. For example, record keeping. This also includes the bankruptcy consequences.

Business and financial management

This topic will revolve around managing budgets, as well as understanding various cost elements a business may have. You could potentially be expected to draw up organisation charts which relate to business’ personnel as a whole.

Technical standards and technical aspects of operation

This could potentially deemed as the biggest necessity regarding knowledge. You must be able to show your familiarisation with weight and dimension rules of vehicles in EU countries. This could also include procedures in the instance of abnormal loads.

Road safety

An understanding of the qualification requirements for drivers is essential. This includes licences, medical certificates etc.

You must also be able to lay down accident procedures, as well as implementing further procedures to aid in accident prevention or traffic offences.

When completing the full course with 2 Start, we help supply documents and relevant source materials to help you become confident prior to your examination.

Can you work for more than one business?

If you wish, you can be a freelance transport manager for as many as for vehicle operators. The maximum number of vehicles you would be allowed to manage is 50.

Is it Hard to Become a Transport Manager?

There is no right or wrong answer in this instance.

The difficulty of becoming a transport manager purely depends on the amount of knowledge and learning you attain. You must be prepared to complete practice tests and revise thoroughly, as well as being aware of laws and legislations.

Becoming a Transport Manager will only be difficult if you don’t enforce the learning and practice.

This is why you should look at furthering your learning and complete revision classes, to help you be more prepared for the exam.

With training, implementation and focus, you will be able to complete the exams and (hopefully) successfully become a transport manager.

It is recommended to have also completed an OLAT course (Operators licence awareness training course) in order to achieve your Operators Licence.

A refresher course is required every 5-10 years in order to maintain professional competence. This will show to traffic commissioners that you have continuous and effective control of your operations.

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