Addressing the skills gap: Upskilling for gas-powered vehicles


Phil Lloyd, Logistics UK's head of engineering policy, discusses the need for technical training courses for engineers and technicians of gas powered vehicles

In recent years, and in line with the drive towards net zero emissions, there has been an increase in the acquisition of EV vehicles and those powered by alternative fuels such as gas - whether it’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compresserd Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Hydrogen (H2).  

This has dramatically changed the requisite skills of HGV engineers and as a result, the industry has made great strides in upskilling its workforce to accommodate the alternative fuel. There are now a variety of technical training courses widely available for engineers and technicians to develop their competence with electric vehicles; however, the same cannot be said for gas-powered vehicles.

The current lack of appropriate training provision is possibly due to the market being much smaller since it is concentrated in heavy vehicles, where vehicle volumes are substantially lower than that for cars. It means that, while purchasers of new gas-powered vehicles are generally offered training by the original equipment manufacturers (OEM), there is little else available on the wider market. This is a potential cause of concern for the haulage industry because over the next few years, more gas-powered vehicles will become available on the second-hand market, yet training is not widely available for those who are not buying new vehicles to ensure they are correctly serviced.

It is imperative that operators ensure they are running fleets safely and Logistics UK has been working with its members to identify both training requirements and training provisions for gas powered vehicles. Training needs to be tailored for each situation but operators of fleets with gas-powered vehicles need to know how it differs from running traditional internal combustion engines and consider the following areas.

Daily walkaround checks

The usual assessment of drivers identifying fuel leaks will not apply to gas, as vapours may not be seen on the ground. Instead, leaks are likely to produce frosting and be heard or smelled and operators should also consider using gas detection monitors. Drivers should include a visual check of the fuel pressure gauge to ensure this is within safety tolerances as specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer and drivers should also be aware of any fuel cut-off valves fitted to the vehicle and know how and when to operate them.


Any driver, or other person who will undertake refuelling, needs to be trained on the specifics of the fuel system used and provided with all the necessary safety equipment. In all cases, it is essential that both vehicle and hose connections are clean and undamaged before refilling. With regards to personal protective equipment (PPE), in addition to gloves and eye protection, for LNG and Hydrogen, refuelling staff should also wear PPE such as long-sleeved top, long trousers and enclosed shoes.

Restrictions of infrastructure

There may be restrictions on using gas-powered vehicles on some roads, tunnels, ferries or underground areas such as parking.  Operators, as part of the route planning, will need to evaluate routes and destinations to identify any restrictions. Where necessary, a risk assessment should be undertaken, risks controlled and instructions provided to drivers.

Breakdown actions

Operators will need to provide instructions to drivers as to what action to take should their vehicle breakdown. This should include informing the recovery or repair agent that the vehicle is of a particular fuel type, so they can send an appropriately trained person. Where fire may be involved, drivers must inform the emergency services of the correct fuel type.


While significant steps have been made in upskilling HGV engineers to handle electric vehicles, the lack of training provision for gas-powered vehicles poses a significant concern. As more of these vehicles enter the second-hand market in the coming years, there is a pressing need for comprehensive training programmes to ensure the safe operation of fleets. Without widespread access to training, operators risk overlooking critical safety protocols, potentially endangering both drivers and the public.  Logistics UK is prioritising the development and implementation of training initiatives to address this gap and help drive the sector toward net-zero.

Logistics UK’s Guidance Document “Working with gas powered vehicles” is available to download free of charge from the Logistics UK website.