Key Things You Need to Know When Working as an HGV Driver
Key Things You Need to Know When Working as an HGV Driver

When working as an HGV driver, you should understand the condition of your vehicle, your responsibilities as a driver, and the working hours of an HGV driver so as to comply with the laws and regulations pertaining to an HGV driver in the UK.

If you fail to comply with the legal driving limits and driving hours, you can get slapped with a graduated deposit, fixed penalty, or a court summons.

All You Need to Know About Driving Hours and Driving Limits

  • The law stipulates that an HGV driver can drive for a maximum of 9 hours per day while taking a 45-minute break.
  • When driving, you should take a 45-minute break after driving for 4.5 hours.
  • The 45-minute break can be split into shorter breaks.
  • Twice per week, you can extend driving hours from 9 hours to 10 hours.

All You Need to Know About Driving Shifts

If you have a 1-week shift, you can drive for up to 56 hours. However, you cannot drive for over 90 hours within a fortnight.

This means that if you drive for 56 hours in one week, you can drive for 34 hours in the second week.

All You Need to Know About HGV Driver Rest Patterns

The standard is that you should take 11 hours of rest in addition to the mandatory 45-minute break.

If you do not rest for 11 hours consecutively, you can split this rest period into a 3-hour and 9-hour uninterrupted rest period.

For 3 days in a week, you can reduce your daily rest to a minimum 9-hour uninterrupted rest period.

What are the Medical Requirements of an HGV Driver?

All HGV drivers must be in reasonably good medical condition to operate these vehicles on public roads. This means that any HGV/LGV driver who is either applying for or renewing their license must undergo a medical exam that should be carried out by a certified and licensed healthcare expert. This can be an NHS GP or a private physician. Note that you will be asked to part with some fee for the medical exam. If you are looking for CPC training then see here.

On carrying out a medical exam, your physician will fill out a form known as a D4 which should then be submitted to the DVLA. The DVLA will rely on the information in the D4 to determine if you are fit to operate a commercial vehicle.

The medical examination for an HGV driver usually covers a few different areas including:

  1. Eyesight – HGV drivers have stricter eyesight requirements compared to normal car drivers. As an HGV driver, you need to be able to see without corrective lenses and also have a good field of vision.
  2. Diabetes – Though you will not be automatically disqualified from working as an HGV driver if you are ailing from diabetes, this condition should be properly managed if you want your application approved by the DVLA.
  3. Heart Ailments – During the medical examination, your doctor will check if you suffer from any heart conditions including aneurysms, Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), and, murmurs.