The Responsibilities of An HGV Driver
Every professional HGV driver needs to understand all responsibilities that come with the job and comply with the set HGV driver responsibilities in the UK. Failure to honor these responsibilities, especially observing driving houses and limits, can result in a graduated deposit, fixed penalty, and even a court summon. Some of the things an HGV driver must observe include:
Driving Limits and Mandatory Breaks
Professional HGV drivers can only drive a maximum of 9 hours daily and should take at least one 45-minute break within shifts. The 45-minute break can also be split into shorter breaks where possible. The driver can only extend driving hours to 10 hours per day, twice a week.
Driving Shift Patterns
An HGV driver can only drive a maximum of 90 hours in two weeks and up to 56 hours a week. If one manages to hit the 56 hours in a week’s shift, he/she can only drive for 34 hours the following week.
As mentioned before, one is required to take at least a 45-minute break within a 9-hour shift. If you, however, are taking an 11-hour break in one block, you then should consider splitting daily rest into two. The first uninterrupted break should be a minimum of 3 hours and 9 hours consecutively. You can also reduce your daily rest to a 9-hour uninterrupted break within a week.
There are plenty of online tools that one can use to track their time/shifts efficiently. Most of these tools allow one to send completed timesheets to employers directly to their official email address. Another advantage of using these tools is that you can notify your employer of your availability for the following week.
Driver Medical Requirements
By law, every HGV driver must be in perfect shape and health to operate/drive heavy goods vehicles on public spaces and roads. As standard, every HGV/LGV driver renewing their license, and new LGV/HGV drivers, must take a medical exam subject to approval by DVLA. The tests should only be carried out by a healthcare professional – this can be either a private physician or NHS GP. Whatever your preferred option, you will still need to pay for the medical exam.
The physician is also required to submit the medical exam results to the DVLA via the D4 form. While the physician might have conducted the exam, it is not in their place to decide if you are fit to operate a commercial vehicle or not. Their only responsibility is running the tests and completing the D4 form based on the findings. All of this will be explained in your HGV training.
Some of the medical exams covered here include:
HGV drivers must take a more in-depth eyesight exam than regular car drivers. With such high requirements, the driver must be able to see clearly enough without the help of corrective prescription lenses. The physician must also test the driver’s field of vision as well. This is one of the most crucial medical exams every HGV and LGV driver must pass.
Diabetes tests are mandatory too. Being diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t, however, mean automatic disqualification. As long as one can manage the condition efficiently, there’s then no need to worry. Your physician will however need to include such in his/her findings when submitting the D4 form.
iii. Heart Conditions:
The physician will also need to check for potential heart conditions such as aneurysms, murmurs, and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The physician will advise you accordingly if diagnosed with any of these conditions and on how to manage the same.
These are some of the health conditions the physician must test for and submit the report to DVLA.