As a professional HGV driver, you should be aware of some of the basics such as vehicle condition, drivers' hours, and the responsibilities of the driver to make sure you are complying with the legal HGV Drivers' Responsibilities UK.
If you fail to adhere to the driving limits and drivers' hours it could lead to a graduated deposit, a fixed penalty, or even a court summons.
Related article: HGV Drivers Training – Your Beginners Guide
Breaks From Driving And Driving Limits
According to the standard, you are permitted to drive for a maximum of 9 hours in a day, with a 45-minute break. The 45-minutes of rest must be taken for every 4.5-hours of driving.
The 45-minute break can be split into shorter breaks. You are also allowed to drive for 10 hours, twice a week.
Driving Shift Patterns
You can drive a maximum of 56 hours in a 1-week shift. However, you cannot exceed 90 hours of driving within a 2-week period. For example, if you have already driven 56 hours in your first week, you will only be allowed to go for 34 hours in your second week.
According to the standard, you are required to rest for 11 hours every day over and above your 45-minute break. Unless you decide to take your 11-hour break in one go, you can split your required daily rest into 2 periods. The first has to be a minimum of uninterrupted 3 hours of rest, while the second must be a minimum of 9 hours of uninterrupted rest.
Over the course of a week, you are allowed to decrease your rest to 9 hours (an uninterrupted period) three times a week.
Driver Medical Requirements
Every HGV Driver is required to be relatively healthy to operate a commercial vehicle on public roads. This is why all new HGV/LGV drivers and HGV/LGV drivers that have to renew their licenses are required to undergo a medical examination by a qualified healthcare professional. The doctor can be a private Physician or an NHS GP. Either way, it is important to know that you will be liable for these costs.
The examination includes the doctor completing a D4 form and then submitting it to the DVLA. It is not up to the doctor to make a decision whether the driver is capable of driving commercial vehicles, they are only required to complete this form by providing the required information on "their medical findings". The DVLA then makes the final decision if the driver is healthy or fit enough to operate commercial vehicles. They base their choice on information that was included on the D4 form. When you’ve filled out the form, you can send them off to apply for your HGV provisional license.
This examination covers a couple of basic areas:
Eyesight requirements for HGV drivers are slightly more in-depth when comparing them with the requirements for a car driver. You are required to see well without the assistance of corrective lenses. Your field of vision is something else that will be tested.
This is a condition that won't disqualify you automatically from driving, but you have to prove that you are managing your condition well so that the DVLA approves your application.
The physician is also required to check for potential heart-related conditions such as PAD (peripheral arterial disease), aneurysms, and murmurs.