HGV Driver Responsibilities

June 24, 2022 0 Comments

To ensure compliance with your HGV driver responsibilities under UK law, every professional driver should be equipped with basic information on driver responsibilities, drivers’ hours, and vehicle conditions. If you don’t comply with the driving limits and drivers’ hours, you may find yourself facing a court summons, a graduated deposit, or a fixed penalty. Check out HGV training if you’re interested in this occupation.

Driving Limits and Driving Breaks

The standard requirement is that you drive for 9 hours each day with a 45-minute break. The 45 minutes of rest should be taken every 4½ hours of driving. The 45-minute break can be split into shorter breaks if you want. You are allowed to extend your driving hours to 10 hours, twice each week.

Driving Shift Patterns

You are allowed to drive a maximum of 56 hours over a 1-week shift, but you are not allowed to exceed 90 hours over a 2-week period. If you drive for 56 hours in one week, you are only allowed to drive for 34 hours the following week.

Daily Rest Requirement

The standard requirement is that you must take 11 hours of regular daily rest in addition to the 45-minute break. Your daily rest can also be split into 2 periods unless you take the 11-hour break in 1 block. The first period must be an uninterrupted rest for a minimum of 3 hours and the second uninterrupted rest for a minimum of 9 hours.

You are also allowed to reduce your daily rest to a minimum period of 9 hours 3 times each week. You can find more information on drivers’ limits and hours at www.gov.uk.

Driver Medical Requirements

All HGV drivers are required by law to be in reasonably good health to operate commercial vehicles on public roads. All new LGV/HGV drivers as well as LGV/HGV drivers who are renewing their licenses are required to undergo a medical exam conducted by a healthcare professional. It can be a private Physician or an NHS GP, but you should know that either way, the examination will likely cost you.

The Physician will complete a form called D4 and submit it to the DVLA. It isn’t up to the Physician to determine whether the driver is fit to drive a commercial vehicle, they can only complete the form based on their medical findings. It will be up to the DVLA to decide whether the driver is fit to operate a commercial vehicle based on the information contained in the D4 form.

The medical exam will cover a few basic areas:

  • Eyesight: The eyesight requirement is a bit more in-depth than that for car drivers. You should be capable of seeing well enough without using corrective lenses and your field of vision will be tested too.
  • Diabetes: Having the condition won’t automatically disqualify you from driving professionally, but it needs to be properly managed for the DVLA to actually prove the application.
  • Heart Conditions: The physician will also check for any potential heart conditions including aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and murmurs.