HGV Driver Responsibilities

Heavy truck carrying oil tanker
June 24, 2022 0 Comments

When it comes to HGV driving in the UK, there are regulations in place in regard to vehicle condition, driver’s hours, and driver responsibilities. Having a clear understanding of all this will help ensure that you act in accordance with your legal HGV Driver Responsibilities.

As an HGV driver, failing to adhere to legally allowed drivers’ hours and driving limits can lead to consequences like fixed penalties, graduated deposits, or court summons.

  1. Driving Limits and Breaks from Driving an HGV in the UK are allowed to drive for 9 hours per day with a 45-minute break.
  2. Set aside 45 minutes for rest every four and a half hours of driving.
  3. The allotted 45-minute break can be slit into shorter breaks.
  4. You are allowed to extend your driving hours to 10 hours two times a week.

Driving Shift Patterns

If you a doing a 1-week shift, you can only drive a maximum of 56 hours. However, it is illegal to exceed 90 hours in a 2-week period. This means that if you drive a total of 56 hours in the first week, the following week you will only be able to drive for a total of 34 hours.

Daily Rest

Besides the 45-minute in-between driving break, HGV drivers are also required to have at least 11 hours of daily rest.
While you can take your 11-hour rest in one block, you can choose to divide it into two periods. In this case, however, one period must include at least 3 hours of uninterrupted rest and the other one at least 9 hours of uninterrupted rest.

You are allowed to reduce your 11-hour daily rest period to at least 9 hours of uninterrupted rest three times a week. Visit www.gov.uk for more information.

Driver Medical Requirements

UK law stipulates that all HGV drivers should be in reasonably good health before they are allowed to operate any commercial vehicle on public roadways. Thus, as a new HGV/LGV driver or one looking to renew their category c licence, you will need to undergo a medical exam done by a healthcare professional – an NHS GP or a private Physician. Keep in mind that the examination may come at a cost.

After completing the medical exam, the physician will fill out and submit a D4 form to the DVLA. Please note that it is not under the physician’s mandate to determine whether the driver is fit to operate a commercial vehicle. They are only required to fill out the form based on their findings. The DVLA will then decide whether the driver is fit to drive a commercial vehicle using the information provided.

The medical exam typically covers the following areas:

  • Eyesight – Eyesight requirements for UK HGV drivers are a bit more stringent than those for the average car driver. As an HGV driver, you should be able to see well enough without corrective lenses. They will also test your field of vision.
  • Diabetes – While suffering from diabetes will not outrightly bar you from driving professionally, for your application to be approved, your condition must be well-managed.
  • Heart Conditions – The physician will also check for potential heart conditions including peripheral arterial disease, aneurysms, and murmurs.