HGV drivers depend on their driving skills on a daily basis in order to keep other road users as well as themselves safe. However, there are times when more than a Class 2 licence and skill is needed to make sure that everyone and everything remains safe. Just like with regular vehicles, HGVs need to always be maintained on a regular basis to be in good roadworthy condition. To ensure that happens, you need to keep your HGV maintained regularly and get a safety inspection on an annual basis.
Why is an Annual Safety Inspection Necessary?
HGVs are large, complex machines. There are numerous moving parts and systems, and they need to all work together well for the vehicle to continue to function properly and run smoothly at all times. If something in the system is off, then it may cause the vehicle some problems – ranging from the brakes cutting out to fuel inefficiencies and everything in between. Everything from a tachograph to air brakes and all other parts of a vehicle need to be in good working order at all times.
Just like a car must pass MOT each year in order to be road legal, HGVs must pass a safety inspection each year. The inspection checks the vehicle’s roadworthiness. When it is passed that guarantees that it is safe to drive the HGV for another year. HGV drivers who have undergone annual HGV inspection and HGV training know just how thorough this training can be and for very good reason.
What is Checked?
You are used to doing a walkaround check every day as the driver of an HGV. Those are fairly standard checks. They become routine after a while. However, for your annual check, you will need to have an inspector examine your vehicle, and it will have to pass several minimum stands that assess the condition and roadworthiness of the vehicle. The following are some of the things that are checked:
The initial part of the inspection checks the top part of the vehicle. It is done on a standing hard surface. The inspection looks at a number of different factors, which include the following:
– Checks all lights, which include fog lights, headlights, repeaters, and indicators, to ensure they all are aligned correctly and are operational
– Ensures that the spray suppressors are large enough
– Checks to make sure the types are the right rating for the specific vehicle and are in good condition
During that stage of the inspection process, all of the vehicle’s visible parts are checked. The inspector and driver will move together around the vehicle to methodically check the entire structure, which includes the inside part of the cab. Many elements that are checked are part of the routine checks that HGV drivers do, so if there are any issues, they should have already been caught.
After the upper part of the HGV has been fully inspected, the inspector will then ask you to move your HGV over a pit so he can examine the underside of the vehicle. During this phase, the following will be checked:
– Potential fuel and oil leaks
– Foot brakes
– Shaker plated
– Air brake function
– Axle alignment
The inspectors are trained experts who have been taught to search for any potential signs of loose bolts, wear and tear, and all other types of warning signs. At times you may think these inspections are too rigorous, however, in terms of road safety, we honestly don’t believe there is any such thing.