Keeping your HGV safe on the road is about more than just being a good driver. It’s also about making sure your vehicle is safe and secure, and isn’t going to cause any problems down the line. To make sure this is the case, you need to have an annual safety inspection. This inspection is done by an independent examiner, who will come and give your HGV a thorough going over. Today, we wanted to talk about what is involved in the annual HGV safety inspection, and what you need to know.
Why Do You Need An Annual Safety Inspection?
HGV’s are big, complicated machines. There are countless systems and moving parts, and they all need to work well together to keep the vehicle running smoothly and functioning properly. If something within that system is off, then it could cause problems with the vehicle – anything from fuel inefficiency to the brakes cutting out. Everything from the air brakes to a tachograph, each part of your vehicle needs to be kept in good working order.
In the same way as a car needs to pass an MOT every year to remain road legal, an HGV needs to be able to pass an annual safety inspection. This inspection looks at the roadworthiness of the vehicle, and a pass guarantees that the HGV is safe to drive for another year. Any HGV driver who has gone through an annual inspection knows just how thorough the testing is, and for good reason.
What Gets Checked?
Well, pretty much everything! The point of the annual HGV safety inspection is to make sure every element of your HGV is safe and up to standard. The inspector will ask you to accompany them on a walk around the vehicle, where they will check every part, inside and out. The inspection is designed to assess the safety and roadworthiness of your vehicle, and is split into two sections:
- Checking the vehicle’s identity against the VTG6 plate
- Ensuring the mirrors fairings are securely fixed and in good condition
- Making sure both the driver and the passenger doors open and close securely
- Checking that the tyres are in good condition and of the right rating for the vehicle
- Ensuring that spray suppressors are of sufficient size
- A check of all lights, including indicators, repeaters, headlights and fog lights, ensuring they are all operational and aligned correctly
After the topside of your vehicle has been checked and given the all clear, you will move onto the underside of your vehicle. You may need to drive your HGV over a pit or onto raising equipment so that this stage can be done properly.
- Axle alignment
- Air brake function
- Shaker plated
- Foot brakes
- Potential oil and fuel leaks
At some points during the inspection you may think the examiners are being over-critical. But it’s their job to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive on the roads, and isn’t going to cause any accidents. They are trained to look for any rust, wear and tear and lose bolts before they give you a pass.
As an HGV driver, it is your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is in good condition and ready to drive every day. A lot of the things the inspector is checking will be things you check during your daily walkaround – but more thoroughly. If you want to know more about what’s involved, or just want to ask some questions, then the team at Surrey and Hampshire Training Centre are here to help. To find out more, get in touch with the team today.
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