As an HGV driver, there is one once a year event you can’t afford to miss – and that’s your annual HGV safety inspection. Just like with a normal vehicle, your HGV needs to be kept in good, roadworthy condition at all times. To make sure this is the case, you will need to maintain your HGV, and put it through an annual safety inspection.
Why Do You Need A Safety Inspection?
Your car needs to be checked over once a year to make sure it’s running smoothly and there are no big (or small) problems with it. In an MOT, the inner workings of your vehicle is checked for safety and security, ensuring it’s not going to cause issues and endanger you or anyone else on the road. The same is true for your HGV. Your annual safety inspection is essentially an MOT for your HGV – making sure it’s all running properly and safe. After all, HGV’s are big, complicated machines with a lot of volatile moving parts – why wouldn’t you want to make sure it’s all ticking along nicely?
So What Gets Checked?
The HGV annual safety inspection really is a simple process. You will be expected to help your inspector as they walk around your vehicle, checking every element is still safe and fit for purpose. They will also check inside the cab, and any trailer you carry. Some of the things they check will be familiar – since you do them in your daily checks, but here they will be looking to ensure your vehicle meets the minimum standards for safety.
The inspection is split into two sections. The first is the topside examination. This will cover the top half of your vehicle – everything that can be seen from standing on the ground next to the vehicle. They will look at many things, including:
- 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 inspection is done, the inspector will move on to an undercarriage examination. For this, they will need you to drive your vehicle over a pit or appropriate elevation equipment. In this section, they will look at:
- Axle alignment
- Air brake function
- Shaker plated
- Foot brakes
- Potential oil and fuel leaks
Remember, these inspectors are here to ensure the safety of you and of others. That means they need to be able to be harsh. They will be looking for any signs of wear and tear, rust and even lose bolts, so that they can make sure your vehicle is safe and secure.
If it’s coming up to this time of the year for you it’s worth brushing up on what’s covered in an HGV inspection, and how you can prepare for it. A lot of the areas they look at are actually a part of your daily checks, so you should have picked up on them long before they become real problems. If you’re not sure what to look for, or want to ask questions about the annual inspection, our trainers are here to help. If you want to know more, just get in touch with us today.