HGV Driver Training Centre News

Annual HGV MOT Checks

HGV Training Centre

Last year, over 417,767 HGV’s underwent their annual MOT checks. These checks cover everything to do with their vehicle, from the engine to the positioning of the headlights, and a single thing wrong can result in a failure and expensive fix. In 2016’s checks, 71,855 failed. That’s 17% of all the vehicles that were checked over. As the driver, it is largely your responsibility to make sure that your vehicle is up to scratch at all times. So you need to know the most common reasons your HGV might not pass.



HGV’s are packed full of wires. They connect the engine to all of the other mechanisms of the vehicle, including the lights, wipers and brakes. So it’s important that your wiring is up to code and not damaged in any way. In last year’s MOT’s, wiring issues accounted for just over 1% of all failures – which might not sound like much, but it does mean that 4,177 HGV’s had significant wiring problems. Examiners will check that all wiring is secure and positioned safely, so that it can’t be chafed, caught or damaged by the heat of the engine.


Brake Performance

HGV’s have multiple different sets of brakes, including primary, secondary and ancillary bake systems. All of these systems need to be present, in full working order and free from damage or defects in order to pass the MOT, according to the DVSA’s HGV inspection manual. Brake systems were responsible for a total of 5.1% of MOT failures last year – 1.4% on secondary brakes, 1.2% on parking brakes and 2.5% on full service brake performance.



In accordance with their inspection manual, DVSA examiners will closely check the suspension of your HGV in order to approve it as fit for service. To pass, your suspension must be secure, attached correctly at all touch points, in good condition and free of defects. Suspension issues were responsible for 1.6% of HGV failures last year, mainly because it is an element not so easily checked by the driver every day.



There are a lot of different boxes to tick when it comes to HGV lamps, and missing even one of them could result in a full failure. Lamp errors was the second biggest cause of HGV MOT failure last year (3.8%), purely because of the number of ways you can get it wrong. In order to pass, all of your lamps must be fitted to the vehicle correctly, secure and showing at the correct colour and brightness. This applies to your headlights, fog lamps, brake lights, side marker lamps, rear registration lamps, and any other specialist lamps fitted to your vehicle.


Headlight Aim

Headlight aim was the single biggest cause of failure for HGV MOT’s last year – at a record of 4.8% failure rate. In order to pass, your headlights must fall within the ‘pass’ band when a target is presented. If your headlights are too high, too low or aim too much to one side or the other, you will fail and they will require realignment.


So now you know what you should be looking out for before you submit your HGV for its annual MOT. There are a lot of elements to get right, and it is usually best practice to get your vehicle serviced BEFORE you submit it for MOT. For advice on caring for your HGV and getting it through its annual checks, get in touch with us today.

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