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Why Annual HGV Safety Inspections Matter

HGV Training Centre

As an HGV driver, there is an annual event you need to attend. It’s not a ball or any sort of function – instead it’s your annual HGV safety inspection. Because while you rely on your skills to keep you and other road users safe every day, the condition of your HGV is equally important. And your safety inspection is how that happens.


Why Do You Need An Annual Safety Inspection? 

At the end of the day, HGV’s are very big, very complicated machines. There are a lot of moving parts involved, and if just one of them is out of kilter, it can cause serious problems. So, the annual safety inspection is there to catch any problems while they are still minor, and before they can turn into major ones. In the same way as a normal car needs an MOT and a service every year to prove it’s roadworthiness, an HGV needs its annual check-up too. This is what ensures your vehicle is roadworthy for the next 12 months.


What Gets Checked?

So the next obvious question is, what gets checked? After all, you will be doing a range of walkthrough checks on your vehicle every day, so how will this inspection be different? Well, for a start you will be going through the inspection with another person – an examiner, and they will be checking it against a series of minimum requirements.



The first part of the check is the topside – everything on the top of your HGV, and not underneath. That’s wheels all the way to the roof. Your inspector will look at a wide range of factors, 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




Once they have checked the upper part of the vehicle, you will probably be asked to drive it over a pit or other surface to give them access to the underside. Once accessible, they will look at:


  • Axle alignment
  • Steering
  • Air brake function
  • Shaker plated
  • Foot brakes
  • Potential oil and fuel leaks
  • Bearings

There may be times that you think the inspectors are overzealous at time – but they have been trained to look for damage, wear and tear and lose bolts in every part of your vehicle. It’s all in the name of safety after all.


If you’re an HGV driver facing your first annual inspection, it’s worth learning as much about it as you can. From what they will be looking for, how long it will take and what will be required of you during the inspection. If you need any support during this process, please just get in touch with us today.

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