All HGV drivers in the UK are required to undergo a medical to assess whether they are fit to drive a heavy goods vehicle. Here we look at common questions relating to HGV medicals – what is involved and when is the medical due.
Here we look at the requirements for a Group 2 licence. Requirements for other types of licences may vary so do carry out sufficient research.
What does an HGV driver medical involve?
An HGV driver medical comes in two parts:
A medical assessment: A look at your medical history and whether you have any conditions which may impact your ability to drive a lorry safely.
A vision assessment: An examination of your eyesight to ensure you meet required eyesight standards. If you wear glasses, the examination will need to be undertaken using the prescription currently worn for driving.
Your GP or doctor will be able to complete the medical for you. They will need to complete the relevant sections of the D4 DVLA form. If your GP cannot perform the vision assessment to the required standards, you may need to get an optician or equivalent to complete this for you.
How often is an HGV driver medical needed?
According to the gov.uk website, an HGV driver medical must be completed:
- Upon your first application for a Group 2 licence
- If you are applying to renew your Group 2 licence at age 45
- From age 45, a D4 form will need to be completed every 5 years. This is until you reach 65 and then a D4 form is required annually
There are also additional requirements for those who hold restricted licences, EU/EEA licence holders whose right to drive Group 2 vehicles in the UK has run out and those applying for a new Group 2 provisional licence. For full details of when driver medicals are needed refer to this gov.uk document for exact information on when a D4 form must be completed.
As in other cases, the DVLA make clear that you must also report any changes to your medical condition or if you develop a condition which may impact your ability to drive safely, you must inform them as soon as possible. If you do not do this you could face a fine, or prosecution if you are involved in an accident.
Who is responsible for keeping drivers’ medicals up to date?
The gov.uk website states that applicants and licence holders have a legal duty to comply with the requirements of the issued licence, including any periodic medical reviews indicated by the DVLA.
With this in mind, the driver is therefore responsible for keeping their medicals up to date.
How do you know when a medical is due?
As the driver or licence holder/applicant it is your responsibility to keep your HGV drivers medical up to date. It will therefore be your responsibility to know exactly when you are required to undergo a medical.
It is important you know when an HGV medical is due and to complete and send the necessary forms back to the DVLA. You must also inform them if anything changes with regard to your health/ability to drive safely regardless of whether a medical is due or not.
Useful resources to refer to with regards to understanding when HGV medicals are due are the gov.uk site and DVLA.
What else do you need to keep on top of as an HGV driver or owner operator?
In addition to keeping your HGV medical up to date, as an HGV driver or owner operator there are many areas which you must keep on top of including:
- Keeping your licence current – make sure you keep up with the relevant renewals on your licence
- Making sure you adhere to driver hours – There are strict rules and regulations in place regarding the number of hours an HGV driver can drive in days and weeks. You must stay on top of this regulation to make sure you do not break the law.
- Driver Certificate or Professional Competency (CPC) – You must complete a certain number of hours of training every 5 years to keep your driver CPC to drive an HGV or lorry
- Vehicle maintenance – it is vital that you keep your vehicle well maintained all year round, but particularly in the winter months when driving conditions can be more challenging
- Your health and wellbeing – as an HGV driver you may face various challenges to your health due to the nature of the work that you do. You must therefore pay close attention to this and minimise your risks to things like injury, tiredness and stress.
- Insurance – you must ensure that you have adequate insurance in place to cover all of your risks. As well as covering your vehicle and third party risks, also think about cover such as life and critical illness insurance for additional reassurance.
At Anthony Jones we specialise in insurance for the transport and logistics sector – from owner operators’ insurance through to the insurance needs of large fleets. So, if you have any questions about your insurance needs or how you can minimise the risks you may face then get in touch with us today. We’re always happy to help.