Once a student has completed their HGV training, it is at this stage that their driving instructor will confirm they are ready to take the HGV practical driving test (referred to as Module 3) and talk them through the test procedure.
The HGV driving test lasts approximately 90 minutes and will include a road drive (scheduled to last 1 hour), tell me show me questions and a reversing exercise.The LGV practical driving test is no walk in the park. It requires competence, concentration and forward planning. LGV and HGV licence acquisition is vocational aspiration and this is reflected in the driving test.
Below are 20 tips to follow for a successful practical test
1. While out on the road, remember to keep making progress safely and effectively. Ensure you know the road speed limits at all times
2. Keep a watchful eye on the traffic and remember a truck takes substantially longer to stop than a car. Think ahead, plan ahead and do not leave everything to the last minute
3. Follow your instructors advice and fix a reversing marker to the rear mud guard of the truck. This will help get the truck aligned into the designated box
4. It is essential to take both parts of your licence and theory test certificate to the practical driving test. No driving licence (both parts) will result in your test being terminated.
5. Try to take a 40 to 60 minutes pre-drive before. Driving for 4 hours before your driving test will leave you exhausted and not fresh
6. Mirrors! Mirrors! Mirrors! Check your mirrors at all times
7. Remember: Gears to go – brakes to slow. Always slow down using your brakes and when appropriate select a suitable gear to proceed with the drive
8. You wont know what the test route will be on the day, but be sure to familiarise yourself with the local test area
9. Remember that the braking exercise (moving away from an angled start) will be carried out on the public highway
10. Face forward when mounting and dismounting the truck. Make sure you use the hand rails and steps and always maintain three points of contact
11. Get a good nights rest on the eve of the practical test
12. Try to ensure the practical test is a smooth, controlled drive. After all, your Examiner is only human.
13. Be prepared to slow down and stop your vehicle when meeting oncoming large vehicles
14. A pre-use vehicle check before the practical test not only ensures the vehicle is safe to use, but can also acts as preparation for the tell me, show me questions the examiner may ask
15. Taking your seat belt off just prior to carrying out the reversing exercise may make the maneuver easier. Remember to fasten your seat belt immediately after the exercise is complete
16. When moving off from a stationary position, always check your mirrors and blind spot
17. On the day of your test, wear comfortable and sensible clothing and footwear
18. You can still pass your practical test with up to 15 minor faults. In the event of a mistake, simply move on and do not dwell on it
19. You can take up to 2 shunts for the reversing exercise if required. You are permitted to get out of the vehicle once, so make good use of the shunt to ensure the rear of the truck is in place.
20. Remember to switch off your mobile phone and other personal distractions.
For more information on the HGV licence acquisition process please visit our 5 step to success HGV training page.