As an LGV or HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) driver, your truck is your livelihood. Keeping it in good working order is not only important for your own safety, but also for the safety of other road users.
Regular maintenance and care will not only extend the life of your HGV truck, but will also improve its performance, increase fuel efficiency and reduce the risk of breakdowns.
Here’s a guide to looking after your HGV truck:
1. Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is crucial to keeping your HGV truck in good working order. This includes regular services, oil changes, checking and replacing brake pads, checking the battery and alternator, and ensuring the wheels are properly aligned.
It’s important to stick to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and keep a record of all services and repairs.
2. Cleaning Your HGV Truck Regularly
Cleaning your truck regularly can help to prevent corrosion and rust, which can lead to more serious problems in the long run.
Clean the exterior of your truck regularly with soap and water, and use a protective wax or polish to protect the paintwork from harsh weather conditions.
The interior should also be kept clean and tidy, with regular vacuuming and cleaning of the seats, dashboard, and floor mats.
3. Check The Tyres Of Your HGV
The condition of your truck’s tyres is critical to your safety on the road. Check the pressure regularly and keep the tyres inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Check for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or cuts, and replace the tyres if they are worn or damaged.
4. Lights and Reflectors
It’s important to make sure that your truck’s lights and reflectors are in good working order, as they are essential for your visibility on the road.
Check all the lights regularly, including the headlamps, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights. Clean the lenses and replace any blown bulbs promptly.
5. Load Security
Ensure that your load is secure and properly balanced, as an overloaded or poorly secured load can cause damage to your truck and pose a risk to other road users. Use appropriate load-restraint systems, such as ropes, webbing, or ratchet straps, to secure the load.
6. Fuel Efficiency
Improving fuel efficiency can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint. You can improve fuel efficiency by reducing your speed, avoiding sudden acceleration and braking, and making sure that your truck is not overloaded. Keep your truck well-maintained, and make sure that the engine and tires are in good working order.
keeping your HGV truck in good working order requires regular maintenance, care, and attention. By following these simple steps, you can extend the life of your truck, improve its performance, reduce the risk of breakdowns, and ensure your safety on the road. It will also save you some money in the long run.
Important Information About Keeping Your HGV In Road-Worthy Condition
According to the Gov.UK driving and transport department, you must keep your vehicles safe and in good condition at all times. You’ll have to keep records of all safety inspections and maintenance that you or your maintenance contractor do for a minimum of 15 months.
Carrying Out Your Own Inspections And Maintenance
If you carry out your own safety inspections and maintenance, you must keep records that include:
• Vehicle details.
• A list of all items to be inspected.
• When and by whom the inspection is carried out.
• The result of the inspection.
• Details of any work carried out.
• A declaration that any defects have been properly fixed.
As a professional driver, you must make sure you carry out a ‘daily walkaround check’ before driving a vehicle for the first time each day. The driver is responsible for verifying the roadworthiness of the vehicle and ensuring that it meets legal requirements.
It is the duty of the driver to conduct the checks, and failure to do so may result in penalties and fines. Additionally, not conducting the checks may also cause accidents due to the malfunction of the vehicle, which can be avoided by a proper check.
Using A Maintenance Provider
If you do not do the maintenance work yourself, you must provide the traffic commissioner with a copy of a contract with a maintenance provider. You’re still responsible for the condition of your vehicles and trailers, even if they are maintained for you by someone else.
For more information about keeping your HGV in full working order and roadworthiness, visit the Gov.UK link here to read the full guidance to find out more about – how to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition. You can also download a PDF version of the guidance by visiting the link here.
Note that the information on this page is subject to change without notice and is only given as a guide, it does not constitute professional advice. The content is based on general knowledge and online research and may not apply to every individual or situation. You should check the details for yourself.