Things to Keep In Mind about the HGV Medical Exam
As per the law, HGV drivers should be in reasonably good health to operate heavy goods vehicles on public roads, especially to have a Category C Licence. Basically, this implies that each new driver needs to go through a heavy goods vehicle medical exam and the doctor who does the examination needs to submit the paperwork (D4) to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency). Drivers need to take a new medical test when renewing their licence and it doesn’t matter whether they want to drive a bus or a lorry.
HVG Medical Exam Consist Of Two Parts:
1. An interview that is the fundamental stage where the physician discusses with the candidate about existing medical problems that may prevent the driver’s ability to drive safely on the roads. The candidate’s medical history is also examined.
2. The next stage is the physical examination that takes around 30 minutes. The doctor examines the driver’s crucial signs and then fills out an official DVLA form which will then be submitted to the relevant authorities for them to evaluate and qualify the applicant to be on the road as an HGV driver.
Who Can Conduct The HGV Medical Exam?
It is imperative to take note that there are no special qualifications for performing this exam. So, any doctor enlisted in the United Kingdom can be used. This gives you the flexibility of going to either an NHS GP or a private doctor.
How Healthy Should The HGV Driver Be?
Well, in the HGV exam, the doctor will be examining some very specific things. If you are in reasonably good health, then there’s nothing to stress about. However, if you are suffering from some severe condition, chances are you will not be approved for expert driving.
Here are some of the things that a doctor is required to check during the heavy goods vehicle exam.
· Heart Conditions
A benign heart condition can turn into a severe problem in the future. As such, knowing your heart’s health is essential. The HGV medical exam will include checking your heart for issues such as aneurisms, murmurs and PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease) amongst other problems.
· Neurological Issues
These can have severe repercussions to any driver and so, it is important that the doctor examines you and asks questions that relate to blackouts, seizures, memory issues, epilepsy and more.
The eyesight requirements for drivers who sit behind large vehicles are a bit more stringent than that of small (standard) car drivers. Each eye should have adequate sight without corrective lenses. If you have severely impaired vision then you most likely will fail the exam.
· Mental Health
Obviously, you need to be in good mental health to drive commercial vehicles. The physician will discuss all kinds of mental health issues like cognitive impairment, dementia, depression and much more.
If you have diabetes, it won’t automatically disqualify you from becoming a heavy vehicle goods driver but the condition needs to be well-managed for you to proceed.
· Sleep Disorders
Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of HGV accidents. Provided with such statistics, the physician will check for signs of sleep disorders when conducting the medical exam. Being found with sleep disorders does not necessarily lead to automatic ineligibility as long as you can manage the disorders and embrace a good sleep and rest routine.
· Alcohol and Drugs
Driving affected by the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. As such, drivers who are habitual alcoholics or avid drug users are disqualified from driving HGVs. The doctor will conduct various medical checks that will help recognise any signs of alcohol and drug use.
These are the normal issues that the doctors are required to check by the DVLA. There’s no reason to panic. The test is generally short and if you are healthy, you’ll certainly get approved.
We (HGV Training Services (HGVT) urge you, if you are considering a career as an HGV driver, to not be prevented from applying due to minor medical conditions. At least undergo the medical exam and see how you do. You may be in better health than you know.