For HGV drivers to legally operate heavy commercial vehicles on the roads, the law requires them to be of sound health before they take the CPC theory test. In keeping with that regulation, every new driver is expected to have their physician submit to the DVLA the HGV medical exam results as well as the driver’s D4 paperwork. Conversely, all HGV drivers should undergo a new medical exam when renewing their licence. The medical review applies to drivers in all heavy commercial vehicle categories.
What Does the HVG Medical Involve?
The driver’s medical exam comprises of two things:
1. An interview which is the initial stage where the physician discusses with the candidate about existing health issues that may impede the driver’s capacity to drive safely on the roads. The candidate’s medical history is also considered.
2. The next phase is the physical examination that takes around 30 minutes. The doctor examines the driver’s vital signs, and then fills out an official DVLA form which will then be submitted to the relevant authorities for them to assess and qualify the candidate to be on the road as an HGV driver.
Who Can Conduct the Medical?
Any qualified, registered and licensed doctor in the UK can conduct the HGV medical exam since there are no special qualifications for doing the test. As such, an HGV driver can go to a private physician or their NHS GP.
How Fit Should the HGV Driver Be?
The doctor conducting the HGV medical test will look into specific things. If you are of sound health, then you should expect a good scorecard for your test results. However, you are bound to be disqualified from driving the heavy commercial vehicles if the physician finds any serious health conditions.
Some of the things the doctor will check during the HGV medical exam include:
The eyesight requirements for drivers who sit behind large vehicles is 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.
A benign heart condition can turn into a severe problem in future. As such, knowing your heart’s health is essential. The HGV medical exam will include checking your heart for issues, such as aneurysms, murmurs, and PAD (peripheral arterial disease) among other problems.
Neurological issues can have significant consequences for anyone. For drivers, such problems can be a risk on the roads. The HGV medical will see the doctor examine you and ask various questions touching on matters, such as blackouts, epilepsy, memory loss, and seizures among other neurological conditions.
Besides checking your neurological health, the physician will also conduct tests to assess your mental health. Part of the exam will include discussions that help shed light on mental issues such as depression, cognitive impairment, and dementia.
Lack of sleep in one of the major causes of HGV accidents. Given 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.
Concerns about drivers who are dealing with diabetes and need regular insulin shots are often present. Fortunately, being a person with diabetes does not disqualify you from becoming an HGV driver, as long as the condition is well-managed.
・Alcohol and Drugs
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. As such, drivers who are chronic alcoholics or avid drug users are disqualified from driving HGVs. The doctor will conduct different checks that will help identify any signs of alcohol and drug use.