Make sure your HGV passes its annual test


Annual HGV inspections can be pretty nerve-wracking, as they can make all the difference between you continuing to work as normal or having to fork out for repairs. Last year, almost half a million annual tests were performed on HGVs, returning a failure rate of just over 17% – that adds up to over 70,000 failed tests for 2015/16.

Commercial vehicles can fail the annual checks for a number of reasons, with some being more common than others. Here we take a look at some of the more common elements that can cause a vehicle to fail its initial inspection and what you can do to keep on top of any potential problems.

What gets tested?

In order to pass successfully, examiners will assess vehicles according to the HGV Inspection Manual published by the DVSA, which covers everything from braking systems to electrical wiring. Drivers will need to keep an eye on any issues that pop up inside that cab as well as to do with the vehicle’s body and components to avoid facing a failed test.

Areas to focus on

It may seem surprising, but there are several common failing points from the last year or so that could’ve been very easily avoided. Unless exempt from regulations, all trucks must be fitted with a fully working tachograph. Something as simple as a worn or broken seal on the device, or an inoperative clock can be a fail, while other electrical components and wiring need to be in good condition and working order for a pass.

One of the most common points of failure comes from broken lamps all around the vehicle and the aim of the headlamps in particular. Back in 2015, the DVSA made an amendment to regulations on headlamp aim, causing a vast increase in fail rates last year. By keeping up to date and remaining aware of current standards, operators should be able to take the right measures to prevent that dreaded fail result.

For complete information on what is looked at during an annual test, check out the complete guide to HGV inspections outlined by the DVSA here.

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