So, you’ve gotten through your Category C, C1, and C1CE tests and you’re ready for the last module. And it’s fair to say you’re feeling the most nervous you’ve ever been, well fear not.
As HGV Insurance specialists, we’ve put together our tips on passing your LGV driving test first time, to get you on to the journey of a lifelong, rewarding career as a HGV driver.
What to expect
Your test should last approximately 1½ hours, and included in this is the reversing exercise, controlled stop and road drive, and the show me/tell me questions. You’ll initially meet the examiner who will escort you to your vehicle and this is where you’ll be asked the five show me/tell me questions including showing your examiner how you can check whether your directional indicators are functioning correctly. You’ll then be asked to complete the two manoeuvres and drive for approximately an hour, after which the examiner will debrief you.
Minor faults could be anything from a bad habit to a lack of control of the vehicle. You can acquire minor faults from hesitation at a junction or failing to check your mirrors. The test allows for 15 of these. You mustn’t have more than two minors on the same section otherwise this will become a serious fault. For example, if you unduly hesitate three times during your test, you’ll be marked for a serious fault in the hesitation category and this would result in a fail.
Serious faults will result in an automatic fail of the test and can be acquired if you repeatedly commit a minor fault. Serious faults also include hitting a cone in the reversing exercise, pulling out in front of another vehicle or mounting the kerb.
Dangerous faults will also result in an automatic fail and can often involve the examiner terminating the session. These can be acquired through not stopping at a red light or going through a no-entry sign.
How to be best prepared
- It’s essential to remember all parts of your licence, if you forget them you won’t be able to take your test.
- Increasing your knowledge of the area. If you become familiar with the roads, you’ll be better prepared for driving through during busy periods.
- Get an early night – this probably goes without saying, but a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your judgement and performance.
- Turn your mobile off – it’ll only distract you and whilst the examiner can’t fail you for it, you’ll want to keep the examiner on your side.
- Dress appropriately – no need to hire a tux, comfortable work boots and work clothes will do.
Our top tips on passing your test
- Check your mirrors – whenever you move off, turn left or right, slow down or change gear it’s important to always check your mirrors, the examiner will be looking for this.
- Blind spot – make sure you check your blind spot whenever you move off from stationary the examiner will be monitoring this.
- Slow down and stop – when you’re encountering oncoming traffic, take it easy and be prepared to slow down or stop. Remember safety first.
- Act immediately – the examiner will ask you to stop multiple times, make sure you do this as a matter of urgency but make sure you stop in a safe place.
- Take your seatbelt off – yes you heard right, but only in the reversing exercise and make sure you put your belt on immediately afterwards.
- Get out if you need to – during the reversing manoeuvre you can take up to two shunts and can get out of the vehicle once so make good use of this.