The HGV Medical Exam – What it Entails

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As well as having full and comprehensive training to become an HGV driver, there’s also the extremely important emphasis on ensuring that all drivers and potential drivers are fit and healthy enough to be in control of a large vehicle. Which is why the HGV medical exam plays such a crucial role in the procedure towards becoming a fully licenced HGV driver.

But what exactly does this medical exam entail?

The short answer, of course, is that it checks for general health and determines whether or not you are in the right kind of condition to control and drive a heavy goods vehicle. The long answer, is that the medical exam will focus on some critical criteria when it comes to establishing health and fitness.

What You Need To Know

It is a legal requirement

The first thing one should appreciate about the HGV Medical Exam is that there is a legal obligation to take it, and that a licence cannot be obtained unless you have indeed passed the medical itself. Lasting in the region of thirty minutes the medical will be conducted by a fully qualified doctor and will be comprised of both a physical examination as well as a period of consultancy.

Establishing Physical AND Mental Well-Being

Not only will the exam seek to ensure that you are physically fit to control and drive an HGV but it will also be used to ascertain that you are also in a fit mental state to be in control of a large and potentially dangerous vehicle. This is an essential part of the consultancy process as your doctor will confidentially discuss any potential physical or mental issues that may exist.

A Comprehensive Physical Examination

The need for a clean bill of health means that the examination itself is a comprehensive exploration of all areas pertaining to physical fitness and general health. Ordinarily this will stop short of running tests such as blood samples or such like but the exam will nevertheless include checks on vital areas of health such as:

  • Weight
  • Cardio- Vascular Health
  • Blood Pressure
  • Musculoskeletal Issues

Eyesight Is Important

Given that your job will be to drive a very large vehicle on the busy roads and highways of the UK (and possibly beyond) then it should be of no surprise that an eyesight test will be an essential part of the exam. As a rule the eyesight test will be somewhat more rigourous than that of a standard driving test with a criteria being that you would need to demonstrate appropriate vision with each individual eye as well as combined vision.

Checking the Heart

Ensuring a healthy heart is another extremely important component of the test. The nature of the job and the fact that you are in control of a large vehicle, usually full of varying goods, means that good heart health is critical. If an applicant has a history of heart complaints or has suffered a heart attack in the past then a licence will only be able to be obtained if evidence can be supplied of a sufficient amount of time passed without incident or any bouts of angina, for example.

Monitoring for Diabetes

Another area of vital importance is the check for diabetes and the rules around being in control of an HGV while taking insulin are extremely strict; and for good reason. An diabetes related attack whilst driving could have major repercussions on public safety and as such, extremely careful risk assessment is carried out with anyone suffering from diabetes. Blood sugar levels are very carefully monitored, for example, and close consultation with a diabetes consultant is required as an ongoing concern before a licence to drive can be obtained.