LGV Category C&E / Class 1 Practical Test

So, you have gotten through the medical, the paperwork, the theory test and the hazard perception test. You have passed all of these and you have trained to take the practical test.

So what is included on your test? Well you must be able to show that:

  • You can start the vehicle
  • Move the vehicle both forward and reverse under full control
  • Overtake if needs be
  • Turn both left and right
  • Stop the vehicle in a controlled manner
  • Use your signals properly
  • Act in the correct manner when driving an LGV
  • Hitch and unhitch the semi-trailer

Before getting into the cab, you must demonstrate that you can carry out safety checks:

  • Are your number plates securely fitted?
  • Is you load secure? If you have a box trailer, is it closed securely? If you have a flatbed, if it has a load or load restraints on it, are they secure?
  • Are all bulbs, lenses and reflectors fitted?
  • Are all reflective plates clean and visible?
  • Are the tyres safe to go out on the road? Look for trapped elements, bulges, cuts and grooves
  • Are the airlines correctly fitted with no air leaks?
  • Are couplings secure?
  • Is the landing gear raised?
  • Is the trailer handbrake released?

Before you do these safety checks, get into the cab. Ensure that:

  • The handbrake is securely on
  • The engine is off
  • All electrical systems are off
  • Windows are closed and doors are securely closed
  • The gear lever is in neutral
  • The keys have been removed from the ignition
  • You will not endanger anyone when you open the door

Complete your initial safety checks. Then you will need to switch the engine on to carry out more safety checks. Ensure that:

  • The handbrake is applied
  • The gear lever is in neutral
  • The doors are closed properly
  • Your seat is adjusted to suit you
  • The mirrors are correctly aligned
  • Your seat belt is fastened correctly and securely.

The DSA's syllabus fails to mention two additional checks you should be aware of:

  • You should check that all bulbs are functional. You may have to start the engine for this. Discuss this with your instructor.
  • You should make sure you have used a tachograph. If you changed the mode before the test, change it to driving.

You must be able to demonstrate knowledge of your vehicle. For instance, how long would it take to brake when you have a full load on? How would you check for loose wheel nuts?

You must show reasonable car for other road users. Not all understand the larger turning circles required by an LGV.

You must be able to demonstrate the ability to adapt your driving to the varying weather conditions.

The following is a brief outline of what you would have to demonstrate in your test.

  • Move off:
    • Straight ahead
    • At an angle
    • On level ground
    • Uphill
    • Downhill
  • Drive in the correct lane on roads and in the correct driving position within that lane
  • Effectively observe what is around you
  • Drive at an appropriate speed for the surroundings, the weather and the law
  • Anticipate changes in the traffic
  • Pass stationary vehicles
  • Overtake vehicles
  • Turn left or right, or drive straight ahead at:
    • Junctions
    • Roundabouts
    • Crossroads
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front
  • Act correctly at pedestrian crossings and when instructed by signs
  • Drive in a safe manor
  • Drive on:
    • Urban roads
    • Rural roads
    • Dual carriageways
  • Stop the vehicle safely
  • Stop correctly when instructed. This may be:
    • Facing uphill
    • Facing downhill
    • Before reaching a parked vehicle but ensuring you have left enough room to pull away
  • Stop when the emergency stop command is given (this must be safely, as quick as possible and under full control)
  • Reverse under full control in a manoeuvring area
  • Cross level crossings and tram crossings (where applicable)
  • Uncouple and recouple the semi-trailer using the safe working procedure

The main thing is to display a safe and knowledgeable front about your vehicle. If you can demonstrate that you can safely handle an LGV, you will pass. Once you have passed, you can look at taking the C+E test!

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