According to the Road Haulage Association, there’s currently a shortage of about 100,000 HGV drivers in the UK, affecting the streamlined operation of supply chains. But to become an HGV driver, you need to be fit and in good health so you can face the requirements of the job.
A medical examination is essential before you can get your HGV licence. But what medical do you need to drive an HGV lorry? Keep on reading to learn the answer to this question.
If you’re looking for a new job, becoming an HGV driver might be the right opportunity for you. It’s a desirable job because there is lots of work available, you can choose your work hours, the job comes with adequate security, and getting into the job isn’t expensive.
But in order to land this opportunity, you need to go through a medical examination that proves that you’re healthy and fit. This medical examination will prove that you’re legally able to drive commercial vehicles on and around British roads.
Every driver must comply with a D4 medical examination and submit the paper to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency or DVLA. A doctor carries out a standard examination for HGV drivers as well as LGV, PCV, taxi, and ambulance drivers to ensure that they’re medically able to drive a vehicle and act promptly in case of an emergency. It’s up to the DVLA to decide whether a driver is medically fit and safe to drive or not.
The purpose of the medical examination is to assess your physical, mental, and psychological ability to drive a vehicle. The medical is split into two parts.
Your medical takes about 30 minutes, and the doctor will fill in your D4 medical form. The form is then submitted to the DVLA, where the organisation takes a decision about granting you a driver’s license.
The D4 medical is targeted towards assessing your general health to determine your level of fitness and see if you meet the desired guidelines to be physically able to become an HGV driver. Here are the areas covered during a D4 medical.
Your vision will be assessed with and without glasses, and each eye will be tested individually. The doctor will also assess your field of vision to see if you’re fit to drive.
The doctor will ask you about any previous injuries and test you for some neurological conditions like epilepsy and Parkinson’s as they affect your ability to drive.
Being able to handle stressful situations will affect your ability to drive a vehicle, so your doctor will ask you about any previous or current mental problems, including depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
If you suffer from insomnia or any other sleep disorder, it might affect your ability to make sound judgements in case of an emergency.
If you have a previous or current problem with alcohol or drugs, you should disclose this piece of information to the doctor. According to law, it’s prohibited to drive an HGV if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Suffering from diabetes doesn’t prevent you from passing your D4 medical. But, you have to discuss your condition with the doctor and make sure that your insulin levels are in check.
The doctor has to assess your heart health and look for any symptoms that might show potential problems to help you get the needed medical help.