You have completed your HGV training, and you are ready for the practical test. The practical exam will last around 90 minutes and will include ‘tell me – show me’ questions, controlled stop, reversing exercise, and road drive. The instructor will take you through the test scenario and should have adequately trained you on the standards you should attain for you to pass the practical exam. Below are ten tip and hints that will see you achieve your desired results as you prepare to take your HGV practical test after completing HGV training.
The objective is to try, where safe to do so, to demonstrate that you know what the speed limit is and you can keep up with the flowing traffic.
Avoid doing things the last minute. Always look ahead. Never forget that you are operating a heavy vehicle that takes longer to stop and demand you to stay alert.
Use Your Reversing Marker
When trying to get the back of the truck perfectly into the box, you should make use of the marker fixed on the truck’s rear mudguard. You training instructor should have advised you on how to utilise the marker.
You must present both parts of your licence (inclusive of the theory test certificate) when going to take the practical test. Therefore, remember to carry these documents with you.
Avoid training for hours on end on the test day. You should go for the practical exam when feeling fresh, upbeat rather than when tired, and drained. If you feel the need for a pre-drive, then a 40-60 minute drive is advisable.
Use the Mirrors
You much check the mirror before you do anything – gets the truck moving, changing gear, speeding up, slowing down, or executing any other manoeuvre.
Gears to Go
You should never use your gears to slow down because it can dent your prospects of passing the practical test and damage the truck. You have the brakes for slowing down the vehicle; thus, use them more as you select the appropriate gear when slowing down the truck.
Know Your Test Area
You will not be informed of the test route before taking the HGV driving practical exam. Nevertheless, you should be familiar with the testing area.
You will be expected to stop the truck on a few occasions, where safe to do so. You must do this when the examiner asks you to; do not continue driving for another half a mile. Try to stop safely as soon as possible. Remember to apply the handbrake, cancel the indicator, and select the neutral gear.
Remember to face ahead when climbing into and off the truck. Make use of the steps and handrails.
On the day before your test, go to bed early so that you can get enough rest and wake up feeling fresh and ready.
Remember your examiner is like any other passenger you might have on board, he or she will expect and appreciate a smooth and controlled ride.
Meeting Oncoming Traffic
Prepare to brake and bring the vehicle to a halt when you meet standing traffic or oncoming large vehicles. You will manage to operate the truck and better assess awkward situations when the vehicle is moving slowly or stationary.
Remember to do a pre-use inspection of the vehicle before your exam. It can be an opportunity to cover all the potential “tell me – show me” questions.
Remember to unbuckle the seat belt when executing a reversing exercise. You do not want the belt getting in the way. However, remember to belt up again once you complete the manoeuvre.
Always check your mirrors and your blind spot before moving off or veering to a stationary position.
There is no need to wear a suit. Nevertheless, you should clad appropriate attire and work boots.
Do Not Dwell On Mistakes
The minimum number of minor faults you can commit and still pass your HGV practical driving test is 15. Do not focus a lot on an error. You should move on and focus on what you are expected to do. You are bound to make more blunders if you dwell on prior mistakes.
You can take a max of 2 shunts, if required, and make the most of it. You will be allowed to get out of the truck once, use that time to access the rear of the vehicle and ensure you have stationed it in the right place. Remember to Switch off your mobile phone.