John's truck page

LGV stands for Large Goods Vehicle (formerly called HGV, Heavy Goods Vehicle), i.e. truck.

For a long time, I wanted to learn to drive trucks, initially because of my fascination with large complex mechanical things, and also to improve my driving; then a friend, when she heard that I was interested in doing this, pointed out that it would then be possible to take part in relief convoys, and that added enough impetus for me to apply for the provisional licence etc...

Well, I failed my first test on an artic, mostly for not slowing down enough in anticipation at junctions. Then, a few years later, I took the rigid truck test, and after several attempts, passed it, and did some temporary work as an agency trucker while on a career break from computing.

How it improved my driving in general


Use of mirrors
There are two situations in which you should always use your mirrors:
  1. When about to change speed or direction
  2. When not about to change speed or direction


Pull out early
when passing a kerbside obstacle such as a parked car; if you have to stop to let oncoming traffic pass, stop well back from the obstacle
Slow down early
Don't leave it to the last moment and slam the brakes on! Apart from urban driving, you should be able to control your speed almost entirely with the engine (but remember that your brake lights may be important to the driver behind).


Keep a steady speed
unless there is specific reason not to
Check the vehicle
Before driving a vehicle (unless you have just driven it) walk round it and check that all the tyres appear to be intact, wheel nuts are all present, lights and number plates all intact.

Reversing with a trailer

The general idea is that steering a two-part vehicle in reverse is a "second-order effect", or as one of my instructors put it:

what you hold in your hands is not the steering wheel of the vehicle; it is the steering wheel of the steering wheel of the vehicle

Truck-specific stuff

Artic uncoupling procedure

Artic coupling procedure

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 21:39:56 GMT Daylight Time 2007