Heavy goods vehicles have a substantial presence within the fleet management industry. As such, it’s imperative for fleet managers to have a clear understanding of their specific definition and classification.

What is Classed as a Heavy Goods Vehicle?

Heavy goods vehicles comprise all commercial trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) exceeding 3,500 kg or 3.5 tonnes. This category accounts for a diverse range of specialised vehicles, including:

  • Fridge trucks
  • Flatbeds
  • Tippers
  • Drop sides
  • Box vans
  • Lutons
  • Tankers
  • Curtain-siders
  • Articulated lorries
  • Concrete mixers
  • Recovery vehicles
  • Skip loaders
  • Car transporters
  • Crane trucks
  • Livestock carriers

These various types of HGVs cater to specific industry needs and cargo requirements.

What is the Difference Between a HGV and a LGV?

Initially, trucks were categorised into two distinct groups based on weight:

  • Large goods vehicles - over 3,500 kg
  • Light goods vehicles - under 3,500 kg

However, in the UK, where a vehicle's tax is partly determined by its weight, ambiguity arose when both were referred to as 'LGV.' To address this, when road tax laws were revised in 1992, large goods vehicles were officially renamed to heavy goods vehicles for better clarity. Albeit, the term large goods vehicle remains in use by the EU.

What Licence do I Need to drive a HGV?

Driver licensing requirements are determined by the weight of the vehicle. If a vehicle falls within the weight range of 3.5 to 7.5 tonnes, a driver must hold a licence of type C1. For heavier vehicles weighing over 7.5 tonnes, a licence of type C is mandatory.

These distinctions in licensing ensure that drivers possess the appropriate qualifications for the specific weight class of the vehicles they operate, contributing to road safety and regulatory compliance in fleet management.

HGV Regulations Compliance with MICHELIN Connected Fleet

Due to their substantial mass, accidents involving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) often result in severe, if not fatal, consequences. In an effort to mitigate such incidents and safeguard other road users, the EU enforces strict regulations on HGV traffic. These regulations include:

  • Speed limitation measures aimed at reducing the severity of collisions
  • Vision and projection measures to address blind spots, enhancing overall road safety
  • Technologically assisted braking and handling measures to improve vehicle control

In addition to these regulatory measures, it is highly recommended that fleet managers implement real-time monitoring of their HGVs. Simultaneously, tracking drivers' working hours is significant to eliminate the risk of fatigue, contributing to the overall safety and efficiency of HGV operations.

We at MICHELIN Connected Fleet provide fleet management solutions which seamlessly integrate purpose-built hardware and software to facilitate these activities. If you’re interested in improving the driving behaviour and safety of your HGV fleet while ensuring its regulatory compliance, then be sure to contact us for details on how our services can benefit your business or company.