What is the definition of a heavy goods vehicle?

A heavy goods vehicle, or HGV, is any vehicle with a total weight over 3,500 kg including the cargo. An HGV can be also known as a large goods vehicle (LGV), the official EU term.

What is the difference between HGV and LGV?

What is the difference between HGV and LGV?

In the UK, a vehicle is taxed according to its weight, engine, construction, type of fuel, emissions and the purpose for which its used. Originally, trucks were separated into two categories:

  • Large goods vehicles (over 3,500 kg)
  • Light goods vehicles (under 3,500 kg)

As you may imagine, it started to get quite confusing as they were both abbreviated to ‘LGV’, for tax purposes. In 1992, when the road tax laws were updated, large goods vehicles were renamed heavy goods vehicles (HGV) to clear up any misun­der­standing.

What is classed as a heavy goods vehicle?

What is classed as a heavy goods vehicle?

A heavy goods vehicle covers all commercial trucks that have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of over 3,500 kg or 3.5 tonnes. Some of these include:

  • Fridge trucks
  • Flat beds
  • Tippers
  • Drop sides
  • Box vans
  • Lutons
  • ADRs

Is a 7.5 tonne vehicle an HGV?

Is a 7.5 tonne vehicle an HGV?

The answer is yes. An HGV is any goods vehicle over 3.5 tonnes. However, when it comes to heavy goods vehicle driver licences, there is a difference regarding the weights of HGVs.

For example:

If a vehicle has a weight between 3.5 - 7.5 tonnes, the driver needs a licence type C1. For vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, a licence type C is needed instead. Frequently, 7.5 tonne (and over) vehicles tend to be larger commercial vans towing a trailer or horseboxes.

HGV regulations

HGV regulations

Because of their high mass, HGVs are often involved in fatal crashes that can have severe consequences for other road users. In the EU, HGV traffic is strictly regulated for safety.

Some of the regulations implemented by the European Commission include:

  • Crash avoidance measures, such as speed limitation
  • Vision and projection measures, such as the imple­ment­ation of blind spot mirrors or cameras in Belgium and The Netherlands
  • Braking and handling measures, such as the usage of electronic stability devices
  • Driver fatigue measures, such as the imple­ment­ation of ELDs
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With these regulations, the European Commission strongly suggests that monitoring the movement of a heavy goods vehicle and driver’s working hours can help to improve driving behaviour and increase safety on the road. A telematics solution like Webfleet allows you to access all of the data related to these issues with ease. It will not only help you to stay compliant, but also to improve and facilitate your operations.

If you want to know more about Webfleet and the multiple benefits it can bring to your organ­isation, get in contact with one of our experts.

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