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When taking the HGV test as a new driver, a person is not necessarily placed in a position where a bad choice could be fairly destructive. However, in the real world things are different. Such is the case for a Merseyside driver who failed a real-world HGV test involving bridge clearance, resulting in the destruction of a group of brand-new Ford Focuses.

On March 13 (2015), the driver approached the Snowford Hill railway bridge in Warwickshire as he attempted to avoid traffic by taking a short cut. The problem was that the height of the bridge measures just 4.4m. The lorry and its cargo were not even close to making it through unscathed. Although the driver was unhurt physically, he was undoubtedly in mental anguish after having realised the amount of damage done.

Witnesses say the driver had plenty of time to rethink his decision as he travelled toward the bridge. Nevertheless, he must have thought he had enough clearance because he showed no signs of stopping and turning around. Once caught under the bridge, the only way out was by force. The cars sitting on the top deck of the transporter were ripped open by the bridge. Exactly how many cars were damaged remains unclear.

By law, bridges under a certain height are required to be posted with the appropriate signage. An official report published by The Express does not say whether this particular bridge was posted. Nonetheless, an experienced driver would likely know that things were going to be tight, at the very least. This accident suggests the driver in question was either new, inexperienced or just exercised poor judgement. He failed this HGV test either way.

Know Your Lorry

Learning to drive an HGV involves a lot of information that car drivers do not have to worry about. This includes knowing the height, width, and length of a lorry in order to avoid accidents such as these. Weight is another important part of the equation. A driver who knows his/her vehicle inside and out is better equipped to make wise decisions in these types of incidents. Obviously, accidents will happen, but providing appropriate training to drivers on a regular basis can reduce accident risks significantly.

The HGV Training Centre offers remedial training to fleets throughout the UK. Our training packages can include CPC training along with anything else your company deems necessary. We believe in the ability of remedial training to refresh the memories of seasoned drivers and impart valuable knowledge to their younger counterparts.

If you are interested in setting up a training programme for your fleet, please do not hesitate to contact the HGV Training Centre right away. Our training covers every class of commercial vehicle including HGVs, coaches and buses, tipper trucks, horseboxes, heavy construction equipment, and more. We also offer training for individuals looking to take the HGV test to earn a commercial licence. Training is provided by experienced professionals at dozens of locations throughout the UK.


  1. The Express – https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/565010/Truck-driver-left-ruing-shortcut-low-bridge-damages-fleet-brand-new-cars


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