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The truck driving licence is a lifeline to those who make their living behind the wheels of HGVs. Losing that licence requires the driver to either stop working temporarily – until a licence is restored – or find an entirely new line of work. Therefore, it makes sense for drivers to do everything they can to protect their licences.

If you are not interested in doing so, we can explain very easily how you can go about losing your truck driving licence in a heartbeat. All you need to do is exceed work hours rules and/or manipulate your vehicle’s tachograph. Your actions might even make it possible for your employer to lose an operator’s licence or have it severely restricted. We offer an example from Scotland that proves the point.

Scotland’s traffic commissioner recently disqualified an HGV driver for 15 months due to the driver’s wilful violations of the law. Commissioner Joan Atken found, during multiple hearings, that the driver had violated regulations regarding work hours and tachograph use on at least 39 occasions. She deemed him unfit to drive professionally, questioning his competence and his level of commitment to safe driving. However, the traffic commissioner did not stop there.

Atken also went after the driver’s former employer. The Uddingston-based firm was found to be partially culpable in that they apparently pushed drivers to work longer in an attempt to compensate for recent expansion. Now that will not be a problem – at least for the next eight weeks. The company’s operator’s licence has been restricted in terms of the total number of HGVs the company can operate. That should give them plenty of time to find other ways to deal with expansion.

Don’t Break the Law

We did not identify either the driver or his former employer because our purpose is not to publicly shame them. The reason for this blog is to simply remind our readers not to break the law. It is just not worth it. HGV operation is strictly regulated in order to maximise safety for everyone. As Commissioner Atken explained, the work hours rules are meant to combat fatigue among professional drivers. Fatigue endangers not only professionals but also everyone else on the road. Falling asleep while behind the wheel of an HGV is a common cause of serious accidents that end in injury or death.

If you are already a professional driver, you should know what the regulations say about work hours. If you are planning to be a professional in the future, you will learn about the regulations during the truck driving training sessions you will undergo. In either case, please do yourself and your employer a favour by always following the law.

The HGV Training Centre is proud to offer comprehensive and industry-leading training for truck driving candidates. Our HGV training classes teach new drivers everything they need to know to operate large, commercial vehicles both safely and efficiently. We operate nearly four dozen conveniently located training facilities around the UK.

Sources:

  1. Commercial Fleet – https://www.commercialfleet.org/news/truck-news/2015/07/13/truck-driver-disqualified-for-ignoring-breaks-and-removing-tachograph-card

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