Guidance for driving examiners carrying out driving tests (DT1)

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Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
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03: The B+E (car and trailer), medium and large goods vehicle and passenger carrying vehicle test

The guidance that driving examiners should follow when conducting the B+E (car and trailer), medium and large goods vehicle and passenger carrying vehicle test.

3.01: Introduction & driving test requirments

This chapter contains detailed guidance on the conduct of car and trailer, Medium and Large Goods Vehicle & Passenger Carrying Vehicle driving tests. Guidance, which applies to either LGV or PCV tests only, is annotated accordingly. Advice on operational matters particularly relevant to LGV driving test centres is also included.

Driving test requirements

Driving tests are conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations and EU Directive 2003/59/EC.

It is important that, unless the test is terminated, the minimum driving times are strictly adhered to. Regulations state that the time during which a person is required to drive on the road is:

(i) for the case of a test for a licence authorising the driving of a class of vehicle included in the category B+E, C+E, and D+E, not less than 50 minutes, which includes approximately 10 minutes of independent driving.

(ii) for the case of a test for a licence authorising the driving of a class of rigid vehicle included in the category C1, C, D1 and D, not less than 60 minutes, which includes approximately 10 minutes of independent driving.

This additional time requirement is to comply with EU Directive 2003/59/EC (Driver’s Certificates of Professional Competence)

Test candidates must satisfy the examiner as to their ability to carry out properly the activities and perform competently, without danger to and with due consideration for other road users, the manoeuvres below.

Eyesight (B +E only)

Read in good daylight (with the aid of glasses or contact lenses if worn) a registration mark fixed to a motor vehicle and containing letters and figures 79.4 millimetres high at a distance of 20.5 metres.

Note: new/ style number plates were introduced on the 1 September 2001. These number plates can be easily identified as they start with two letters. The distance requirement for the eyesight test with the new style number plate is 20 metres. These number plates can be easily identified as they start with two letters.

Answer Vehicle Safety Check questions.

Preparation to drive

  1. Adjust the seat as necessary to obtain a correct seated position.
  2. Adjust rear-view mirrors and seat belts.
  3. Check that the doors are closed.

Technical control of the vehicle

  1. Start the engine and move off smoothly (uphill and downhill as well as on the flat).
  2. Accelerate to a suitable speed while maintaining a straight course, including during gear-changes.
  3. Adjust speed to negotiate left or right turns at junctions, possibly in restricted spaces, while maintaining control of the vehicle.
  4. Brake accurately to a stop where directed, if need be by performing an emergency stop
  5. Reverse in a ‘S’ shaped curve.

Behaviour in traffic

  1. Observe (including the use of the rear-view mirrors) road alignment, markings, signs and potential or actual risks.
  2. Communicate with other road users using the authorised means.
  3. React appropriately in actual risk situations.
  4. Comply with road traffic regulations and the instruction of the police and traffic controllers.
  5. Move off from the kerb or a parking space.
  6. Drive with the vehicle correctly positioned on the road, adjusting speed to traffic conditions and the line of the road.
  7. Keep the right distance between vehicles.
  8. Change lanes.
  9. Pass parked or stationary vehicles and obstacles.
  10. Approach and cross junctions.
  11. Turn right and left at junctions or to leave the carriageway.
  12. Where the opportunity arises:
    • (a) pass oncoming vehicles, including in confined spaces
    • (b) overtake in various situations
    • (c) approach and cross level-crossings

Trailers

Un-couple and re-couple trailer or semi-trailer from and to the tractor vehicle.

Vehicle Safety

Show awareness of vehicle safety measures and be able to operate safety systems.

3.02: Minimum test vehicles (MTVs) suitable for test purposes

All vehicles must comply with the following MTV requirements to be suitable for test:

Category B+E

  • Category B vehicle + a minimum of 1 tonne MAM* trailer
  • Trailer of closed box construction - can be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle. Trailer must be of such a height that driver rear-view is only possible through external mirrors.
  • RTM** 800kg for the trailer.
  • Load Requirement: 600kgs of aggregates such as sand, stone chippings, gravel or any other recycled material packaged in sealed transparent bags. All bags must weigh the same and be at least 10kgs.

Or alternatively: One intermediate bulk container constructed of moulded plastic or steel of 1,000kg or 600kg capacity when filled with water.

  • ABS: Not required
  • Tacho: Not required
  • Length: Not applicable
  • Width (metres): Not applicable
  • Speed Km/h: 100

Category C1

  • MAM* 4 tonnes
  • Cargo compartment: Closed box construction at least as wide and as high as the cab.
  • RTM** Not applicable
  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: 5 metres
  • Width (metres): Not applicable
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category C1+E

  • MAM* 4 tonnes + 2 tonne trailer
  • Cargo compartment/trailer: Closed box construction category C1 vehicle with a closed box trailer at least as wide and as high as the cab. The trailer can be slightly less wide than the towing vehicle but rear view must be through external mirrors only.
  • RTM** 800kg for the trailer
  • Load Requirement: 600kgs of aggregates such as sand, stone chippings, gravel or any other recycled material packaged in sealed transparent bags. All bags must weigh the same and be at least 10kgs.

Or alternatively: One intermediate bulk container constructed of moulded plastic or steel of 1,000kg or 600kg capacity when filled with water.

  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: 8 metres
  • Width (metres): Not applicable
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category C

  • MAM* 12 tonnes Cargo compartment: Closed box construction at least as wide and as high as the cab.
  • RTM** 10 tonnes
  • Load Requirement: Five 1000 litre IBCs
  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: 8 metres
  • Width (metres): 2.4 metres
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category C+E Drawbar (Cat. C towing vehicle)

  • MAM* 20 tonnes
  • Cargo compartment: Closed box construction at least as wide and as high as the cab.
  • RTM** 15 tonnes -
  • Load Requirement: Towing vehicle - five 1000 litre IBCs. Trailer - three 1000 litre IBCs.
  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: 14 metres. Trailer at least 7.5 metres
  • Width (metres): 2.4 metres
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category C+E Articulated

  • MAM* 20 tonnes
  • Cargo compartment: Closed box construction at least as wide and as high as the cab.
  • RTM** 15 tonnes
  • Load Requirement: Eight 1000 litre IBCs
  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: 14 metres
  • Width (metres): 2.4 metres
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category D1

  • MAM* 4 tonnes
  • 9 - 16 passenger seats
  • Cargo compartment: Not applicable
  • RTM** Not applicable
  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: 5 metres
  • Width (metres): Not applicable
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category D1+E (Cat. D1 towing vehicle)

  • MAM* 4 tonnes + 1.25 tonne trailer
  • Cargo compartment: Closed box trailer at least 2m high and 2m wide.
  • RTM** 800kg for the trailer
  • Load Requirement: 600kgs of aggregates such as sand, stone chippings, gravel or any other recycled material packaged in sealed transparent bags. All bags must weigh the same and be at least 10kgs.

Or alternatively:

One intermediate bulk container constructed of moulded plastic or steel of 1,000kg or 600kg capacity when filled with water.

  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: Not applicable
  • Width (metres): Not applicable
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category D

  • MAM* Not applicable
  • Cargo compartment: Not applicable
  • RTM** Not applicable
  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: 10 metres
  • Width (metres): 2.4 metres
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Category D+E (Cat. D towing vehicle)

  • MAM* 1.25 tonnes for the trailer
  • Cargo compartment: Closed box trailer at least 2m wide and 2m high
  • RTM** 800kg for the trailer
  • Load Requirement: 600kgs of aggregates such as sand, stone chippings, gravel or any other recycled material packaged in sealed transparent bags. All bags must weigh the same and be at least 10kgs.

Or alternatively: One intermediate bulk container constructed of moulded plastic or steel of 1,000kg or 600kg capacity when filled with water.

  • ABS: Yes
  • Tacho: Yes
  • Length: Not applicable
  • Width (metres): 2.4 metres
  • Speed Km/h: 80

Note: There is no requirement for 8-forward gear ratios for categories C and C+E.

Key: MAM* Maximum Authorised Mass = the maximum permissible weight of the vehicle or trailer or vehicle/trailer combination

RTM** Real Total Mass = the actual weight of the vehicle or trailer or vehicle/trailer combination when presented for test

Test vehicles used for large vehicle and vehicle-trailer combination tests (bus/lorry) and car plus trailer tests must be fitted with external nearside and offside mirrors for use by the driving examiner during the test. This includes practical tests to join the register of large goods vehicle (LGV) driving instructors. Seatbelts for the examiner and any supervising officer must be fitted to lorries used for test, including with-trailer and LGV register tests.

Fire service exemption to minimum test vehicle requirement

Exceptionally, for category C practical tests, ministers made provision in regulations to allow fire brigades to use either:

  • the standard vehicle MTV as described above
  • a fire tender completely filled with water - as indicated by the water gauge.

If, while under the control of the fire service, a fire tender is presented for test filled with water, it must be accepted. Fire tenders are not acceptable for test if used by anybody other than the fire service (normal MTVs apply). If you’re in any doubt about the validity of a fire service test, contact technical support on: 0115 936 6370.

3.03: Motorhomes / recreational vehicles

Motorhomes, Recreational vehicles, etc. are either Category C or C1 dependent on the MAM. They should be taken on test provided that they meet the MTVs for the Category

3.04: Stretched limousines and prison vans

Stretched limousines and prison vans based on a lorry chassis are not suitable vehicles for a PCV (category D/ D1) test.

3.05: Laden vehicles/trailers

Since 15 November 2013, certain vehicles - and vehicle trailer combinations - can only be presented for practical test with a secured load.

Details of specific vehicles/trailers and their load requirements can be found in DT1 3.02 and on GOV.UK.

Exceptionally it may be necessary for an examiner to check a load to ensure it meets the test requirement. If this is necessary, the examiner should ask the candidate or the accompanying driver to enable the load to be seen.

The examiner must not physically open, or assist in opening, any vehicle or trailer; or operate any tail lift in order to gain access to a load.

Under no circumstances should an examiner enter a vehicle or trailer loading area to check a load. Any viewing must be made from a point completely separate (detached) from the vehicle or trailer.

If an examiner is trained to use an A-frame set of steps, they can be used but mustn’t be propped against or touching the vehicle. If it’s clear that a vehicle/trailer doesn’t comply with the load requirement, the examiner must explain to the candidate that they’re unable to conduct the test.

Small, properly secured articles such as tarpaulins, cones - and equipment such as cookers and fridges, fitted in recreational vehicles, motor-homes and caravans, and other integral factory-fitted equipment - should not be regarded as a load.

3.06: Skeleton trailers

Skeleton trailers without a container are not ‘representative of type’, and therefore not suitable for test.

3.07: LGV - Uncoupling/re-coupling – stowing ‘suzis’

During the exercise with an artic the ‘suzis’ must be stowed correctly and not allowed to trail. The object of the uncoupling exercise is to check that the driver parks the trailer safely as though he was leaving it there and also makes the towing vehicle fit for road use. The ‘suzis’ on a draw-bar trailer are left with the trailer and should be left in a safe position, for example laid over the draw-bar

3.09: Trade plates

A vehicle carrying a trade plate is not a suitable vehicle for a driving test as the conditions attached to trade licences do not allow for a vehicle to be used for this purpose.

3.10: General competence to drive

To pass the test a candidate must demonstrate a high standard of competence in handling the vehicle. The candidate must also be able to apply the rules of the Highway Code. They must show that, generally, they have a full understanding of the principles involved in driving large goods or passenger carrying vehicles and of the application of those principles, and can demonstrate proper control in a wide variety of situations.

In addition, because of the size and weight of their vehicle, the drivers of lorries and buses must have a highly developed level of courtesy and consideration for other road users. The test will also include a section of independent driving where the candidate is asked to follow traffic signs or verbal directions or a combination of both.

3.11: Assessment and recording of faults

It is important that, in addition to a common standard of test, there should be a common standard of assessment of candidates’ driving ability. The most reliable basis for assessing a person’s competence to drive is to observe faults as they are committed and to evaluate them as soon as a confident judgement can be made. Examiners should not be too hasty in making a definitive assessment and marking the fault. Examiners should wait until the event has finished, then mark the fault. Driving errors must not be double marked. Once assessed, each fault should be recorded on the DL25. The markings on the DL25 are explained below.

3.12: Definition of markings on form DL25

  1. 1.

    1. (a). Eyesight (B+E only): Unable to meet the requirements of the eyesight test.
    2. (b). Highway Code: for Categories F/G/H only). Safety: (PCV only) - answer safety questions.
  2. 2. Controlled Stop: Promptness / slow reaction / inadequate braking / loss of control.
  3. 3. Reverse / Left reverse with trailer:
    1. Control: incorrect use of controls and/or inaccuracy.
    2. Observation: lack of effective all round observation.
  4. 4. Reverse/Right: Not applicable for LGV/ PCV & ‘B+E’ tests.
  5. 5. Reverse Park (road/car park): Not applicable for LGV/ PCV & ‘B+E’ tests.
  6. 6. Turn in the road: Not applicable for LGV/ PCV & ‘B+E’ tests.
  7. 7. Vehicle Checks: Answer safety check questions.
  8. 8. Taxi manoeuvre: Not applicable for LGV/ PCV & ‘B+E’ tests.
  9. 9. Taxi wheelchair: Not applicable for LGV/ PCV & ‘B+E’ tests.
  10. 10. Uncouple/ re-couple: Uncoupling/ re-coupling exercise.
  11. 11. Precautions: Failure to take proper precautions before starting engine.
  12. 12. Control:
    1. Accelerator: uncontrolled or harsh use of the accelerator.
    2. Clutch: uncontrolled use of clutch.
    3. Gears: failure to engage appropriate gear for road and traffic conditions. Coasting in neutral or with clutch pedal depressed.
    4. Footbrake: late and/or harsh use of footbrake.
    5. Parking brake: failure to apply or release the handbrake correctly and when necessary.
    6. Steering: erratic steering, overshooting the correct turning point when turning right or left, both hands off steering wheel or hitting the kerb.
    7. PCV door exercise: Any faults regarding safe practice at bus stops should be marked here.
    8. Note: Control faults should not be marked at item 12 if committed at item 3.
  13. 13. Move off:
    1. Safely: failure to take effective observation before moving off, including the correct use of signals.
    2. Under control: inability to move off smoothly, straight ahead, at an angle, or on a gradient.
  14. 14. Use of mirror(s):

    1. Failure to make effective use of the mirrors well before:

    2. signalling
    3. changing direction
    4. changing speed
  15. 15. Signals:

    1. Necessary: Necessary signal omitted.
    2. Correctly: Incorrect or misleading signal. Failure to cancel direction indicators.
    3. Timed: Signal incorrectly timed so as to be either misleading or too late to be of value.
  16. 16. Clearance/ obstructions:

    1. Not allowing adequate clearance when passing parked vehicles and other obstructions.
  17. 17. Response to signs/ signals:

    1. Failure to comply with or late reaction to:

    2. Traffic signs: Inappropriate response to traffic signs
    3. Road markings: eg double white lines, box junctions, lane direction arrows.
    4. Traffic lights: (not Pedestrian Controlled crossings, this is covered at 24), including failure to move off on green when correct and safe to do so.
    5. Traffic controllers: signals given by a police officer, traffic warden, school crossing warden or other persons directing traffic.
    6. Other road users: Failure to take appropriate action on signals given by other road users.
  18. 18. Use of speed: Driving too fast for road, traffic and weather conditions.

  19. 19. Following distance:

    1. Keep a proper and safe distance from the vehicle in front when moving.
    2. Leave a reasonable gap from the vehicle in front when stopping in lines of traffic.
  20. 20. Progress:

    1. Appropriate speed: driving too slowly for road and traffic conditions.
    2. Undue hesitation: being over cautious by stopping or waiting when it is safe and normal to proceed.
  21. 21. Junctions:

    1. Approach speed: Approaching junctions at a proper speed; either too fast or too slow, for whatever reason.
    2. Observations: Not taking effective observation before emerging.
    3. Turning right: Late or incorrect positioning before turning right, including failing to move forward into the correct position to turn right at traffic lights.
    4. Turning left: Positioning too close or too far from the kerb before turning left.
    5. Cutting corners: Cutting right hand corners, particularly where the view is limited.
  22. 22. Judgement:

    1. Overtaking: Attempting to overtake unsafely or cutting in after overtaking.
    2. Meeting: Failure to show proper judgement when meeting approaching traffic.
    3. Crossing: Turning right across the path of oncoming traffic.
  23. 23. Positioning:

    1. Normal driving: Incorrect positioning during normal driving, including cutting across the normal road position when going ahead at roundabouts without lane markings.
    2. Lane discipline: Failure to maintain proper lane discipline at roundabouts with lane markings when going ahead and when continuing to drive ahead in designated lanes.
  24. 24. Pedestrian crossings:

    1. Failure to give precedence to pedestrians on a pedestrian crossing.
    2. Non-compliance with lights at Pedestrian Controlled crossings.
  25. 25. Position/ normal stops: Normal stop not made in safe position.

  26. 26. Awareness/ planning: Failure to judge what other road users are going to do and react accordingly.

  27. 27. Ancillary controls: Failure to use ancillary controls when necessary.

  28. 33. Post test information:

    1. Pass/fail/none
    2. Total faults.
    3. Route No.
    4. ETA (Examiner took action): verbally/physically (e.g. dual controls/steering).
    5. D255 (Special needs test and eyesight failure). Mark when a D255 is submitted.
    6. Survey boxes A - H.
    7. Eco Safe driving: Not part of Pass/ Fail criteria
    8. Control: Starting/ Moving off/ Accelerator use/ gears
    9. Planning: Hazard awareness/ planning and anticipation/ engine braking

3.13: Definition of faults

Faults are defined as follows:

  • A driving fault is one which in itself is not potentially dangerous. However, a candidate who habitually commits a driving fault in one aspect of driving throughout the test, demonstrating an inability to deal with certain situations, cannot be regarded as competent to pass the test, as that fault alone must be seen as potentially dangerous.
  • A serious fault is one which is potentially dangerous.
  • A dangerous fault is one involving actual danger to the examiner, candidate, the general public or property.

Note: Fails as a result of either one serious fault or one dangerous fault and an accumulation of 16 or more driving faults - the written report only needs to cover the more serious or dangerous fault. Fails as a result of an accumulation of 16 or more driving faults only need to be written up in full.

3.14: Preparations for the test

The examiner should take on all tests:

  • Manoeuvring boards for the reversing & braking exercises, forms DVSA10, DL25, and blank forms DLV26.
  • Before going to meet the candidate the examiner should insert on the DL25 all the details available prior to the test eg the candidate’s name (DL25B only), application reference number, driver number, time of test, category type etc.

If a route involving verbal directions is to be used the appropriate diagrams should be taken. Examiners should always carry one set of verbal direction route diagrams to allow them to ‘offer’ both methods of independent driving. (This could occur with a special need candidate who declares after leaving test centre)

3.15: Setting the manoeuvring area

The manoeuvring area should be laid out in exactly the same way for right and left hand drive vehicles, and strictly in accordance with the examiner’s manoeuvring board and ready reckoner. If the examiner is doubtful about the accuracy of the dimensions of the vehicle as shown on the journal, they should be checked with a tape to ensure correct positioning of the marker cones.

The distance from cone B to cones A & A1 is always twice the length of the vehicle used for test.

In the case of vehicles with trailers, cone A1 should be set one metre in from the boundary line. In the case of rigid vehicles without trailers, cone A1 should be set on the boundary line. Exceptionally, at centres where there is a safety barrier or other obstruction close to the boundary line and the rigid vehicle used for test has a large front overhang or limited steering lock, which may make it difficult to negotiate cone B, then cone A1 should be set one metre in from the line.

The distance between cones A & A1 should always be 1½ times the widest part of the vehicle (or outfit) used for test and cone B should always be in line with cone A. Therefore, when cone A1 is set one metre in from the boundary line cones A and B must also be set an additional metre into the manoeuvring area.

3.16: Maximum length of LGV drawbar outfit

The maximum permitted length of a drawbar outfit on the road is 18.75 metres. When setting out the area to accommodate a vehicle of this length the distance between cones A-A1 and cone B MUST be twice the length of the outfit. The bay should be set out as normal.

As you are aware the area is 66 metres in length and this length can accommodate vehicles up to 16.5 metres. For vehicles over 16.5 and up to 18.75 metres cones A-A1 should be set on the yellow line and cone B should be positioned 2 vehicle lengths away. This will mean that for these large vehicles the overall length of the area will be less than 4 times the length of the outfit.

3.17: Upgraded licences for category D1 and C1+E

Candidates attending for category D1 and C1+E tests who previously held D1 (restriction 101) or C1+E through acquired rights must take the appropriate theory test before they are entitled to take the practical test. In such instances ‘Check’ should appear on the journal, if confirmation cannot be obtained from either CSU or the theory test hotline before the test slot the candidate should be asked to produce a valid theory test certificate or the test must be terminated.

3.18: Meeting the candidate

The examiner should ask for the candidate by name, greet them pleasantly and then carry out the same licence check and identification procedures as laid out in Chapter 1.

If the candidate arrives for their test in an automatic category C, CE, D or DE vehicle - don’t tick the ‘automatic’ box when completing the DL25 if the candidate already holds a full manual driving licence for any other category of car, lorry or bus. Note: The automatic upgrade to manual transmission only applies to categories C, CE, D, and DE. It does not apply to the sub-categories C1, C1E, D1 and D1E or category BE.

If the candidate only has category C provisional entitlement on their driving licence when attending to take a category C1 test, or category D provisional entitlement on their driving licence when attending to take a category D1 test: as categories C1 and D1 are subcategories of C and D they have the correct entitlement and the test continues as normal.

On PCV tests where routes incorporate bus lanes, candidates should be advised to use them as they would normally (PCVs can use bus lanes whether they are in service or not). The only bus lanes that shouldn’t be used are those marked ‘LOCAL BUSES’.

If the examiner notices then, or during the test, that the candidate may suffer from some restriction of movement, which could be classed as a disability, make discreet enquiries at an appropriate opportunity. In the case of physically disabled persons examiners should enquire about any adaptation(s) fitted to the vehicle, and ask how they operate in relation to the disability. This information should be recorded in detail in the appropriate box on the DL25 and the D255.

For eyesight correction issues please see guidance here: DT1 7.55

3.19: Suspected impersonation

As per chapter 1 - 1.17

3.20: Eyesight test

The B + E test requires the same eyesight test as for an ordinary car test. The LGV and PCV driving tests do not include an eyesight test. The candidate’s eyesight is tested as part of the medical examination necessary before they can obtain a provisional licence.

3.21: Vehicle safety questions

Examiners should choose a selection of five questions from the B+E question bank (Annex 3). Choose questions that suit the vehicle presented for test and the location the test is being delivered from.

At least 50% of the questions should be ‘show me’ rather than ‘tell me’, therefore when asking two questions at least one must be ‘show me’. When asking five questions at least three must be ‘show me’.

Examiners should use all of the questions equally. The choice of questions used should be recorded on the DL25 and will be subject to quality assurance by line managers and by audit.

Although some checks may involve the candidate in opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked, candidates must not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check the fluid levels.

Assessment

Drivers seeking licence entitlement for B+E should be more experienced, and insufficient knowledge on their part could result in a higher level of risk. The assessment criteria for the category reflect this.

A driving fault will be recorded for each incorrect answer up to a maximum of four driving faults. If the candidate answers all five questions incorrectly, a serious fault will be recorded. However, examiners should not pursue questions unduly in an attempt to elicit the precise responses listed; they should bear in mind that these are basic safety checks, and that in-depth mechanical knowledge is not required for the answers to be acceptable. If an Examiner has to take action to avoid danger to the candidate, examiner or another road user, an ETA will be recorded and a serious/dangerous fault recorded under the appropriate heading on the DL25.

As vehicle technology advances, more and more vehicles are being equipped with electronic diagnostic systems which inform the driver of the state of the engine fluid levels, tyre pressures, etc. It will be acceptable for a candidate to refer to the vehicle information system (if fitted) when answering questions on topics such as these.

Examiners need to be aware that although it may be necessary in order to carry out some of the checks, the ability to open the bonnet is, in itself, not one of the competencies which candidates are required to demonstrate. Should a candidate experience difficulty, it will be acceptable for the accompanying driver to assist in the opening and closing of the bonnet. Candidates should not be penalised if this proves necessary.

Candidates with Special Needs (B+E TESTS ONLY)

The facility already exists for candidates who are physically unable to uncouple or re-couple the trailer to answer questions rather than actually demonstrate uncoupling and re-coupling. In the same way, where a disability prevents a candidate from carrying out a practical activity in response to a ‘show me’ question, they should be asked to demonstrate understanding by oral explanation.

Lorry and passenger carrying vehicles (C & C1, D & D1)

Examiners should choose a selection of two or five questions (dependant on the type of test) from the relevant question bank. Examiners should choose questions that suit the vehicle presented for test and the location the test is being delivered from.

At least 50% of the questions should be ‘show me’ rather than ‘tell me’, therefore when asking two questions at least one must be ‘show me’. When asking five questions at least three must be ‘show me’.

Examiners should use all of the questions equally. The choice of questions used should be recorded on the DL25 and will be subject to quality assurance by line managers and by audit.

Although some checks may involve the candidate in opening inspection covers to identify where fluid levels would be checked, pupils must not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check the fluid levels.

Assessment

Drivers seeking vocational licence entitlement should be experienced and technically expert. The assessment criteria reflect this.

Candidates will be asked five questions, which will be a combination of ‘show me’ and ‘tell me’. A driving fault will be recorded for each incorrect answer up to a maximum of four driving faults. If the candidate answers all five questions incorrectly, a serious fault will be recorded.

If the Examiner has to take action to avoid danger to the candidate, examiner or another road user, an ETA will be recorded and a serious/dangerous fault recorded under the appropriate heading on the DL25.

As technology advances, commercial vehicles in particular are being equipped with increasingly sophisticated diagnostic systems. It is acceptable for a candidate to refer to the appropriate vehicle information system when answering questions, so long as the technology provides the information required.

Examiners should also be aware that many haulage, bus and coach companies have a policy of not allowing drivers to remove inspection covers or become involved in the routine mechanical maintenance of their vehicles. It may also be that specialist equipment is needed to carry out some procedures.

This means that some ‘show me’ questions will have, to some extent, to be treated as ‘tell me’. Examiners will have to use their knowledge, judgement and common sense to assess the acceptability of the answers given. Simply pointing out that ‘The fitter always does that’, for example, would not be an adequate response, whereas an answer which demonstrates an understanding of the topic would be acceptable.

Additionally, rapid technological advances mean that examiners themselves will not be totally familiar with every single aspect of all modern commercial vehicles. Again, their knowledge, experience and assessment skills will enable them to judge the acceptability of the answers given.

Lorry and trailer, PCV and trailer (C+E & C1+E, D+E & D1+E)

Candidates will have answered five questions at the C & D testing stage, therefore only two further questions - one ‘show me’ and one ‘tell me’ - will be asked. The questions specific to the above tests should be used (Annex 8), as far as possible, in rotation and the questions selected should be recorded on the back of the DL25.

Examiners should use all of the questions equally. The choice of questions used should be recorded on the DL25 and will be subject to quality assurance by line managers and by audit.

Assessment

The assessment criteria reflect the knowledge and understanding expected of a competent vocational driver.

One incorrect answer will result in a driving fault being recorded. Both questions answered incorrectly will result in a serious fault being recorded.

The guidance given with regard to Categories C, C1, D and D1 should be applied when assessing the responses to the questions asked.

3.22: Observation of candidate

Except for the reversing exercise, examiners should, throughout the test, position themselves within the vehicle where they are best able to observe the candidate’s performance.

Advice for PCV examiners standing during tests

  1. Each examiner conducting a PCV test should sit in the safest and most suitable seat that allows observation of the driver and road conditions. Few PCV’s, however, have forward-facing seats with unrestricted all-round views for examiners (or trainers). Examiners will therefore occasionally need to stand up and move around during tests in order to observe potential hazards to the sides or rear of test vehicles.
  2. PCV courses at Cardington train DVSA’s examiners, authorised and delegated examiners in the safest and most suitable ways of sitting and moving around during tests. They are also instructed to ‘ad lib’ on the following lines to candidates after the braking exercise, before the PCV test moves on to the public highway: ‘Throughout the drive, continue ahead (etc). From time to time during the drive it may be necessary for me to stand up and move position within the vehicle to get a view to the side or behind. Please do not let this distract you from your driving.’
  3. It is quite normal for passengers to get out of their seats when approaching bus stops or to stand when all seats are taken. PCV candidates should take passenger safety and comfort into account, and are assessed on their smooth use of controls to ensure this. Examiner movement should not therefore present problems.
  4. Examiners do have a responsibility to ensure their own safety and as they are obviously more at risk when not sitting, need to pick the right moments to move without losing control of the test or putting themselves at risk. They should preferably only move when PCVs are stationery or travelling in a straight line, without excessive acceleration or braking, and should also note the location of suitable grab rails and use them when standing, moving around or sitting down.
  5. By 1 July 2007 all test PCV must have suitable examiner seats (with seat belts) and mirrors. Even then it will occasionally be necessary for examiners to stand or move around; for example, most double-decker bus stair wells will still obscure part of the all-round view. These safety precautions will continue to be required and must be observed by all examiners involved in PCV testing.

3.23: PCV bell or buzzer

The bell or buzzer should be used only if the examiner considers it is essential to stop quickly to avoid danger to the occupants of the vehicle or to the public at large (ETA). All other instructions to the candidate, including those for normal stops, should be given orally.

3.24: Direction indicators and stop lamps

The examiner should make a brief visual check of direction indicators and stop lamps. If this reveals any obvious damage, which raises doubts as to whether they are operational, the examiner should offer to assist the candidate in making a practical check and ask them to operate the appropriate control. If the suspect item does not function satisfactorily the candidate should be given the opportunity to rectify the fault. The programming and longer duration of LGV and PCV tests will often allow examiners to be more flexible than is possible in the case of L tests. If the fault cannot be rectified the test should be terminated. To avoid subsequent argument, the candidate should be asked if they wish to confirm by personal observation that the particular item doesn’t function satisfactorily, in which case the examiner should operate the control.

If a stop lamp failure becomes evident during the exercises, it should be brought to the candidate’s attention when all the exercises have been completed and, if time permits, they should be given the chance to rectify the fault.

In deciding whether or not direction indicators and stop lamps are in an acceptable condition for the purposes of the test, examiners should be guided by the principle that no candidate should be turned away whose test could reasonably be conducted.

When a test is terminated because direction indicators or stop lamps are defective the candidate should be tactfully reminded that, where these are fitted, either compulsorily or voluntarily, the law requires them to be in good and efficient working order whenever the vehicle is used on the road and that, in the circumstances, the test cannot be conducted.

3.25: ‘L’ (`D’ in Wales) Plates

If ‘L’ (or `D’ in Wales) plates (or only one plate) are not displayed the examiner should ask the candidate about his/her licensing entitlement.

If the candidate has only provisional entitlement to drive the vehicle used for the test, the examiner should explain that the regulations require the vehicle to display ‘L’ (or D' in Wales) plates clearly visible from the front and back. A set of L’ (or `D’ in Wales) plates should be kept at the DTC and offered to the candidate for their use. The candidate should be given reasonable time to comply with the regulations. If they are unable to do so, the test should be terminated.

3.26: LGV safety & safety equipment knowledge for PCV candidates

It is the candidate’s responsibility to see that all doors, drop-sides and tailboard and any equipment carried are properly secured. In the case of an articulated vehicle or draw bar outfit, they should also check that the trailer brake lines and lighting leads are properly connected and that the semi trailer parking brake is not set. These checks would normally have been made prior to attending for the test.

3.27: PCV safety questions

These questions must be asked in addition to the Vehicle Safety Check Questions. PCV candidates need to demonstrate their knowledge of the safety equipment fitted to their vehicle. Prior to the reverse exercise the candidate should be asked to show the examiner where the fire extinguisher is, where the fuel cut-off device is, where the emergency door is and how it operates. If the emergency door will not operate then the test should be terminated. Note: there is no legal requirement for a training vehicle to carry a fire extinguisher. Therefore, if one is not present the test should proceed.

3.28: Starting the engine

The candidate should ensure that the handbrake is applied and the gear lever/selector is in neutral, before operating the starter.

Before moving off initially, the candidate should check the seat position and mirrors and, in the case of vehicles fitted with air pressure brakes, the instrument panel to ensure correct working pressure.

3.29: Reversing exercise

The exercise is designed to test the candidate’s accuracy in manoeuvring the vehicle when reversing. The degree of accuracy required is the ability to occupy a bay 1½ times the width of the vehicle and with the rear of the vehicle within the stopping area. The candidate should maintain all round observation during the exercise. The examiner should observe the candidate’s performance from outside the vehicle, moving from one vantage point to another while the exercise is being performed.

Before the exercise, the candidate should be asked to bring the vehicle to rest in the starting position. The examiner should then clearly explain the exercise to the candidate making full use of the manoeuvring board to describe the requirements, and giving precise directions as to the course to be followed. It should be explained to the candidate that they should not touch any of the marker cones or cross the yellow boundary lines during the exercise.

To pass, the candidate should not cross any of the yellow boundary lines with the full width of a tyre whilst manoeuvring, nor should they displace any of the marker cones. Cones A & A1 mark the maximum length of the area to be used by a particular test vehicle. If shunting' should prove necessary, the candidate should not drive further forward than the boundary of the area marked by cones A & A1, nor take more than two shunts’ throughout the exercise.

The loading/unloading barrier is not part of the reverse exercise for B+E or PCV tests. Examiners should not refer to the barrier during a de-brief or in the driving test report. If Examiners identify an operational need to reposition the barrier away from the stopping area during a B+E or PCV test then they can do so.

On B+E and on PCV tests candidates should aim to position the extreme rear of the vehicle within any part of the yellow stopping area including the black cross-hatching. Stopping short of the area or reversing through the stopping area (displacing the barrier) should be viewed as unacceptable.

Drivers of LGVs should aim to stop with the extreme rear of their vehicle in the section of the yellow stopping area covered with black cross-hatching. Stopping with the vehicle touching the barrier should not be regarded as a fault, but displacing it should be viewed as unacceptable. Stopping in the yellow box, but short of the hatched area, should be viewed as unacceptable. Candidates should not normally get out of the cab to check their position.

Candidate external vehicle checks

During the reverse exercise the candidate may wish to exit their vehicle to check its position. They are allowed to do this:

    1. before reaching cone B (to assess their position in relation to it)
    1. when in the bay to assess the rear position in relation to the stopping area/ barrier

These are the only two occasions when the candidate is allowed to leave the vehicle during the exercise. No further attempt to exit the vehicle to make a check is permitted.

Note: This exercise should normally be carried out before leaving the test centre. (However, where this would cause undue delay, it may be carried out on return to the centre after the drive).

3.30: On entering the vehicle

Ask the candidate if the load is secure (except categories C1, D1 & D) and in the case of a tilt cab ask the candidate if they are satisfied that the cab locking mechanism is secure. Before starting the drive the examiner must ensure that their seat belt is worn and securely fastened. LGV examiner standards checks must be restricted to LGVs with standard fitted 3rd seats; or non-standard 3rd seats, which in the manager’s judgement, do not present any hazard. DVSA examiners, their managers and other DVSA staff must not occupy unsafe or unsuitable non-standard LGV 3rd seats under any circumstances. When 3rd seats are not present examiners should not be accompanied by any 3rd parties; DVSA staff or otherwise. Under no circumstances should anyone sit on engine covers etc. All H&S incidents on test involving LGV 3rd seats must be fully reported in accordance with DVSA H&S Advice Note 2/00.

3.31: Braking exercise

Controlled stop/ Angle start

A controlled stop must be carried out on every test.

To commence the angle start the candidate first completes a controlled stop by pulling up on the left behind a parked car, reasonably close but not so close as to make it difficult to move away. The angle start exercise therefore combines two mandatory elements (controlled stop and moving away at an angle) as required.

Exceptionally if a parked car can’t be used for this exercise the candidate should be asked to pull up on the left before an object on the kerb, such as a post, street light or tree.

The DL25 should be annotated that a ‘controlled stop’ has been conducted on every LGV/ PCV and B+E test by marking box 2.

NB: If a candidate self-elects to place their vehicle close behind a parked car this may be considered as a completed angle start exercise. A controlled stop has taken place and the DL25 should be annotated.

3.32: Moving off

The prime consideration when moving off is that the candidate does so safely, showing an awareness of the presence of other traffic and pedestrians.

The test should include a demonstration of the candidate’s ability to move off uphill, downhill and at an angle from a position reasonably close behind a stationary vehicle. Gradients for testing the candidate’s ability to move off uphill or downhill should be between 8% (1 in 12) and 11% (1 in 9). Gradients steeper than 12% (1 in 8) should not be used in any circumstances.

3.33: Methods of signalling

Candidates normally signal by direction indicator but may, if they wish, signal additionally by arm. Signals should be assessed on whether necessary and appropriate signals are given in good time, and indicators cancelled afterwards.

In the case of a disabled driver it will usually be apparent whether they are physically capable of signalling by indicator and arm. However, if the examiner can only be satisfied about this by observing the candidate giving signals whilst actually driving, they should specifically ask the candidate to signal by indicator or arm as appropriate, but only for as long as is necessary to determine whether or not they should be restricted to driving vehicles fitted with direction indicators and stop lamps. Arm signals should not specifically be asked for on a section of route, which includes a roundabout.

At certain test centres in remote areas a particular procedure, approved by the Sector Manager, may have to be adopted in which the candidate is asked to assume during the test that another vehicle is following closely and to give signals accordingly.

3.34: Expert handling of all controls

Candidates must be judged on their ability to demonstrate a high degree of skill in the use of controls in a variety of situations.

Examiners should bear in mind the possible consequences of incorrect use of the gears in a heavily laden vehicle on a downward gradient. This could result in a dangerous situation, with the vehicle gaining speed beyond the capacity of the brakes.

The candidate should be assessed on their ability to change down through the gears, and judgement in timing the changes in relation to the gradient.

3.35: Gear changing exercise

From the 1 January 2008 the gear change exercise was discontinued for all licence acquisition tests.

3.36: Use of gears

Although at no time during the test should the candidate be asked to drive in anything other than the normal' gear ratio, they may elect to use a 2 speed axle or other form of split’ gear change. Any fault committed should be assessed and marked in the usual way. If a candidate asks for guidance on what is required they should be told that they will not be expected to demonstrate use of a 2 speed axle, or auxiliary transmission, unless circumstances arise during the normal course of driving which require its use.

3.37: LGV - moving away in 1st gear

Manufacturers are now designing LGV’s that should only move off in 1st gear on the level and uphill, exceptionally 2nd gear may be used on downhill starts. It can be demonstrated that moving off in 1st gear significantly reduces wear and tear on the clutch/ transmission and benefits the environment.

Examiners should ensure that they correctly assess any aspect of the candidates driving - simply recording a fault because the candidate selects 1st gear to move off is not acceptable.

3.38: Planning

The examiner should take particular note of the candidate’s judgement of distance, as well as seeing that they look well ahead. They should have regard to the candidate’s all round observation and use of mirrors, and note if their actions are deliberate and indicate a thoughtful appraisal of the situation.

3.39: Hazard recognition

Examiners should satisfy themselves that the candidate recognises hazards in good time, and takes appropriate action. The examiner should observe whether the candidate keeps their vehicle under proper control, in the appropriate gear, and is unhurried in their movements. Late and sudden braking or gear changing shows a lack of foresight.

3.40: Road junctions, including roundabouts

The examiner should observe whether the candidate takes account of the type of junction, road signs and following traffic. The candidate should take effective observation, including use of mirrors, before entering the intersection, and do so with proper regard for other road users. Necessary and appropriate signals should be given in good time, speed adjusted as necessary, and the vehicle correctly positioned throughout. The candidate should avoid using the weight and size of the vehicle to take precedence.

3.41: Turning right and left

The examiner should observe whether the candidate takes account of the type of junction and any warning signs, as well as keeping the vehicle under proper control. They should use the mirrors effectively, give proper signals in good time, select the appropriate gear and take up the correct road position well before turning. Effective observation should be taken before emerging, and the proper position on the road taken up as soon as possible after turning.

According to the length of the vehicle, a degree of tolerance may be allowed when assessing the vehicle’s position before and after turning, particularly where roads are narrow or the angle of the corner is acute.

When turning left, a candidate driving a long vehicle should position it some distance from the nearside kerb before turning, to avoid the rear nearside wheel encroaching on the pavement. Sharp swing-out should however be avoided and, bearing in mind the danger of cyclists or other road users on the nearside, the candidate should exercise extreme care and make full use of the nearside mirror. When turning right in long wheelbase vehicles cutting the corner is unavoidable in some situations; in such circumstances the candidate must be expected to exercise extreme caution

3.42: Overtaking, meeting and crossing

The examiner should observe the candidate’s actions in overtaking and meeting other vehicles, and crossing the path of other traffic when turning to the right. Before overtaking, the mirrors should be used to observe following traffic in good time, and appropriate signals given if necessary. The examiner should bear in mind that this should be done much earlier than in, say, a car. While showing consideration for other traffic, the candidate should not exhibit nervousness by giving way unduly to other vehicles when they could be expected to proceed. On the other hand, they should not be inconsiderate, e.g. by turning right in the face of closely approaching traffic or, when overtaking, using the weight and size of the vehicle to intimidate approaching drivers into giving way. The candidate must allow for the width and length of the vehicle, and a high degree of accuracy in road positioning is expected.

When overtaking, the candidate should be sure that the vehicle has sufficient reserves of power and speed to complete the manoeuvre within a reasonable distance, so that following drivers who may wish to overtake are not unduly inconvenienced. The use made of a nearside mirror is very important. The examiner should note carefully the candidate’s use of it to ensure that following road users are not inconvenienced or placed in danger as a result of the vehicle’s change of position, eg a return to the nearside from a position or lane away from the left of the carriageway.

3.43: Traffic lights

The candidate’s reaction to the lights should be noted. An increase of speed where the lights have been showing green for some time could indicate a tendency to rely unduly on the colour remaining at green or to proceed on amber when they should have stopped.

3.44: Traffic lanes

The candidate should try, wherever possible, to keep within the appropriate lane. However, with a large or long vehicle, there may be occasions when it is necessary to straddle or ‘shut down’ lanes to be able to negotiate a hazard safely.

3.45: One way streets

The examiner should observe whether the candidate maintains a suitable course when driving along a one way street and, when intending to turn right or left, takes up a correct position. If directional arrows appear on the road, the candidate should follow the course indicated for the intended direction.

3.46: Stopping normally

5 or 6 normal stops should be carried out. The words “pull up” should be used for these stops. The candidate should be able to pull up parallel to, and within a reasonable distance of, the nearside kerb. The examiner should observe whether the candidate then applies the handbrake and puts the gear into neutral. On these occasions failure, to select neutral on vehicles fitted with automatic transmission should not necessarily be regarded as a fault.

In the case of a PCV, the candidate should be able to stop the vehicle within stepping distance of the nearside kerb and, at bus stops, to bring the exit to the correct position in relation to the stopping place.

These stops should not be incorporated into the independent drive section. However a normal stop can be carried out at the start, or before a series of verbal directions, of the independent driving section providing road conditions are suitable and the correct wordings are used i.e. ‘Pull up on the left at a safe place, please’.

3.47: Operation of doors on PCV test

The following procedure should be followed:

During the PCV driving test examiners should ask the candidate to pull up on two separate occasions at an empty bus stop in a position where passengers can alight and embark safely. During these stops and only on vehicles fitted with doors that can be operated from the driver’s seat, the door should be opened and closed. To prevent passengers embarking (at a normal bus stop) a suitable lamppost can be used instead of a bus stop. For assessment purposes the handbrake should be applied whenever the door is open.

3.48: Consideration for other road users: anticipation of their probable actions

The examiner should take particular note of the candidate’s anticipation, observation, and consideration, for other road users. Full use of the mirrors should be made to help faster traffic to overtake. Sufficient distance should be kept from the vehicle in front to allow overtaking drivers to pull in if necessary. Lane discipline should be maintained at all times. The early recognition of potential danger is extremely important. The examiner should look for prompt and appropriate reaction to signals given by other road users. They should also note the candidate’s reaction to the cyclist who has just looked round, children or other pedestrians moving towards the kerb, the opening of car doors, etc.

3.49: Use of ancillary controls

Candidates should be able to use all the ancillary controls fitted to their vehicle. If the candidate has problems using the controls, eg wipers, or if the candidate has to be reminded to use a control, the examiner must make a judgement on seriousness using the normal criteria.

3.50: Uncoupling and re coupling

A candidate taking their test in a vehicle drawing a trailer must give a practical demonstration of uncoupling and recoupling. This is normally carried out at the end of the test but at busy test centres the exercise can be carried out before going on the road. The vehicle must be parked alongside the trailer after uncoupling; approximately parallel and level with it. The candidate should be briefed regarding recoupling the vehicle and trailer whilst outside their cab. After initially checking their trailer it is not essential for them to leave the cab again to check the coupling height. However if they choose to get out of the cab to check their position they can do this as many times as they need to satisfy themselves the vehicle and trailer are realigned correctly. After reversing the towing vehicle up to the trailer it is acceptable if the candidate physically moves the trailer to line it up to recouple it. On the other hand if they are not physically capable of moving the trailer (or they choose not to) it may take them several attempts to line the vehicle up to the trailer. There isn’t a set amount of attempts allowed to realign the vehicle to the trailer but if excessive attempts are taken with little or no sign of improvement it would not be considered acceptable. Strike plates, additional mirrors and reversing cameras can be used to help realigning the vehicle to the trailer.

A physical check is usually necessary to ensure the trailer parking brake is applied before recoupling; however if it is obvious it is applied from the position of the button or cable, a visual check is acceptable. The under run bar on the prime mover of a draw-bar combination can be left up in the running position throughout the exercise.

If a special needs candidate taking their test in a B+E combination is unable to physically un-couple or re-couple the trailer they should be asked both questions about the procedure in the next paragraph.

3.51: Uncoupling and re-coupling of car & trailer (B+E)

Question: What is the correct procedure to uncouple this vehicle from this trailer? Answers:

a. Secure trailer brake in ‘on’ position b. Lower jockey wheel and lock in position c. Release the electrical connections d. Disconnect safety cable/chain (if fitted) and release coupling e. Drive car slowly away.

Question: What is the correct procedure to re-couple this vehicle to this trailer if you imagine you had never seen this trailer before and wanted to make the combination safe to go onto the road?

Answers: a. Check that the trailer parking brake is applied b. Reverse car slowly into coupled position and connect the coupling c. Ensure vehicle is securely coupled by either winding the jockey wheel down a few centimetres or lifting the coupling by hand d. Connect electrical connections (and the safety chain and stabiliser bar if fitted) e. Secure jockey wheel in ‘up’ position (secure the safety clip if fitted) f. Release the trailer parking brake g. Check the lights are working.

Note: The answers don’t have to be recited in this exact sequence providing any change does not have implications for safety. Any deviation from the defined outcome should be assessed in the normal way.

3.52: Eco-safe driving

Eco-safe Driving’ is a recognised and proven style of driving. It contributes to road safety while reducing fuel consumption and emissions and is part of the EU 3rd Directive on Driving Licences, which reflects the increased awareness and need for economical / environmentally friendly driving.

Note: ‘Eco-safe Driving’ will not contribute to the result of the test.

The Eco-safe driving boxes on the DL25 are used to record an assessment of the driver’s ability to drive with economy and the environment in mind. The assessment of Eco-safe driving is taken over the whole test, not focussing on one instance - candidates only need to display knowledge of Eco-safe principles they are not expected to be experts. A candidate may sacrifice Eco-safe driving techniques so as not to compromise safety. This should always be carefully considered in the assessment process.

There are two Eco-safe headings: control and planning:

(The examples below do not cover the whole range of Eco-safe driving styles and are for guidance only).

Control:

  • Changing down to lower gears when the road speed is too high is not considered an ‘Eco-safe driving’ technique. It uses fuel unnecessarily, as does needless harsh acceleration and using the higher rev range between upward gear changes. Doing so is a waste of fuel with no gain in safety or performance.
  • A driver should understand the capabilities of his/ her vehicle and should be able to take advantage of the power/torque characteristics of the engine by utilising the highest gear possible without causing the engine to labour. The ability to utilise a lower ‘rev’ range should ensure that fuel is not being used unnecessarily and therefore fewer pollutants will be released through the exhaust system.

Planning:

  • Needlessly stopping then moving away from rest has a detrimental effect on fuel consumption. An Eco-safe driver will keep the vehicle on the move whenever and wherever it is safe to do so. This technique can be demonstrated at junctions, roundabouts, slow moving traffic and when negotiating other hazard situations with no compromise to road safety. Keeping a vehicle on the move uses less fuel to regain momentum and demonstrates sound Eco-safe driving principles.
  • If a candidate is driving on an open road and has to reduce speed to comply with a change in speed limit or road and traffic conditions, he/she should be able to do so by responding early. This will allow timely use of the accelerator to use ‘engine braking’ to assisting the vehicle in slowing down smoothly. The alternative of not using this technique is to brake late, which uses more fuel and is not a demonstration of effective Eco-safe driving principles.

In the previous examples, if the candidate demonstrates safe driving procedures by not committing control or procedural faults, then no fault should be recorded under another heading on the DL25 other than in ‘Eco-safe Driving’.

Whether the result of the test is a pass or a fail if an Eco-safe fault has been recorded in either one or both of the boxes the examiner should debrief the candidate in the normal way and offer him/her a copy of the Eco-safe leaflet which gives more information on tips and techniques to save fuel and reduce emissions.

3.53: Test terminated at candidate’s request

Ensure that this box is marked when a candidate decides not to continue.

3.54: End of test - issue of documents

At the end of the test the examiner should advise the candidate of the test result.

If a successful candidate has completed their test in an automatic category C, CE, D or DE vehicle - and they already hold a full manual driving licence for any other category of car, lorry or bus - after the text ‘automatic’ answer ‘no’ when completing the DVSA 10. Note: The automatic upgrade to manual transmission only applies to categories C, CE, D, DE and not the sub-categories C1, C1E, D1 & D1E or category BE.

Please note: the EU Commission has recently confirmed that the automatic upgrade only applies to categories C, CE, D, DE and not sub-categories C1, C1E, D1 & D1E.

Other necessary documents should be completed and an oral explanation given in accordance with the guidance given in Chapter 1.

The candidate may have a Module 4 CPC test booked after this test (either straight away or in the very near future) and will require their licence for ID purposes. Ask if this is the case. If so, the candidate should not follow the ADLI route and the licence should not be taken off them.

3.55: Security at joint LGV/ PCV DTCs

Security arrangements at joint centres are a matter for local agreement between the DVSA station manager and driving examiners. Local instructions to examiners setting out the arrangements should be agreed with the station manager and retained in a folder at the centre; they should be made available to visiting examiners. The station manager, or deputy manager, must be informed in advance of occasions when examiners’ finishing time will be later than that of the vehicle testing staff. The appropriate examiner is then responsible for ensuring that the public have left the station, that those parts of the station which have been left unsecured for driving test purposes are finally secured, and all lights etc switched off before leaving. Whilst the Sector Managers will liaise with station managers as necessary on security matters, examiners are responsible for ensuring that agreed arrangements are implemented.

3.56: Accidents at centres

If an accident occurs on the test centre site, certain action may be required in addition to the normal Accident Procedures.

If necessary, the appropriate emergency service police, fire or ambulance should be called immediately by dialling 999.

At joint centres the station manager or deputy manager must be informed at once, and will take any necessary action regarding damage to buildings etc. The examiner should provide a statement of observed facts if requested to do so.

For independent centres the LDTM must report the facts to the AM who will initiate any necessary action if buildings etc are damaged.

3.57: Failure of vehicle on manoeuvring area

If a vehicle breakdown obstructs the manoeuvring area to the extent that exercises cannot be carried out, and removal is beyond the resources immediately available, the nearest service station with a recovery vehicle should be contacted; at joint centres, advice should first be sought from the station manager.

Note: Examiners MUST not attempt to remove a disabled vehicle by pushing, nor invite anyone else to do so.

A list should be maintained of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of garages in the vicinity of the centre, which operate heavy recovery vehicles. Bills for recovery service should be certified and sent to the Area Office for payment.

3.58: Ice and snow clearance equipment

DVSA is responsible for snow/ice clearance and gritting. Independent LGV driving test centres are provided with Westwood machines for salting and gritting the manoeuvring/braking areas to help avoid tests having to be cancelled in the event of bad weather conditions. The machines are not however suitable for clearing heavy falls of snow.

DVSA is responsible for the annual servicing of all gritters, and for the routine maintenance and repair of those at joint centres.

Headquarters periodically provides independent centres with a list of appointed repairers for use in emergencies, and examiners should telephone the repairer direct. It is important that only appointed agents carry out repairs. Bills for work carried out should be certified by the examiner and passed to the Area Office for payment.

3.59: Care and operation of the Westwood tractor

Examiners should either have had previous experience or be trained before using a Westwood tractor. Training can be obtained through the local Area Manager. Examiners at independent centres should be aware of the following advice on the care and operation of the machines:

As the machine is used only occasionally and then only during the winter months, it is essential that it is started and allowed to warm up at frequent intervals throughout the period when it is not in use. Tyre pressures should be checked and kept properly inflated. Tyre pressures are Front 12 PSI: Rear 15 PSI. To obtain a better traction on ice or snow decrease the rear tyre pressures to about 12 PSI.

To operate the tractor:

  • apply the parking brake by depressing the clutch/brake pedal fully, check that the gear lever is in neutral, and place the throttle lever to the choke position
  • start the engine by pulling the recoil handle sharply (use the full length of the rope). Let the engine warm up, then select a gear and slowly release the clutch/brake pedal and engage the drive
  • the machine is capable of grading to a maximum depth of 4 inches of un-trodden snow. Do not attempt to grade at greater depths. In the event of wheel spin do not back off the tractor and run the snow blade at the snow, as this will damage the drive train
  • when using the tractor on level ground gear changing can be achieved without depressing the clutch, but to prevent undue strain on the gear lever the clutch should be used if the tractor is climbing a gradient or drawing a load

3.60: Salt supplies

HEOs are responsible, in liaison with the local SEO for ensuring that supplies are obtained for independent centres. At joint centres the procurement of supplies is the responsibility of the station manager, but it is nevertheless the HEO’s responsibility to satisfy themselves in the interests of driving test operations that adequate supplies are available.

3.61: Procedure

At independent centres, when there is a possibility of snow or freezing conditions affecting the early morning test, responsibility for assessing the situation, and salting as necessary, rests with examiners.

At joint centres, examiners should approach the station manager the previous afternoon and agree arrangements for the centre handyman to salt the manoeuvring/braking areas. On occasions the station manager may decide to use additional contractual or other assistance to maintain access to, and use of, the site. Invoices for such work are certified by the station manager and annotated to show the proportions applicable to vehicle inspection and driver testing operations. They are then passed to the HEO to forward to the SEO for payment.

3.62: Traffic cones

A supply of about 30 cones (Glocone HN 18/3) should be maintained at permanent centres, and about 20 cones at occasional centres. Requests for necessary replacements should be sent through the HEO to the SEO.