Large goods vehicle

This article is about trucks with a gross combination mass of over 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb). For smaller commercial vehicles (sometimes known as light goods vehicles (LGV), see Light commercial vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz large goods vehicle

A heavy goods vehicle (also large goods vehicle, medium goods vehicle, LGV and HGV), is the European Union (EU) term for any truck with a gross combination mass (GCM) of over 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb).[1] Sub-category N2 is used for vehicles between 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb) and 12,000 kilograms (26,455 lb) and N3 for all goods vehicles over 12,000 kilograms (26,455 lb) as defined in Directive 2001/116/EC. The term medium goods vehicle is used within parts of the UK government to refer to goods vehicles of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes which according to the EU are also 'large goods vehicles'.[2]

Commercial carrier vehicles of up to 3,500 kilograms (7,716 lb) are referred to as Light commercial vehicles and come into category N1. Confusingly though, parts of the UK government refer to these as 'Light Goods Vehicles' (also abbreviated 'LGV'),[3] with the term 'LGV' appearing on tax discs for these smaller vehicles. Tax discs use the term 'HGV' for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.

HGVs must not exceed 40 tonnes laden weight or 18.75 metres (61.5 ft) in length to cross boundaries in the EU, but longer and heavier vehicles (LHVs) known as Gigaliner, EuroCombi, EcoLiner, innovative commercial vehicle, mega-truck, etc., typically 25.25 metres (82.8 ft) long and weighing up to 60 tonnes are used in some countries, and the implications of allowing them to cross borders was being considered.[4]

Driver's licensing

European Union

It is necessary to have an appropriate European driving licence to drive a large goods vehicle in the European Union. There are four categories:


Drivers who passed a Category B (car) test before 1 January 1997, will have received Categories C1 and C1+E (Restriction Code 107: not more than 8,250 kilograms (18,188 lb)) through the Implied Rights issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) (more commonly known as Grandfather Rights).
All UK LGV licence holders must undergo a strict medical examination and eye test on application, at age 45 and every 5 years thereafter. On reaching 65 years of age, a medical examination must be performed on an annual basis.


In Canada's province of Ontario, drivers holding a Class A licence can drive tractor-trailers where the gross weight of the towed vehicle exceeds 4.6 tonnes (4,600 kilograms (10,141 lb)).[6] Drivers holding a Class B (school bus), C (regular bus) or D (heavy truck) licence can drive trucks weighing 11 tonnes (11,000 kilograms (24,251 lb)), with the towed vehicle weighing a maximum of 4.6 tonnes (Ibid.).


HGVs and their drivers are covered by strict regulations in many jurisdictions, for example to improve safety, limit weight to that which will not excessively wear the transport infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.). The heavy weight of these vehicles leads to severe consequences for other road users in crashes; they are over-involved in fatal crashes.[1]



ERF, Foden, Leyland Motors and its descendants

See also


  1. 1 2 "Heavy goods vehicles". European Commission, Mobility and Transport, Road Safety. 19 March 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  2. "Towing trailers with medium sized vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes". DirectGov.
  3. "The cost of vehicle tax". DirectGov. The cost of vehicle tax for cars, motorcycles, light goods vehicles and trade licences. Tax classes include: private/light goods vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles ... The cost of vehicle tax for buses and larger vehicles. Tax classes include buses, reduced pollution buses, general haulage, reduced pollution general haulage, recovery vehicles and private HGV
  4. "Position Paper: Longer and Heavier Vehicles" (PDF). European Transport Safety Council. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "The vehicles you can drive or ride and minimum ages". DirectGov.
  6. "Licence Types". Government of Ontario - Ministry of Transportation. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 13 November 2009.

External links

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