After succeeding in getting my Milly through its first MOT here are my lessons learnt from the experience.
Firstly it was not as bad as I was expecting it could be. Trying to get clarity from various agencies was a battle until I finally got talking to the right people at DVSA, that's the tech folk at HGV tech.( HGVTech@dvsa.gov.uk ) They are approachable and helpful.
Filling in the VTG1 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/671493/hgv-first-test-application-form-vtg1.pd ) was easy enough, there is only so much info available.
I did not have all the axle weights and the truck does not have a chassis plate with this info, the manual states front axle weight and rear bogie only. So I included some pages of data from the manual with dimensional drawings , that was accepted. I nominated my nearest ATF on the form but did not book a test yet.
The application was accepted and an upfront payment of £113 made. This was all done online. DVSA now have a technical record of the vehicle and use this instead of plating.
I called the ATF to book a test and had to pay the test fee again plus the lane fee, a total of £179, ATFs are used to dealing direct and are not used to fees being pre paid.
In my case there was a problem with the rear bogie dif lock and the brake test could not be progressed so the whole test was abandoned, this means another full test at the full fee of £179. Be warned!
Brake performance was low with the mid axle poor, so it failed first full test, also the headlights had European lenses.
I had to give the brakes a good going over and took some sand out the mid axle actuators also changing the diaphragms. Re test was £73.
I turned up with a tachograph exemption form ( https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/754827/declare-heavy-goods-vehicle-does-not-need-tachograph.pdf ) filled in with reason 2 indicated. The examiner will know if its valid!
In preparation I also read through the guide for testers (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/774311/hgv-inspection-manual.pdf ). Full of all the important gen. and applicability dates. For example;
SIDEGUARDS Motor Vehicles first used from 1 April 1984 with a design gross weight exceeding 3,500kg and where the distance between the centres of any two consecutive axles exceeds 3m;
REAR UNDER-RUN DEVICES Rear under-run devices are applicable for motor vehicles with a gross design weight exceeding 3,500kg and first used from 1 April 1984;
Its all in there. In effect the vehicle will be tested to the standard it was made for. So there should be no surprises as long as it all works as it should. I was surprised as the inspector used an exhaust gas analyser when it should be visible exhaust, but the reading was very low. Its an AEC of course!
The full test is set at 45 mins a re-test after fixing a fault is 10 mins, same as a car. So not too terrible, it did not take that long with the amount that needed looking at on the Milly as compared to a modern truck. The brake tests take the longest time.
That's the first test over, from now on it will just be a call to the ATF to book a test, same as a car.
I hope that is of some help to someone, most of you will be very familiar with all this but some of us are not and just need pointing in the right direction.