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LGV first test, lessons learnt.

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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.



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  • 10 months later...

Hello everyone

I am a newbie and on the verge of buying a Bucher Mowag Duro 11, 2004 - ex MOD/unregistered.  I've read through this post which is super helpful however as it's a newer vehicle I'm not sure about the tacho exemption and a few other things.  Also someone has had big problems with getting the V5 document for this vehicle. He wrote this to me ...

"Registering a HGV vehicle or private HGV vehicle is usually simple for most vehicles but not the Mowag. Usually a VTG1 form is completed and submitted to the DVSA to apply for first time registration and test. Once they have given permission the vehicle is sent for an MOT test. Then we apply for a log book (V5) to register the vehicle in the UK by completing a V55/C form. This is sent to the DVLA along with the MOT certificate, military release document and proof of ID and insurance. Then after about 3 weeks you will receive your log book.

"However the Mowag is not that simple. We recently followed the above process and was told if it was to be registered/tested as a cargo truck it would need to be fitted with an additional braking system on the rear axle, a speed limiter among other things. If it was registered as a motorhome none of that is necessary as is then falls into a different class. Therefore for people who are converting Mowags into motorhomes the best way is to do the conversion and register it after.

There are many of these Mowags registered in the UK and I am pretty sure they didn’t do the required changes that we were told to. There is obviously some grey area and other ways to register these trucks. I have been told there is an option to class them as dual purpose vehicles which means they only require a normal (class 4) test and wouldn’t have to meet the HGV requirements. "

I wonder if anyone can shed any light on this?  Is it really more difficult to register Mowags?  The vehicle we are looking at is a chassis cab which we will not be using as a cargo truck, more for recreation/expeditions for private use only.

 Can I register it as a dual purpose vehicle? I would really appreciate any help or pointers.  I've searched the forum but not found this specific problem.


Many thanks






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Perhaps this would be better as separate post. (Moderators?)

What is the gross weight of the vehicle and type of body ? Where are you, I take somewhere in the UK ?

It would be best to contact the DVSA tech department, the contact details are on original post. They are approachable and it is best to do things correctly rather than find a dodge. It should be easy enough surely....

Best of luck.


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Just a thought, if you register it as 7500kg, down rate it, you can then be exempt a tacho as long as it registered private and not used commercial.

I don't think you would have to alter the vehicle but it would be restricted to the new weight limit. That should be OK for your planned use.

Phone the DVSA tech department and have a chat with them.  01792454206


Edited by Mk3iain
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