When you sit for an HGV driver training course exam at any truck school or any other such institution, you will be asked to identify each of the parts of your vehicle and you will be asked to explain the pros and cons of those parts. The HGV training course that you have enrolled in will usually prepare you for this part of the test. Nevertheless, here are a few important parts you should be well aware about.
At the front of the vehicle are the lights, steering box and linkage. Check the lights for clean lenses, missing screws, cracks and condensation. Make sure the signal lights and head lights are working properly. Check the steering box for any missing bolts or any leaks from the steering fluid. Also check the steering linkage point for bends, cracks, non-factory welds and proper lubrication.
In the engine compartment, the oil, coolant and power steering fluid levels need to be checked. You need to pull out the oil dipstick, clean it and insert again to check oil level. If there are no proper line markings to determine coolant level, simply mention that the radiator cap can be removed to check the level. Do not however actually remove the cap. The water pump and air compressor also need to be checked for faults. Make sure there are no leaks under any of the engine components.
Once you get inside the vehicle you will have to start the engine before you check the clutch/gears, air and oil pressure gauge, voltmeter, air brake, steering and the hydraulic and parking brakes. Make sure the gears fall into place and the clutch should not play for more than two inches. The gauges should be checked for cleanliness and cracks. A minimum of 100PSI air pressure should be built in and the oil pressure should be normal just a few seconds after the engine has started. In cases where the oil gauge is not there, identify a warning light to indicate system failure. The air brake should be checked by building the pressure up, switching off the engine, releasing all brakes and pressing hard on the foot brake and holding it for one minute. Furthermore, mirrors, wipers and horns should be checked if they are correctly functioning. Finally, to check the parking brake put the vehicle on low gear and slowly let go of your foot from the brake and if the vehicle does not move then the brakes are working fine.