Parking your vehicle
You’ll need to think carefully about where you stop or park your heavy goods vehicle (HGV) to make sure it will be safe, legal and will not cause an obstruction to other road users.
Whenever you stop or park your HGV, make sure the place you choose is
- safe – eg could it cause an accident by being too close to a junction or a zebra crossing?
- secure – eg if you’re parking on a building site, is your vehicle at risk from on-site machinery?
- convenient – you’re more likely to cause damage, either to your vehicle or another vehicle, if it’s an awkward spot
- legal – check The Highway Code for more information on parking rules (GOV.UK).
If your vehicle has air suspension, remember that it may move when you park it or when you start it: make sure you’re not parked too close to other vehicles, buildings, street furniture, etc, which the vehicle body could collide with if it moves.
When you’ve parked the vehicle, you must turn off
- the headlights
- the fog lights (if fitted)
- the engine.
You must not park an HGV on a verge, pavement or on land separating carriageways unless you’ve been given permission by the police. Avoid parking on a grass verge: the weight of the HGV could damage the verge and it may collapse, which could mean your vehicle gets stuck or rolls over.
If you’re parking at night on a road, you must use the parking lights on your vehicle. You do not need to use lights if you’re parked off-road, eg in a lorry park.
In foggy weather you should avoid parking on the road; if you must park on the road, leave your parking lights on.
Parking on a hill
When you’re parking on a hill, you can use the wheels and the engine to make sure your HGV cannot roll away in case the parking brake fails.
- Turn the steering wheels slightly towards the kerb: if the vehicle rolls, it will steer into the kerb and stop.
- Leave the vehicle in gear: if the parking brake fails, the engine should stop the wheels turning. (This only applies to an HGV with manual gears.)
Preventing falls from the vehicle
Many people are injured by falling from vehicles each year. To minimise the risk of falling
- open the door fully, use both grab rails and use all the steps
- do not jump from the lorry or load: use the steps provided, making sure they’re safe to use
- use the equipment provided to avoid working at height; if you cannot avoid it, use fall arrest systems, especially when roping and sheeting
- keep the vehicle tidy to avoid trip hazards
- wear suitable footwear for the job
- make sure steps and work areas are well lit
- use edge protection on tail lifts (if fitted)
- do not walk backwards near the rear or side of the vehicle bed
- only use equipment such as ropes, sheets etc if they’re well maintained and in good condition.
When you’re getting out of your HGV, make sure you check your mirrors before opening the cab doors. Watch out for other road users, particularly cyclists and motorcyclists, when opening a door on to the road, and for pedestrians when opening a door on to the pavement. If you’re parked on the left-hand side of a busy road, it may be best to use the passenger door to get out to avoid obstructing traffic or putting yourself at risk.
Unfortunately goods vehicles and trailers are often targeted by thieves. To help keep your vehicle secure
- do not discuss the details of your load with any unauthorised person
- never leave the keys in the cab while it’s unattended
- do not give a lift to anyone
- try to avoid using the same route and making the same drops and rest stops
- keep your mobile phone with you
- avoid parking in vulnerable areas
- keep your vehicle in sight when you park for a break
- make sure all doors are locked and windows are secure if you sleep in the cab
- have an alarm system and/or immobiliser fitted
- avoid leaving a trailer unattended unless it’s on approved secure premises
- fit a kingpin or drawbar lock to a trailer if you have to leave it unattended.
Before you leave your vehicle, make sure the engine has stopped, the ignition system is switched off and the parking brake is on.
If you’re stopping overnight in a lorry park, it’s a good idea to park with the rear doors close to another lorry to keep the load safe. Always park in a secure, well-lit, reputable lorry park or designated parking area if possible.
Always do a walkaround check on your vehicle when you return to it, to make sure it has not been entered or tampered with. If you see anything suspicious, call the police and tell your employer.