Industry experts advice on choosing the right HGV for the job

The HGV industry has been through a lot in recent years, and those in the East Midlands have witnessed a great number of changes. Now that the wheels of haulage are turning once more, it is important to think about exactly which wheels they should be.

In 2022, 1.64 billion tonnes of goods were lifted by GB registered HGVs, and they travelled 19.5 billion vehicle kilometres. HGV drivers in the East Midlands have found that their central location means that they are ideally placed to travel to all ends of the country, and so they need the right trucks to do this.

Whether they are making their way all the way to Aberdeen, or simply between Nottingham and Derby, there will be different requirements for the vehicle that they are driving. In this article, Walker Movements, leading suppliers of used trucks provide their experience on how to choose the right HGV for the job, whatever that might be.

The purpose of your HGV

A HGV is a functional vehicle, so to choose one, you need to think carefully about what its function is likely to be. You need to consider the goods it will carry and the journeys it will undertake to identify one that will best meet your needs.

Generally speaking, those short trips up and down a few junctions of the M1 do not always require a larger vehicle unless the load is particularly big, so if your routes rarely lead you out of the East Midlands, then a smaller truck may be the better option for your business.

When longer journeys that go further afield become part of your normal routine, then a larger truck built especially for covering those sorts of miles will become more financially viable, as it will usually not need to be repaired quite as frequently as a smaller one might be.

Your cargo

It is not just where you go with your truck that matters, but also what you intend to put into it. The first thing to consider is the average weight that you expect to transport, as this will narrow down the number of trucks that you should be considering. You should look at the weight range of each truck and the number of axles to find the one that is best equipped for your needs.

It is also important to think about what specialist design might be needed for your goods. Fresh or frozen foods will require a refrigerated trailer to keep them in good condition, whilst liquids such as oil or water may need a tanker.

In addition to this, cement will need a mixer, gravel will need a tip truck and industrial items could be better transported on a flatbed. All of this will influence your choice of vehicle, so it is important to look at your business and what may be asked of it.


If you operate any kind of HGV, then you will be painfully aware of the extortionate cost of fuel. This will be one of the biggest expenses when running an HGV, and although East Midlands fuel prices are not as high as some areas of the country, they will still make up a significant portion of your expenses.

In 2022, the average cost of diesel was 178p per litre, which had rocketed by 32% in just 12 months. You therefore need to consider the fuel efficiency of each vehicle and what impact this will make on your costs. You may even want to think about moving away from traditional fuel types and making the leap into electric HGVs instead.


Your truck will need to be compatible with your drivers, or it may not move very far. The East Midlands is thought to be one of the best regions in the UK for HGV drivers, as they enjoy the second highest wage in the UK, just behind London, but with a lower cost of living than those of the capital.

This is an attractive proposition and so we have some terrific drivers to choose from, but they must have the right qualifications for the trucks that you buy. It is important to ensure that your drivers have the right licences for your vehicles, or that there are suitable drivers available to hire. Without this, your truck will never make it onto the roads of the East Midlands legally.


An HGV can be an incredibly dangerous thing, and so you need to pay close attention to the safety features of each one. It does not just pose a risk to the driver, but it can also cause tremendous damage to other road users and property. You therefore need to look at how it fares in crash testing and look for airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability controls to help prevent accidents.

It is worth considering a truck with pre-collision assist to detect potential collisions or roll stability control to prevent rollover accidents. We all know how significant the blind spots on an HGV can be and how easily other motorists can stray into them without being noticed, so blind spot monitoring tools can be invaluable, as can lane departure warnings to help keep drivers on the straight and narrow. Rear view cameras can also help to increase visibility around the truck, especially when manoeuvring.

Maintenance costs

A truck is not a cheap or easy thing to maintain, so you need to keep this in mind. It is important to research the cost of parts for the truck that you are looking at as well as identifying any that are typically problematic. Look at the regular maintenance that you can perform to keep your truck running smoothly and consider how practical and expensive this is likely to be.

HGVs keep our country running and they are essential for a great many businesses, but it is important that you pick the right one. A lot of research and forward planning is needed to identify your needs and narrow down the search for the perfect HGV for the job.