How to Safely Recover a HGV


Any vehicle break down is a headache your business could really do without; that’s because every minute a vehicle is out of action, equates to a loss of revenue for your operations, as well as a significant amount of time wasted for that vehicle to recovered.

Heavy commercial breakdown recovery is incredibly time sensitive, as a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) in unfamiliar territory can be a danger for all road users. Whether it’s causing an obstruction on a motorway, or the deteriorating status of a load poses a health threat, it’s so important to choose a rescue operator who can ensure the recovery of your HGV happens in the safest way possible.

Knowing which equipment to use

From front-end collisions, to one of the 2,000 bridge strikes happen each year in the UK, specialised tools will often be used to ensure a smooth recovery of a HGV for most accidents.

Rotating or sliding cranes, airbag units and incident support vehicles are just a few of these essential assets, not to mention loading shovels where the physical vehicle load needs moving too. Recoveries could also require heavy under lifts fitted with industry leading equipment, or in some cases a mixture of medium heavies, large heavies and low-loader trailers may also be used together, depending on the severity of the accident.

But, whatever the size of a HGV, whatever the circumstance of the breakdown, there are plenty of ancillary tools and equipment out there to help. The trick is to choose a recovery operator who has direct access to them, and who’s sophisticated triage processes allow them to arrive at the scene with the most suitable tools first time.

Understanding the operators’ needs

When it comes to safely rescuing a HGV, it’s important to recognise that the issue is rarely as simple as just recovering a vehicle. Often, there’s also the load and driver themselves, as well as any other potential vehicles to consider too.

Different businesses will have different priorities, such as transferring the HGV load to its original destination, recovering the vehicle to a repair centre or getting their driver back to base. However, another consideration when attending a HGV break down, is whether the vehicle should be recovered, or repaired.

If recovery is needed, this is a case of safely removing and transporting the HGV away from the scene and to a recovery bodyshop. Though if a vehicle can be safely repaired at the roadside, this could be a better way of getting a vehicle and driver back on the road and help to keep downtime minimal. 

Timing is critical

The time it takes to safely recover a HGV is crucial, not only for an operator considering costs or loss of productivity, but also to maintain complete control of the incident. This is because of the sheer size of the vehicles obstructing busy roads and the deterioration of any potentially dangerous load.

The latest Domestic Road Freight Statistics report highlights that out of the 485,900 registered HGVs in the UK in 2020, 4% of all goods lifted domestically were declared as dangerous goods. This accounts for 53 million tonnes of assets from flammable liquids such as alcohol (67%) gasses (16%) and corrosive substances (6%).

The report also states that 76% of all HGV recorded accidents involved navigating motorway standstills and a team to clear debris, with 11% needing recovery from remote locations where the vehicles had become stuck or fallen.

Not only do these types of accidents put road users at severe risk, but they also pose potential ramifications should the vehicles be left unattended. 

How Egertons can help safely recover your HGVs

Egertons are one of the UK’s leading vehicle rescue and recovery operators, with services stretching from breakdown recovery to specialist assistance, available 24/7/365 service across the country.

Businesses choose us because of our sophisticated triage process, supported by our 24-hour control room, 300-strong fleet, vast range of equipment available on hand and the technology it is equipped with. This allows us to deploy the exact right vehicles, first time, helping to keep your vehicle downtime to an absolute minimum and ensure recovery takes place as safely and efficiently as possible.

What’s more, we also hold PAS 43, ISO 9001 and NNHS Sector 17 accreditations, helping to ensure that all our recoveries and repairs are completed to the very highest industry standards.

We’re the preferred vehicle rescue and recovery operator for UK fleets to rely on, no matter what.

In other words, when you need us, we’ll be right here.

Reach out today.