Top 10: the most common reasons for IVA test failures


Companies that manufacture or import a single truck or trailer, or a very small number of the same truck or trailer, will have to put it through an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) test to make sure it meets the technical requirements laid out in European law.

These are the 10 most common reasons why HGVs fail their IVA inspection, according to the DVSA, and how they can be avoided.

10. Exterior projections of cabs

The DVSA will look for sharp edges that could cause injury to other road users on the front and the side of the cab.

It will use a 100mm sphere to check that nothing protrudes from the vehicle. Anything that comes into contact with the sphere will be rounded down to 2.5mm if it is more than 5mm, or blunted if less than 5mm.

9. Installation of lights

The DVSA will inspect all lamps around the vehicle. It will check the height and position of the lamp, whether it has the correct identity symbols, and whether it is angled correctly so that the lamp is not obstructed.

8. Fuel tanks and rear under run protection devices

The test will check the suitability of the fuel cap and make sure the fuel tank is secure and positioned so that it is unlikely to be damaged in the event of front or rear impact.

The DVSA will also check that rear underrun protection devices are fitted at a height no more than 550mm from the ground, and do not extend beyond the width of the rear axle unless a tail-lift is fitted.  The dimensions of the unit and how it is fitted will also be looked at.

7. Spray suppression

All of the truck’s wheels must be fitted with a spray suppression device, such as a mudguard. The DVSA will look at its dimensions, angles, approval numbers, heights and widths.

6. End outline, side, stop & side marker lamps

Trailer lamps, including stop lamps and side-marker lamps, undergo a thorough inspection. They are checked using same criteria as other lamps around the vehicle, and the DVSA said wider or longer trailers may need end outline or additional side-marker lamps.

5. Statutory plates and vehicle identification number

Statutory plates must be fitted to the truck at every stage of the manufacturing process, and must be permanent, durable, and contain all the required information such as the name of the manufacturer, approval number, vehicle identification number, maximum permitted laden mass, maximum train weight, and maximum permitted laden mass for each axle.

The vehicle identification number must be marked on the chassis and must be permanent.

4. General construction

The vehicle is checked to make sure it does not present a danger to the driver or other road users. The DVSA said one of the most common reasons for IVA test failure is wiring and piping not being secured properly. It needs to be secure and clipped into place every 300mm, or in trunking.

The agency will also consider all the conditions the truck will be operated under, taking speed, load, vibrations, acceleration, cornering and braking forces into account.

3. Retro reflectors

The test will consider whether rear, side and, if applicable, front reflectors are fitted properly and carry the relevant identity symbol.

2. Headlamp aim

The DVSA advises manufacturers to ensure that headlamps dip the correct way by having it checked with a calibrated headlamp aim tester before the IVA inspection.

1. Side guards

Lateral protection such as sideguards should be no more than 550mm from the ground, and must be of continuous construction and sufficient length to protect vulnerable road users from getting dragged beneath the vehicle. External edges must also be at least 2.5mm from the vehicle.