Maintaining a roadworthy fleet of business vans is one of the top priorities for fleet managers. Even seemingly small vehicle defects like low tyre pressure or a malfunctioning windshield wiper could result in a vehicle breakdown, or worse.
To avoid unexpected visits to the shop and accidents on the road, fleet managers must ensure that business van checks are completed regularly. Van checks help identify vehicle defects and damage before a driver gets behind the wheel, making the road a safer place for everyone.
This article will explain what van checks are and why they’re important, plus you’ll gain access to a free downloadable van damage check sheet.
Van Drivers’ Daily Damage Checklist
What Are Van Checks?
Business van checks are a specified set of conditions that both drivers and fleet managers need to look out for before operating a van. The van check sheet requirements encompass the entire van, both interior and exterior.
It is recommend that business van checks be completed on a daily basis, or just before a van is driven. Vimcar has created a downloadable business van damage check sheet that walks you through every aspect of the van you need to inspect.
Here’s an overview of what should be included in a daily van check:
- Tyres and wheels
- Bodywork and doors
- Tow-bars and tail-lifts
- Number plates
- Fuel, fluids and oil
- Seats and seatbelts
- …and more!
A daily van check shouldn’t take too long to complete, but it’s best to use a van check sheet to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Why Are Van Checks Important?
Whether you manage a large fleet or you’re self-employed, business van checks are crucial to ensuring that the road stays a safe place for everyone. By performing these checks, you’re lowering the chances of one of your drivers or someone else on the road being injured due to vehicle maintenance issues.
Moreover, you are legally required to keep business vans safe and roadworthy. Reports should be filed after every van check, even if no defects or damage was uncovered.
What to Do If a Van Has Been Damaged
If a defect or damage has been detected on a van, it should be noted in a report and the fleet manager (or another specified employee) should be notified immediately. Damage reports should include the make and model of the van, a detailed explanation of the damage, who reported it and who the damage was reported to.
Serious defects must be repaired before the van is driven again. Additionally, fleet managers are responsible for following up on damage reports to ensure that the van has been appropriately repaired and is once again safe to drive.
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How Long Should Reports Be Kept on File?
There is no specified amount of time that van damage reports must be kept on file. However, HGV damage reports must be kept on file for 15 months, so keeping a van damage report for that amount of time makes sense.
It’s better to have extensive records on each van within your fleet than to have too little information, should your fleet be inspected in the future.
How to Ensure Drivers Complete Van Checks
Completing van walkaround checks is the responsibility of both fleet managers and drivers. Therefore, it’s important that fleet managers properly incentivise their drivers to complete these checks.
A few ways to ensure drivers complete daily van checks include:
- Explaining the importance of business van checks during driver training.
- Providing drivers with step-by-step van damage check sheets to make daily walkaround checks even easier.
- Rewarding drivers who complete van checks.
Fleet managers simply can’t check every single van each day. Therefore, a business needs to have systems in place to encourage drivers to complete van checks regularly.
Keeping Vans Roadworthy
Completing daily van checks is crucial to keeping vehicles roadworthy. Van checks are the responsibility of both fleet managers and drivers. To make this process easier and ensure nothing is skipped, using a van check sheet is recommended.
Keep in mind that van checks are just one of the many responsibilities of fleet managers. For assistance with other fleet management tasks, contact Vimcar today. Our software is easy to use and addresses other key fleet management tasks, such as tracking your vehicles and optimising routes.