Managing a fleet involves more than just keeping track of the location of your vehicles. In fact, one of the most important aspects of managing a fleet is ensuring that each vehicle is properly maintained and in working order.
But fleet managers can only do so much in this regard. Inspecting each vehicle for leaks, low tyres and other potentially harmful conditions requires vigilance from both fleet manager and drivers.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has created a list of specific HGV vehicle checks that should be completed before a vehicle is driven. This article will explain what these HGV walk around checks are, why they matter and what to look out for while doing them.
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What Are HGV Vehicle Checks?
HGV vehicle checks are a set of conditions that drivers and fleet managers need to watch out for before operating a vehicle. These checks are done for the inside and the outside of a vehicle, including any trailers that are attached to it. It’s recommended that drivers perform daily vehicle checks, or just before a vehicle is to be driven.
The exact amount of time it takes to complete an HGV walk around check will vary based on how familiar you are with the vehicle you’re inspecting, its size and so on. It’s important that you take your time when performing these checks and don’t rush the process.
Read more: What Does HGV Weekly Rest Mean?
Why Are Daily Vehicle Checks Important?
In short, HGV walk around checks can save lives. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.35 million people die on the road worldwide. Poor driving practices, bad weather and accidents contribute to this number, but so do poor vehicle maintenance, tyre failure and other preventable conditions.
By performing daily vehicle checks, you’ll lower the chances of your drivers and other road users getting hurt due to vehicle maintenance issues.
What to Look For on Your HGV Walk Around Checks
HGV vehicle checks require you to examine both the inside and outside of each vehicle. Any defects need to be recorded by the driver or fleet manager and should be kept on file.
Things to check inside the vehicle include:
- Horn and steering
- Mirrors and glass
- Seats and seatbelts
- Washers and wipers
Things to check outside the vehicle include:
- Fluids, fuel and oil
- Bodywork and doors
- Tyres and wheels
- Tow bar and tail lifts
As you can see, there are quite a few steps to a typical HGV walk around check. Vimcar has created a free downloadable checklist that takes you through a daily vehicle check. This way, you never forget a step and can keep your vehicles roadworthy.
Maintaining a Roadworthy Fleet
HGV walk around checks are crucial to ensuring the safety of your vehicles. Completing these checks reduces the risk of driver injury and keeps your vehicles out of the shop.
Read more: HGV driving hours explained
However, HGV vehicle checks are just one of the many tasks you must complete to maintain a safe, operational fleet. If you need help with other fleet management tasks — such as tracking your vehicles, optimising routes or keeping vehicles secure from thieves — contact Vimcar today. We take the stress out of managing a fleet with our easy-to-use software and expert customer service.