Daily walkaround checks are a legal requirement for certain vehicles, including HGVs, LGVs and their attached trailer, should they have one. For other vehicles, the rules surrounding daily checks are less strict, but there are recommendations in place to ensure they follow guidelines concerning road safety and welfare within the workplace. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can perform roadside checks on certain vehicles, but not others. So, what does this mean for your work vehicle?
In this guide we will explore the different daily checks that different vehicles require, and how they differ from each other. We will also discuss the importance of daily vehicle checks, and how they should be carried out for each individual vehicle.
What are the different daily walkaround checks for vehicles?
The daily checks that need to be carried out on certain vehicles are similar in some instances, but can differ in the number of checks that need to be carried out, and whether or not they are required by the law.
HGVs and Trailers
HGV daily walkaround checks are legally required by the DVSA for HGVs and their attached trailers. Failure to carry out these checks can result in a fine and/or penalty points on the driver’s licence. Both the interior and exterior of the HGV and trailer should be checked by the HGV driver. Interior checks of the cab include the mirrors, windscreen, seatbelts, dashboard warning lights, and the horn must be working, whereas interior checks of the trailer include curtain straps, load straps and door hinges. Tyres, reflectors, the brakes and the body condition must be checked on the exterior. If a new driver operates the vehicle on the same day, they need to carry out their own walkaround checks. You can read our previous HGV daily checks and trailer daily checks guides here.
It is not a legal requirement to perform daily checks on your van, but it highly recommended. Daily checks should make up part of your overall vehicle maintenance programme, and the DVSA can still pull you over to check whether your van is roadworthy. Important checks include the seats and seatbelts, wipers, fuel and fluid levels, and the battery. You can find out more in our van daily check guides.
Forklifts need to be checked daily in order to comply with various workplace regulations. Unlike vehicles such as vans and HGVs/LGVs, they are not predominantly used on roads, but still need to be checked daily for defects. Important checks include a visual inspection of the hydraulics system, ensuring the battery is leak free and charged, and any cracks or bends in the forks. In our previous guides, you can find out everything you need to know about forklift daily truck checks.
Minibuses and PSVs
In order to drive and operate a minibus, businesses must obtain either a Section 19 or a Section 22 permit, depending on what the minibus is used for. Although they are not a legal requirement, both interior and exterior checks should be performed, including the body interior, seats and seatbelts, and safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and the emergency exit hammer to keep passengers safe. Daily checks are legally required for PSVs, such as coaches. Minibuses and PSVs are legally required to be kept in a safe and operational state, so each defect must be identified and reported. You can find out more in our complete minibus daily checks guide.
How do the daily vehicle checks compare to each other?
Daily walkaround checks for HGVs, trailers, vans and minibuses are very similar in terms of the key components that need to be checked. Tyres, brakes, seats and body exterior are just some elements that should be checked on vehicles within a business fleet. However, minibuses and PSVs carry multiple passengers, so safety elements such as driver communication aids, fire extinguishers and interior lighting must be present and in good working order.
The DVSA legally requires daily checks to be carried out on HGVs and their attached trailers, but they do not require them for vans. PSVs with more than nine seats also need daily checks by law. Any vehicle can still be pulled over for a roadside check, and can be punished if it is considered defective, so daily checks are recommended. Forklift trucks have their own workplace requirements to follow, known as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER). Minibuses must also comply with the conditions of their assigned permit.
You must always ensure that the checklist you are working from is relevant for the vehicle you are checking. For instance, you should never use an HGV checklist for a van. Our digital daily walkaround checklists can be found on our easy-to-use daily walkaround checks app, and can be altered and adapted to suit your fleet.
Are there different ways to carry out daily walkaround checks?
Due to the different sizes and relevant checks needed for different vehicles, how you carry out your daily checks may differ. Some businesses may also have varied practices from others, but all daily walkaround checks must be carried out before the vehicle is driven for the day. For HGVs, each driver that operates the vehicle in a given day must perform their own checks.
Most daily checks take, on average, 15 minutes to complete. Once completed, the reports and each defect must be reported to the relevant person within your company. Some defects may render the vehicle unusable until it has been rectified, whereas others may mean that the vehicle is still operable.
How AssetGo can help
Our digital vehicle checklists at AssetGo are easy to use and access on our app, reducing downtime and allowing drivers to complete and submit their checks efficiently. Our checklists cater to a range of business vehicles, such as HGVs, vans, forklift trucks and PSVs. The order of the checks can be customised to suit your fleet, and we provide a free demo of our system before you sign up.
Your reports will be safe and secure on our CMS system, and drivers can report any incidents or accidents that they may encounter when out on the road. All reports can be time-stamped and display the GPS location where the report was performed to help you keep on top of your fleet. To find out more, please get in touch with a member of the AssetGo team today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a DVSA walkaround check take?
On average, daily vehicle checks take around 15 minutes to complete.
Is it a legal requirement to do daily vehicle checks?
It is a legal requirement for HGV and PSV drivers to carry out daily checks of their vehicle. Forklift truck drivers must complete routine checks to comply with various regulations, and checks are highly recommended for vans to identify vehicle defects early.
What is the most important reason for doing a daily vehicle check?
As well as remaining compliant and avoiding licence points and fines, performing daily walkaround checks can ensure that the driver, other road users, fellow employees and passengers are safe whilst the vehicle is on the road or being operated in the workplace.
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