What is an HGV daily walkaround check and why are they so important?

Home > Advice Centre > Daily Checks > HGVs > What is an HGV daily walkaround check and why are they so important?

Updated 07/11/2022

Checking your heavy goods vehicle is the best way to keep yourself and other road users safe. Performing walkaround checks gives you the peace of mind that your HGV can carry out the job at hand, keeping on top of any defects. It essentially allows you to be proactive and can, in extreme cases, save your life.

To make matters more streamlined, you can now access apps and digital checklists that enable you to carry out a thorough check that complies with DVSA regulations. This can also simplify the process of reporting defects, getting you back on the road as soon as possible.

This guide will highlight what is included in a daily vehicle check, how to perform it and whether it is a legal requirement.

Is it a legal requirement to perform daily checks on HGVs?

Daily walkaround checks are legally required by the DVSA. Roadside checks can be performed by the DVSA to inspect vehicles and check for any safety defects. If you have missed something before setting out on the road, they can ask for records of your checks. If you cannot produce them, this can leave you in a tricky situation.

Your walkaround check needs to cover the entire vehicle, including a trailer if you have one attached. The check must be performed each day before you drive. You should also be monitoring the vehicle’s condition during service.

If the HGV or PSV is going to be driven by two different drivers in one day, you each must check it before setting off. This ensures maximum safety for everyone using the vehicle, as well as other road users.

You can find out more about daily vehicle checks, and how to report defects, on our website here.

Driver inspecting tyres with clipboard

What is included in a daily check of an HGV?

HGV daily checks must take into account the interior and exterior of your vehicle.

Interior checks

You must check for any defect inside your HGV. First, look at the mirrors to make sure they are in place and free from damage. The reflection must not be obscured, and they should be securely attached. Check the windscreen to ensure there are no cracks, scratches, discolouration or excessive tinting.

Your windscreen wipers and washer need to be working correctly. If wipers are missing, damaged or worn, this is a defect that needs to be reported. You must also have a clear front view, with no objects in the way or anything in the sweep area of your wipers.

Check the dashboard warning lights and gauges to see that they are working, and the gauges are correct. Then turn your attention to the steering. There should be no excessive lift or movement in the steering column. The wheel should move properly without jamming, and the power assisted steering needs to be working. The vehicle’s horn needs to work and be easy to reach from the driver’s seat.

Make sure the correct height is displayed on the vehicle height marker in your cab. Finally, turn your attention to the seatbelt to check for any cuts or damage. It should be secure when it is plugged in and retract easily when taking it off.

Exterior checks

Now you can focus on the outside of the vehicle. Check that your lights and indicators work correctly, that the lenses are well fitted, clean and the correct colour. Look at the battery and check it is secure, in good condition and not leaking. Check your fuel cap is fitted and then turn on the engine. At this point, look under the vehicle for any fuel or oil leaks.

Ensure there is no excessive exhaust smoke and that you have enough AdBlue. Check the body and the wings of the vehicle. All fastenings need to work and the doors, body panels, landing legs, side guards and rear under-guards should be secure and well fitted.

Check each tyre is secure, inflated, free from damage and has a tread depth of at least 1mm. Make sure spray suppression flaps are fitted if needed and are not damaged or clogged. You should assess each electrical connection, ensuring that visible wiring is insulated and unlikely to catch.

When loading, use the correct type of load securing system so that it does not move and is not likely to become unrestrained during transit. Coupling security must also be checked, keeping a secure attachment to any trailer, located in either the fifth wheel or coupling and the secondary locking is in the right position.

Finally, check reflectors, markings and warning plates and your number plate. They must be clearly visible, secure and clean.

If you would like to find out more about daily walkaround checklists, or you would like to create a custom checklist, you can speak to a member of our team today.

Why are daily checks of HGVs so important?

In simple terms, daily checks make sure your HGV is safe. This is for your safety as well as other road users. Skipping a check can mean missing a defect. If you are pulled over by a the police or a DVSA Enforcement Officer, they can take action if your HGV fails a vehicle check on the roadside.

The DVSA can ask for records of previous checks and can prevent you from driving until the defect is fixed. Driving an HGV or PSV that is in a dangerous condition can lead to fines, notices of prohibition and even prison sentences in extreme cases.

With AssetGo, all of your digital checks will be saved to the system, so you no longer have to worry about misplacing your paper checks.

Truck driving on road

How can I perform a daily check on my HGV

Traditionally, you would need to make notes on paper to record daily vehicle checks. However, there are now apps and digital checklists that can make the process more efficient. With an app like AssetGo, you can access pre-loaded checklists that are DVSA compliant. It supplies you with one place for all your records.

This is also great for a transport manager, as defects, accidents or incidents can be reported in real-time. For the driver, this means fixing the defect as quickly as possible to get them back on the road. This applies to defects found during the daily walkaround checks and in-service defects (defects found when the vehicle is being driven or operated.

How AssetGo can help

AssetGo can simplify vehicle checks for drivers. Instead of time-consuming paperwork and figuring out a way to store your records, you can access everything you need in one app. The checklists are pre-loaded with everything you need to make sure you perform a thorough walkaround check with fully customisable questions. Contact AssetGo to get started.

Common questions

Whose responsibility is it to carry out HGV daily checks?

It is the legal responsibility of the driver to conduct each daily check. A fleet manager should promote this by providing appropriate training.

How long does a daily walkaround check take?

Where vehicle safety is concerned, it is better not to take shortcuts. It is vital that you perform your checks thoroughly. On average, it takes around 15 minutes to carry out a compliant vehicle check.

What happens if I notice a defect during my daily walkaround check?

As soon as you notice a defect, report it to your manager. All defects must be identified and resolved, but minor defects do not mean that the vehicle is always unsafe to operate. With the AssetGo app, you can activate a safety feature which stops any driver performing their daily checks until the safety fail has been resolved.

Related content

HGV daily checks: the importance of checking your tyres

HGV daily checks: what is AdBlue and why is it so important?

HGV daily checks: how to safely check your brakes