In order to remain DVSA compliant, PSV and HGV drivers must complete daily walkaround checks to ensure that their vehicle is roadworthy and fit for purpose. Failure to do so can lead to punishment issued by the DVSA and even the police if the vehicle is considered dangerous or illegal. Although vans are not as strictly regulated by the DVSA, they should still be checked daily to ensure that they are safe to drive. Failure to do so can not only render your vehicle unsafe, but you could be pulled over and fined should a major defect be discovered.
In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about van daily checks, such as what needs to be checked, and why taking just fifteen minutes out of your day is so important. We will also discuss how you can report any defects you find during your daily vehicle checks, and why tyres are one of the most important elements you can inspect for safety purposes and compliance.
What are daily walkaround checks for vans, and why are they important?
Although they aren’t a legal requirement, daily walkaround checks for vans are highly recommended to keep your van safe and to avoid being pulled over for driving a defective vehicle. Both the interior and exterior of the van should be inspected, as advised by the Government. Interior checks include:
Horn and steering
Seats and seatbelts
Mirrors and glass
Exterior checks include:
Fuel and oil, as well as other fluid levels such as windscreen wash, engine coolant and brake fluid
Tow bar and load
If you find any major faults during your checks, or something that you aren’t sure classes as a safety hazard, you should report it to the relevant person within your company. In order to be as thorough as possible during these checks, drivers should equip themselves with a checklist, allowing them to easily mark off when the checks have been completed and whether or not they are a cause for concern. Digital checklists on the AssetGo app allow you to complete your daily checks with ease, with all documents stored safely and securely. You can find out more by getting in touch with us here.
As previously mentioned, completing daily walkaround checks for vans is not a legal requirement, but driving a defective van could be against the law, depending on what the fault is. Therefore, adhering to DVSA guidance is highly recommended. If you discover a defect during your checks, you should not drive your van until the problem is fixed. If you are not sure whether a possible defect is considered dangerous, you should still get your van checked over by a professional to be safe.
To find out more about daily vehicle checks, and to discover exactly what you need to do, you can read our previous guide here.
How to accurately report defects
Once you have completed your daily walkaround check, you should report any safety defects you find to the relevant person within your company, such as your fleet manager. Your van should not be driven until the problem is fixed; however, if the defect does not hinder the safety of your van or other road users, the vehicle may still be safe to operate. If you are pulled over by the police or the DVSA due to a serious issue with your van, you could be fined or receive points on your licence.
There are various issues that can arise, meaning your van is not fit for purpose. For instance, if your doors do not close properly, you have a large oil leak, or your headlights do not work properly, your van will not be declared safe to drive. Using the AssetGo app, you can report any defects you discover more efficiently, decreasing downtime and allowing you to organise your data in one place. You can request a demo here.
Why checking your van’s tyres is so important
One of the most important parts of your van to check are your tyres; it is essential that drivers of any vehicle frequently check the tread depth, pressure and overall condition of their tyres to avoid potential accidents and improve handling. Commercial vans usually experience more wear and tear than regular cars, so tyres will need to be replaced more frequently.
Van tyres should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, and there should be no deep cuts in the tyres or visible cords, and all wheel nuts should be attached appropriately and securely. If you have performed all the necessary checks on your tyres, but your tyre pressure light is still illuminated on your dashboard, you should have them checked by a professional.
Driving with illegal tyres can come with serious consequences. If you are pulled over by the police, you can be fined up to £2,500 and receive three points on your licence for each illegal tyre. If all four tyres are concluded to be illegal, this could lead to a fine of £10,000 and 12 penalty points. So, although daily vehicle checks for vans are not a legal requirement, they are incredibly necessary when ensuring that your van is safe and legal to drive.
In conclusion: how AssetGo can help
Here at AssetGo, we have developed an app to connect everyone involved in your fleet, from drivers to managers. Drivers of HGVs, PSVs, vans and other commercial vehicles are able to perform their daily checks with ease, and can quickly and safely report any defects. The app removes the need for paper checklists, which can easily become lost and damaged. Therefore, by using the AssetGo app, you can reduce downtime and improve compliance throughout your fleet.
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