Van daily checks: how to accurately report defects

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Updated 06/02/2023

Each van driver should inspect their vehicle for any safety issues before they set off on their journey. If a different driver is driving the same van in one day, they should still aim to check the van over once again. When defects are found, they should be reported immediately to the relevant person or group within your company. Even if you do not believe they are a major cause for concern, the issue should still be reported regardless.

In this guide, we will explore the different vehicle checks that must be performed on a van, as well as how these defects should be reported. We will also discuss what defects are considered an immediate safety issue, and whether or not reporting van defects is a legal requirement.

What van checks should be carried out?

Before any driver sets off on their journey, they should ensure that they check their van, inside and out, for any potential faults, issues or defects. Inside checks should include the brakes, lights, mirrors and seatbelts. Exterior checks should include fuel and oil levels, the exhaust, tyres and the wheel, and any tow bars and tail lifts. Not all issues found will count as major safety defects, but it is still important to report any abnormalities that you find.

Drivers should check each area listed and make notes of any defects they find. This can be carried out through a comprehensive checklist on paper, or via the AssetGo app for a safer, more streamlined process.

How should I report van defects?

When you discover a defect in the interior or exterior of your van, whether this is during your daily walkaround check or whilst you’re out driving, you should make a note as soon as it is discovered. Once you have finished your daily checks, all defects should be reported to the relevant person within your company, such as your fleet manager. If the defects are considered a safety hazard, such as issues with your brakes or tyres, you should not drive your van until the issues have been resolved.

These reports are traditionally carried out on paper, but defects can easily be reported using AssetGo’s comprehensive system. You can get in touch with us here today to discuss your fleet requirements.

Van being towed

What van defects are considered an immediate danger?

Not all defects found during a daily check of a van will render your vehicle unusable. Only defects that are classed as serious issues or will affect your DVSA compliance will mean that you cannot drive your van until the problem is resolved. For instance, if you notice that your fuel cap has been dented or scraped, but it is still attached correctly, you will not need to report a major defect. However, if the fuel cap is damaged to such an extent that it is no longer fitted correctly, you will not be able to drive your van until it is fixed.

There are various examples of defects that will affect the use of a commercial vehicle. For instance, if one of your tyres has a deep cut that is more than 25mm or is 10% of section width, you will not be able to drive your van. Any oil leaks that are in continuous flow and dripping into a patch in excess of 75mm in diameter in five minutes, missing mirrors and headlights or indicators that do not work will all class as commercial vehicle defects.

The DVSA Categorisation of Defects explains in more detail what defects are classed as serious and will need immediate attention.

Is van defect reporting a legal requirement?

Although carrying out daily checks of your van before you drive is highly advised, it is not a legal requirement and is not as compliance heavy as HGV and PSV daily checks are. However, it is illegal to drive a van with serious defects, such as fuel leaks, tyres that do not meet the appropriate tread depth, and defective brakes. Driving with such defects is an offence, and can lead to you having to pay a fine and acquire points on your licence.

Checking your van daily can help you avoid these potential hazards, keeping you both compliant and safe. Any drivers within your fleet that gain points on the licence and have to pay fines could do harm to your business, so it is important to ensure that all laws are being followed indisputably.

How AssetGo can help

Rather than carrying out your daily checks on paper, the AssetGo fleet management system allows you to both carry out your van checks and report any defects straight away, leaving no delay between the driver submitting their report and the defect being acknowledged. All data is safely stored into the CMS system to be accessed at any time, providing a more streamlined way to access your fleet data.

To help improve your fleet management services, get in touch with AssetGo today to discuss your needs, or to request a demo.

Van on a country Highway

Common queries

How long should van daily checks takes?

Your daily checks should take around 15 minutes to complete, but this may take longer if you discover any defects.

What is the purpose of a daily check on a commercial vehicle?

For certain commercial vehicles, such as HGVs and PSVs, daily checks must be carried out to comply with DVSA regulations; failure to do so could result in licence points, fines and even the removal of the licence altogether. For other commercial vehicles where compliance is not as strict, such as vans, the purpose of daily checks is to ensure that the vehicle is safe to drive and complies to laws surrounding vehicle defects in general.

How often should company vehicles be checked?

Daily vehicle checks should be carried out each day by each driver that occupies the vehicle. General maintenance of the vehicle should be planned ahead of time based on the age of the vehicle and its mileage.

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