The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) last month announced the start of a new campaign aimed at improving van safety. The key concerns for DVSA are the mechanical condition of vehicles and that fact that vehicles tend to be overloaded. Vans also have a 50% MOT failure rate.
Operators & drivers are being encouraged to help improve their compliance especially as their vans will come under a closer scrutiny. In order to help a business meet part of their compliance the DVSA are suggesting that a short 10 minute daily walk around is required before undertaking journeys. The driver or operator will check lights, tyres, wheel fixings, bodywork and any other problems.
To help the situation ‘Vehicle Check & Defect’ books are available from organisations like the FTA and RHA, the books normally in duplicate allow for a copy to be given to a line manager in charge of maintaining the fleet and a copy retained by the driver.
If the business has an Operator’s Licence this could in fact be jeopardised, especially if the business fails to meet the necessary requirements. As part of the Operator’s Licence undertaking you agree to keep all of your vehicles in a roadworthy condition at all times.
These visual inspections will obviously not replace proper maintenance undertaken by trained professionals but it will go towards familiarising the driver with the vehicle and can act as an early warning system towards any potential issues that the vehicle may have in the future.
Should the driver be stopped, being able to demonstrate that they conduct daily checks of their vehicle should stand them in good stead.
Download a copy of a 'walk around' check list - Follow this Link
VOSA produce a ‘best practice’ guide for van operators a copy of which can be downloaded from our website – Follow this link