Every driver, immaterial of what type or size of vehicle he or she is to take out onto the public highway, should carry out an effective first use walk round check on that vehicle and any trailer that is connected to it before they enter traffic.
Drivers' of vehicles that are specified on a goods vehicle operators' licence are legally obliged to carry out a first use walk round check when taking over a new vehicle, which includes any trailer attached either from the beginning of the daily driving period and sometime during the period, and to continue to check over the vehicle throughout the day. If not they are liable to the issuing of a graduated fixed penalty against them by either a Police office or a VOSA enforcement Officer at the roadside.
Drivers' of other categories of vehicle should still take their duty of care responsibility seriously and carry out their own walk round checks of the vehicle they are in charge of.
It's important for HGV drivers' to begin their obligatory record keeping of their daily driving period before they carry out the walk round check at the time that they are assigned to a vehicle (including any connected trailer). So, the first thing that must be done each day is for either the driver personal smart card (driver card) to be inserted into the digital tachograph vehicle unit and the activity set to 'other work' or an analogue tachograph chart needs the centre field completing for the beginning of a daily driving period to be used as a record and then it should be inserted into the analogue tachograph recorder, which needs to be set to 'other work' - the crossed hammers.
A walk round check is not a difficult process as long as the driver knows what he or she is looking out for and why.
A simple example can be seen by checking out the following
and also an 'in-cab' check that should compliment the outside vehicle check, as shown here:-
Walk round checks are an essential and required activity that must be carried out at the very least once during each daily driving period (working day), although every driver must be aware that he or she has a responsibility to keep checking for defects or evidence of defects throughout the day.
That means gauges and lights and buzzers must be kept an eye on and acted upon. Whenever the driver gets out of the vehicle and it is safe to do so a check should be made that the tyres are ok and there are not any signs of any problems that weren't apparent at the beginning of the day.
A truck driver is a professional driver and as such must be expected to take a pride in their work, which primarily means their truck and all ancilliary equipment that they use.
Why not download and print off our free monthly walk round check sheet, available within the online associates section of this website? It's accepted by VOSA and the Traffic Commissioners as a simple yet effective way of both providing a visual reminder of what needs to be checked and why for the driver, as well as giving the operator evidence that the driver has completed a daily walk round check.
Once a specified commercial vehicle is out on the road there is a joint responsibility for compliance - the operator and the driver. If a defect is detected at the roadside by the authorities that they believe the driver should have been aware of they can take immediate proceedings against the driver. This could by issuing a graduated fixed penalty for up to £200.00 and 3 penalty points on the drivers' licence, or possibly a visit to the magistrates court or the Traffic Commissioner.
Don't take any chances. Operators, make sure that you have easy to follow and well understood walk round check procedures in place. Drivers, make sure you follow the procedures laid down by your operator.
TRUCK UK PROVIDE COMPANY SPECIFIC WALK ROUND CHECK & DEFECT REPORTING PROCEDURES AND DRIVER TRAINING - TO DISCUSS YOUR REQUIREMENTS WITH THE COMPLIANCE SPECIALISTS
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