21.09.23 – The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have today updated their guidance document in relation to HGV daily walkaround checks.
According to DVSA maintenance investigations and Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry, the majority of issues identified by DVSA during vehicle roadside checks, are in fact, defects the driver should have identified during their daily walkaround checks.
This prompted a further update to the guide, acting as an enhanced tool for training and compliance of HGV drivers.
What has been actually updated?
- Section 19 – Photographs are now to be included in this section (relating to tyres and wheel fixings)
- Guidance has now reproduced in 22 different languages
N.B. This is just the latest in a string of updates to the document highlighting the crucial importance of proper execution and monitoring of vehicle walkaround checks.
Why these latest updates? Brakes and Tyres as the most common ‘dangerous defects’ identified.
HGVs hold a concerning statistic – they are five times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than any other vehicle type.
A recent study commissioned by Campaign for Better Transport, highlights that lorries are involved in a increasing percentage of fatal traffic accidents on Britain’s roads. More specifically, the analysis shows that, in 2022, HGVs were implicated in more than half of fatal motorway accidents and one-in-five fatal accidents on A-roads, continuing negative trends over the last five years.
DfT data clearly shows that “vehicle defects” are a major contributor to these deaths and injuries on the roads.
But that’s not all.
Driver and road user safety is of course of utmost concern.
However, HGV MOT test fails and breakdowns are also of huge concern to fleet operators, resulting in costly delays and maintenance.
The top 10 most common vehicle defects resulting in HGV MOT Failures and Breakdowns could have been avoided with a thourough Vehicle Walk-Around check highlighting the issues early on.
- Lamps – 2.54% of Failures
- Brake Systems and Components – 2.35%
- Aim of Headlamps – 2.19%
- Service Brake Performance – 1.33%
- Steering – 1.24%
- Suspension – 1.06%
- Condition of Tyres – 0.92%
- Parking Brake Performance – 0.69%
- Speedometer/tachograph – 0.59%
- Exhaust Emissions – 0.58%
Keeping your Truck Compliant AND Safe
Both to protect your HGV drivers (and other road users) and to avoid expensive and inconvenient MOT failures or breakdowns, it is worth being extra vigilant with your driver walkaround checks.
In a 2019 article, the DVSA stated that “many faults should have been picked up as part of a driver’s daily walkaround check, [and] the majority of these faults could have potentially fatal consequences for the driver and other road users.”
By Law HGV fleets must carry out checks on their vehicle every day. These checks serve as a protective shield against fines and help to keep fleets operational. Checks should be conducted before each vehicle embarks on its journey and include a full examination of the vehicle’s internal and external facets, including mirrors, windscreen, window wipers, battery, and more. It is highly recommended that these individual walkaround checks are documented, and in the event of any issues being uncovered, immediate repairs should be undertaken.
Whilst DVSA provides guidance on what should be included in these walk-around checks, fleet operators are free to choose the best format and process.
After speaking to numerous of our customers, Exeros Technologies has identified that the most common complaint is around time and resource, with vehicle walk-around checks taking significant time to complete, monitor and check manually, and as a result, the probability of human error is high.
That’s why we highly recommend an automated guided process to simplify the process and warn fleet operators of any vehicle defects or possible issues.
Exeros can Help – Presenting our fully automated Vehicle Walk-Around Checks Module
As part of our Video Telematics and Fleet Management platform, VideMatics, we have a dedicated driver-module dedicated to Walk-Around Checks. The intuitive step-by-step form guides the driver through each section, providing visual cues and prompts to take pictures to help drivers conduct their daily walk-around checks as swiftly and effectively as possible.
The user-friendly form includes checkboxes for systematic tracking, automatically dispatches completed walkaround reports to fleet operators, and promptly flags drivers who have not completed their routine checks.
Taking it a step further, in case of any defects identified, instant notifications would be sent via the system to the dedicated team to investigate further.
Fleet operators are able to priorities faulty trucks and/or uncompleted routine checks, cstomising notifications and alerts based on severity and action/s required.
For a Demo of our Vehicle Walk-Around Checks Module: