Having a system in place for reporting and recording driver walkaround checks and vehicle maintenance is an essential part of ensuring the roadworthiness of your vehicles.
You also need to consider the legal requirement for drivers to commit daily walkaround checks. There are guidelines set out by the DVSA for the minimum recommended checks for HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle), LGV (Light Goods Vehicle), and PSV (Public Service Vehicle) drivers.
The planned introduction of the earned recognition scheme promises to “minimise disruption to the most compliant”, whilst clamping down on the “seriously and serially noncompliant”. The scheme is reportedly centred around the accurate capturing and sharing of compliance data, via technology, for remote auditing by the DVSA. Achieving and maintaining earned recognition will rely on consistent, provable compliance, and should result in fewer roadside stops.
How prepared are you for the scheme? As it stands, would you be able to achieve earned recognition? If you rely on paper records for your driver walkaround checks, and other compliance data records, the truth is, you are probably not prepared.
Paperwork is too easy to lose, damage, or doctor. It can be difficult to persuade drivers to complete them every time, on time – and to prove it. But, with the burden of responsibility for checks squarely on drivers, it is essential that they complete daily checks properly.
Not to mention the wasted cost in time and resources that administering and storing paper records can bring.
How to make sure drivers do their daily walkaround checks
Sell drivers on the benefits
What’s in it for them? By flagging up and fixing issues before they become a real problem, drivers are able to be more efficient, with reduced downtime. Earned recognition and a strong history of compliance helps to win and maintain work by demonstrating quality and consistency, and properly completing the daily checks keeps them safe too.
If necessary, resort to the stick
Ultimately, the accurate undertaking and recording of daily walkaround checks is a driver’s legal responsibility. If they don’t complete their checks, drivers could face hefty fines or even jail time. This DVSA Guide points put that: “As the driver, you are responsible for the condition of your vehicle when in use on the road.” By properly recording the checks they have undertaken, drivers can be sure that they have upheld their responsibilities.
Put systems in place to ensure checks are undertaken
The DVSA Guide also points to the importance of ensuring that enough time is taken to ensure all checks are completed thoroughly. With a manual paper checklist, it is all too easy for drivers to tick the boxes in one location, within a couple of minutes – without really completing the daily checks at all. by setting minimum timeframes for the checks it becomes harder for drivers to fake them. It’s easy to monitor the exact time and GPS location of each individual check by using an advanced app like the STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround Check App.
Give your drivers the space and equipment they need
It may seem obvious, but ensuring your drivers are equipped to conduct their daily walkaround checks is a simple way to help ensure they are properly undertaken. This may include things like ensuring that there is plenty of room to walk around the vehicle where it is normally parked and, especially in the darkness of winter mornings, ensuring drivers have a torch or other light so that they can actually see the parts of the vehicle they need to check.
Send them reminders
Even once you’ve persuaded drivers that they must thoroughly complete their daily walkaround checks, and you’ve equipped them with the tools they need to do the job properly, they may still forget to complete their checks at the start of every shift. You can also notify management or back-office staff if a driver has failed to complete their check on time (for example, within 30 minutes of when their shift was supposed to begin), so that they can contact the driver directly.
The driver daily walkaround checks are an essential part of vehicle maintenance. Whilst the responsibility for completing and recording daily walkaround checks falls on drivers, quickly identifying and resolving issues saves business resources down the line, and keeps your fleet running efficiently. It is therefore essential that you ensure drivers are properly undertaking their daily walkaround checks.
The STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround Check App is one tool that can help to monitor and record checks, send reminders about missed checks, and close the loop between issues identified in a daily check and getting vehicles back out on the road with the resolution of that issue.
Book a demo of the app to speak to us about how the STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround App can help you to ensure drivers complete their checks.
Drivers are legally responsible for the condition of the vehicle they are driving, so they must conduct checks/inspections on the vehicle they are set to operate on a daily basis. The results of these checks and inspections are recorded and any issues or defects should be reported and consequently resolved in order to maintain the safety of the vehicle. This ensures that is it roadworthy and that any regulatory requirements are met.
Regular Checks are inspections carried out by the operator on a regular basis, as part of regular service and maintenance of the fleet.
First Use Checks are inspections carried out before a vehicle is used for the first time by an operator – that can be a new or second-hand vehicle, and rented vehicle or a vehicle that has been out of use for an extended period of time.