Firstly performing daily walk-around checks on an HGV Truck is an important part of any truck drivers working day ensuring the vehicle is safe to take out onto the road and that your load is secure and will not move in transit.
Recently I completed a CPC Course as part of my 35 hrs which has to be completed over a 5 year period, on the CPC Course we found out that things are going to change dramatically with regards to the daily vehicle checks.
Daily Walk Around Checks on an HGV To Change!
Apparently, in the near future, all truck drivers will be required to download an app onto their mobile phones or company phones to perform their walk-around vehicle checks, on a daily basis you will need to login into the app, enter the details of the vehicle, Registration number, mileage, etc.
Once the details are all entered you will then need to walk around your HGV vehicle completing the app in order to continue your daily work with that vehicle.
Defect books will be a thing of the past by completing the app, it will be linked to the DVSA and to your place of work, where the maintenance department will be able to log in and see if any defects have been entered for any of their companies trucks.
How will it work?
I am assuming that defects such as a bulb or anything that can be repaired by the driver before setting out can be entered into the app as work carried out.
The App is believed to have GPS Technology that will show that you have actually completed this process to avoid for instance somebody sitting in a cab and just filling the app in, so they have high safety procedures in place.
When defects are found you would need to photograph the defect and upload it to the app for the workshop to see the problem.
Brexit has delayed the introduction of the App based daily vehicle checks, so be prepared for changes once we know what is happening officially with our departure from the European Union.
By complying with the app-based daily vehicle checks, the operator will earn recognition by the DVSA.
This could make the companies vehicles become less likely to be stopped by the DVSA for spot checks when out on the roads of Britain.
My worries for this system being rolled out as standard procedure would be that technology is not yet advanced enough to cope with an apps based system in all parts of the country, how many times do we have no signal on our phones, this would mean drivers would not be able to connect with the App?
DVSA Guidance Carrying Out HGV Vehicle Checks
Guidance from the DVSA shows all the checks required to ensure an HGV truck is safe to drive on the roads of Britain this includes checks inside and outside the vehicle see guidance below.
Vehicle Checks Inside an HGV Truck
Mirrors and glass
Check that the windscreen is not:
Check that the windscreen and front side windows are not excessively tinted.
Check that all mirrors are in place and not:
- damaged or missing glass
If a camera system is used instead of a mirror, check that it works and the view is correct.
Windscreen wipers and washers
Make sure the windscreen wipers work. Check that they are not:
- damaged or worn
Make sure the windscreen washer is working.
Check that no objects get in the way of your front view.
As a general rule, there should be nothing in the swept area of the windscreen wipers.
Some official stickers and road safety items are allowed, as long as they do not seriously block your view of the road, for example, operator license disc.
Dashboard warning lights and gauges
Check that all of these are working correctly:
- warning lights – including the engine warning, emissions system, anti-lock braking system (ABS), and electronic braking system (EBS)
Check that the steering wheel:
- moves properly and that the power-assisted steering works correctly
- has no excessive play
- does not jam
Check that there’s no excessive lift or movement in the steering column.
Check that the horn works and is easily accessible from the driver’s seat.
Brakes and air build-up
- the air builds up correctly and the warning system works
- there are no air leaks
- the footwell is clear
- the service brake operates both the tractor and trailer brakes
- the parking brake for the tractor works
- the service brake pedal does not have excessive side play or missing loose or incomplete anti-slip tread
Check the correct vehicle height is displayed on the vehicle height marker in the cab.
Remember, the height can change, for example, when the fifth wheel is adjusted, or if the trailer is loaded, unloaded, or reloaded.
Check that the seatbelts:
- do not have any cuts, damage, or fraying that may stop them from working
- stay secure when you plug them in
- retract against you when fitted, and fully retract when you take them off
Vehicle Checks Outside an HGV Truck
Lights and indicators
- all lights and indicators work correctly
- all lenses are fitted, clean and the right colour
- stop lamps come on when you apply the service brake and go out when you release it
- marker lights are fitted and work
Fuel and oil leaks
Check that the fuel filler cap is fitted correctly.
Turn on the engine and check underneath the vehicle for any fuel or oil leaks.
Battery security and conditions
Check that your battery is:
- in good condition
- not leaking
Diesel exhaust fluid (AdBlue)
Check that your diesel vehicle has enough AdBlue diesel exhaust fluid and top up if necessary.
Excessive engine exhaust smoke
Check that the exhaust does not emit an excessive amount of smoke.
Security of body and wings
- all fastening devices work
- cab doors and trailer doors are secure when closed
- body panels on tractor or trailer are secure and not likely to fall off
- landing legs (if fitted) are secure and not likely to fall off while driving
- side guards and rear under-run guards are fitted if required and that they’re not insecure or damaged
If spray suppression flaps are required, check that they are:
- not damaged
- not clogged with mud or debris
Tyres and wheel fixing
- the tyres and wheels are secure
- the tyres have a tread depth of at least 1mm
- the tyres are inflated correctly
- there are no deep cuts in the tyre’s sidewall
- there is no cord visible anywhere on the tyre
- all the wheel nuts are tight enough – you can check if wheel nut indicators (if fitted) have moved to do this
- there are no objects or debris trapped between the twin wheels
Brake lines and trailer parking brake
- couplings are free from debris and are in the right place
- there are no leaks
- there is no damage or wear to the brake lines
- the parking brake for the trailer works
After the initial brake test, leave the engine running so pressure can build up. This will make it easier to hear any leaks as you carry out the rest of the walkaround check.
Check each connection and make sure that all:
- visible wiring is insulated
- visible wiring is not likely to get caught or damaged
- all electrical trailer couplings are connected securely
- all electrical switches work correctly
Check that your vehicle is securely attached to your trailer and that the:
- trailer is located correctly in the fifth wheel or coupling
- secondary locking devices are in the correct position
Security of load
Check that the load does not move and is not likely to move.
Make sure you use the right type of load securing system for the load.
If you’re not happy with how the load is secured or how stable it is, ask the person in charge of vehicle safety to:
- get a competent person to assess it
- reload or resecure it if necessary
Check that the number plate is not:
- broken or incomplete
- incorrect or spaced incorrectly
- covered over by anything
Check that the reflectors (including side reflectors) are not:
- fitted incorrectly
- the wrong colour
- obscured by dirt or other objects
Markings and warning plates
Check that the vehicle’s markings (including conspicuity markings) are:
- the right colour
- securely fastened
- not obscured by dirt or other objects
What If a Defect Occurs During a Journey?
If a defect occurs within your journey it is necessary to find a safe place to stop, report any defect you are aware of, if the defect is dangerous it must be repaired before you can continue the journey.
If you were to continue driving with a dangerous defect you could receive a hefty fine or even a prison sentence.
It would be interesting to hear your thoughts about the App based daily walk around checks on an HGV please comment below with any opinions you have about the new proposed system.
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