Every time a HGV Driver starts a shift even if driving the same vehicle every day it is necessary to complete your HGV driver walk round vehicle checks.
The Importance of HGV Safety Checks
The vehicle checks are important for your safety and the safety of other road users, by completing your daily vehicle checks you will also be able to drive knowing that everything is in order and you won’t encounter any problems in your working day.
The health and well-being of drivers is paramount for any business that relies on vehicles to transport goods.
That’s why it’s essential to perform regular daily vehicle checks on HGV trucks, to ensure that they are operating efficiently and safely.
Thorough inspections can help uncover potential problems with brakes, tires, the engine, or other key components.
Furthermore, these checks can also identify any safety issues with the truck itself, such as malfunctioning hazard lights or faulty blind spots that could lead to collisions on the road.
HGV driver walk round vehicle checks Checklist
Firstly when approaching a loaded vehicle take an assessment of how the vehicle looks, is it sitting straight and not leaning to one side, this would indicate the load is not distributed correctly and could also indicate that your axle weights could be incorrect making the vehicle difficult to handle and dangerous.
Your tacho card or chart should now be inserted into your tachograph as you need to record your duties as soon as you start work, go through the process of inserting your card or filling out your tach card and set it to other work.
The Vehicle checks
- Check your Oil water and washer bottle fluid levels before starting the vehicle top up to the correct levels if needed.
- Check underneath the vehicle for any obvious leaks Oil, water or fuel.
- Start the vehicle to build up the air when doing so check for any warning lights on your dashboard.
- Turn off the vehicle when the air is built up and your happy there are no warning lights on.
- Turn on your side lights and hazard warning lights dismount the vehicle using three points of contact.
- Now you can continue to do a walk around vehicle check.
HGV driver walk around vehicle checks – Rigid Vehicle
- Start from the drivers side front take a look at your mirror and make sure there are no cracks, it is an offence to drive a HGV vehicle with cracked mirrors.
- Look at your wheel and check the tyre making sure the tread is OK with no bold spots the legal limit is 1mm on a truck but most companies will change tyres at about 3mm, check the tyre for cuts and bulges, check all wheel nuts are tight and that the valve cap is in place, the valve is high pressure and if it fails the cap will stop the wheel going down quickly.
- move towards the rear of the vehicle checking marker lights, side rails, side curtains or body parts making sure that everything looks good.
- Check the rear wheels inner and outer tyre tread, cuts, bulges and wheel nuts.
- Check your mud guard and mud flap are secure.
- Move to the rear of the vehicle check lights are all working including registration plate light, if a rear camera is fitted clean the lens if needed, if you have double back wheels bend down and look to make sure the tyres don’t touch in the middle indicating low tyre pressures.
- Continue to check the nearside of the vehicle with the same process as you walk around checking the rear wheels, mud guard, side rails, body and marker lights.
- Continue down the passengers side front checking the mirror is not cracked and the wheel nuts, tyre and valve cap are all in good condition.
- move to the front of the vehicle check that your windscreen wiper blades are in good condition and not perished, and all the lights are in working order.
- You may need to ask somebody to help you check brake lights and reversing lights but if no-one is available try to see a reflection off something behind you.
- At this point you are now back at the drivers door, get into the vehicle using three points of contact start the engine and check for excessive smoke.
- Check the horn is working and reversing bleeper is sounding, this may not be possible to do in a built up area early in the morning so do this on route as soon as possible.
- In a comfortable sitting position make sure your seat is adjusted correctly and that you can see correctly in all mirrors adjust as necessary.
- When your checks are complete fill in your defect book with any defects found or record that everything is satisfactory.
- If defects are found hand the information to your office or workshop to rectify any problems before driving the vehicle.
- Finally check your load is secure making sure all straps, doors, shutters, tail lift, tank valves and lids, vents, etc are all in a secure manner.
- If you are checking an articulated vehicle it is the same process but you will also need to check air lines, suzie connections, rear registration plate matches unit, legs are up and secure, trailer parking brake is operational, fifth wheel is secure and safety chain attached, rear cab work light is working.
HGV driver walk round vehicle checks complete – Good to go!
You may find you have your own method of walking round your vehicle you may prefer to walk around the vehicle the opposite way, but as long as everything is checked properly before driving you should be good to go in the knowledge that everything is working, safe and your HGV vehicle is road legal.
Try to check your vehicle the same way every day so that you get into a routine, if you get distracted by a colleague or called into the office during your checks start the walk round checks from the beginning when you return to the vehicle so you are sure that everything is checked properly.
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