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Paying the price for ineffective maintenance

A skip operator’s application to increase the fleet from two to six vehicles was refused and the licence revoked for poor maintenance. When the DVSA visited the operator, the examiner found no recorded brake testing or safety inspections for a period of 36 weeks. Walkaround driver vehicle safety checks and reporting were also found to be ineffective. No surprise that the operator had a 100% test failure rate at annual test.

In these circumstances the Traffic Commissioner had no option but to refuse the application and take further action, see here for more information.

Maintaining a roadworthy fleet should be a given and there is no defence for seeking to gain a competitive advantage by attempting to short-cut essential maintenance practices. The 2018 edition of the roadworthiness guide provides a useful reminder.

It has been reported that over 80% of roadside prohibitions due to roadworthiness could have been avoided if an effective walk-around vehicle safety check had taken place. Ensuring these checks take place and defects are reported and dealt with is a good place to start in safeguarding roadworthiness. You can download the DVSAs guide to HGV driver’s daily walkaround checks here.

Descartes is releasing a new mobile electronic Driver Vehicle Safety Check App (SmartCheck) in the near-future to eliminate the delays and inaccuracies of re-keying vehicle check data from paper report books. Any operators interested in getting advance information and costs should email servicedesk@descartes.com.

Posted on: 21.08.2018

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