Managing basic vehicle safety checks

Posted by AndrewT on 13th Jul 2018

A recent study reported in CommercialFleet revealed that almost 20% of fleets surveyed did not carry out walkaround vehicle safety checks. 63% said they did conduct a walkaround check and the results were recorded on paper. A paper-based check is better than no check at all but has some major drawbacks. First, how do you know the checks were actually conducted rather than the driver just ticking boxes in the cab? There is a big administrative overhead in getting the paper reports back to the depot and doing something with them. The paper reports need to be stored and easily accessible. Paper-based reports introduces delays should any non-critical or critical issues be identified in the vehicle check. Electronic walk-around vehicle check apps are still a relatively new thing for the road transport sector and adoption is modest at this point. However, the benefits of moving to an electronic system are compelling. The time, duration and location of the check can be captured in real time to give operators confidence that the check really did take place. The information collected in the check can be fed back into the operators’ compliance management and maintenance systems in real time without the possibility of retyping errors. Pictures can be captured and attached to the report to illustrate any issues reported so the depot know exactly what to expect before the vehicle returns to the depot. The electronic data is safe and accessible making it easy to report any issues for maintenance and provide management information reports on this important aspect of compliance. Most roadside prohibitions due to roadworthiness can probably be avoided if an effective walk-around vehicle safety check takes place, making it a false economy and risk to an operators’ business if they are not done. You can download the DVSAs guide to HGV driver’s daily walkaround checks here. As you can see it is an extensive list! Descartes will be releasing a new electronic Driver Vehicle Safety Check App (SmartCheck) in the near-future. Any operators interested in getting advance information and costs should email