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The Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness has been updated

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Guides and reports, Maintenance workshop

Articulated lorry

Today, Monday 23 April 2018, we've updated the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.

It'll still give you advice on different types of inspection, inspections intervals, data storage, and essential reviews.

But, by working with the industry, we've made changes that will improve the guidance for operators and maintenance providers.

So, I wanted to let you know about some of the most important changes we've made.

Removing the inspection frequency graph

After listening to you, we learned that some of you felt that the graph at Annex 4 was too rigid and didn’t encourage basing intervals on real life.

We've now included a table with examples of time-based frequency for various operating conditions using case studies. These encourage you to take a proactive approach to inspection frequency management.

Including other guidance

We've issued guides for IT for Vehicle Maintenance Systems and for Electronic Braking Performance Monitoring System (EBPMS) since we last updated the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.

We've now incorporated the information from these guides into the 2018 edition, so it can all be easily accessed in one location.

Safety inspection and repair facilities

We've updated this section to highlight that inspection facilities need to be adequate for the job, even if the inspection is contracted out.

We also strongly recommend that workshops and technicians should achieve a recognised quality standard, such as IRTE accreditation scheme.

Tyre management

Tyre defects are some of the most common defects our enforcement staff come across.

To give you more help in keeping your tyres up to scratch, we've added a section highlighting important aspects of tyre management including monitoring tyre age.

We've also included a link to a detailed tyre management guide produced by the road haulage and tyre industries.

Brake testing

We strongly advise that a laden roller brake test is carried out at every safety inspection. The guide now includes details of how to use EBPMS and has more advice on brake testing.

If a road test is being used to assess the brakes, we now recommend that brake temperature readings should be measured and recorded on the safety inspection report.

Emissions and air quality

Emissions are a big deal and major problem for the road haulage industry right now. That's why we've been clamping down on emissions fraud and why the HGV levy rules are changing from February 2019 to reward cleaner vehicles.

So we've added a section on exhaust emissions and have highlighted the importance of correctly maintaining the vehicle’s emissions control system.

Updated monitoring section

This section now includes details about the Earned Recognition Scheme, changes brought about by the EU Roadworthiness Directive and prohibition assessment criteria.

Other updates

Other updates include:

  • updated driver defect report, including vehicle height and AdBlue system checks
  • updated safety inspection reports, including brake temperatures and report sign-off
  • advice for using Vehicle Operator Licensing system (VOL) for maintenance updates
  • updated CEO and TCs forewords
  • updated Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) guidance

As always, we'd like to know what you think of the updates. Take a look at the new guide and let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Comment by Trevor posted on

    I will have to check, but are integral load restraint devices included? If the load restraints don't work many seem to rely on the curtains? Time and cost in testing them may be an issue but they are as important as a seat belt.

  2. Comment by John Clift posted on

    Sunday 13th May 2018, link does not work and no references to the revised document anywhere in DVSA web pages. Can someone point me to where I can get hold of a copy please!

  3. Comment by Julia (DVSA) posted on

    Some people haven't been able to access the 'Guide to maintaining roadworthiness for commercial goods and passenger vehicles'. It's published on the Safe driving for life blog. You'll need pdf viewing software to read this:

  4. Comment by Paul Clarke posted on

    No it is not. Just tried it?

  5. Comment by Allan Campbell posted on

    An essential update and read, note though re page 36 ....
    'Brake testing should be undertaken with the vehicle or trailer in a laden condition in order to achieve the most meaningful results'.
    Disappointed that statutory testing of trailers has since the early 1990s allowed this in the unladen condition....6 locks with 3000kgs minimum brake force for a pass. Thats not a meaningful test.

    Allan Campbell

    • Replies to Allan Campbell>

      Comment by Adrian Short posted on

      I agree with laden brake tests for mot & pre mot work but there will need massive investment to update garage equipment enabling work like a roadspring and many other components to be replaced on a loaded truck/ trailer if found to be defective on an inspection.
      not many operators will find time to load, brake test and unload prior to a 6 weekly inspection. The great majority of inspections are outside a drivers shift and collected the next time his/her shift begins.
      Where will the time be found at the operators expense to unload the vehicle to carry out an in depth and nessecary repair, because with a loaded vehicle there are many major items which cannot be checked when loaded. I was witness to a pit wall collapsed in a garage recently as the tech chassis jacked a vehicle whilst loaded.
      Brake tests almost always accompany a scheduled inspection.
      This will set a difficult precident for inspection facilities across the UK if this is made a mandatory rule.

  6. Comment by Trevor posted on

    Infra red heat sensors are not expensive just check the really cheap ones as they may only be for low temperatures. One available at the depot for drivers to borrow would be an improvement. They are small enough to carry about and handy for many other uses. I check tyre and hub temperatures just to compare them. (I was just curious) If any are exceptionally hot there may be a problem?
    These days a few recordings are good practice.

  7. Comment by Trevor posted on

    Will be an interesting detailed read. I can't remember when the it was last updated but the paper copy on top of the filing cabinet looks old.
    I hope there are not too many contradictions and conflicts?
    On brake testing I've been using a decelerometer for about 4 years and temp testing before that. Roller tests bi annually. After the Bath incident I bought an updated model and offered a testing service to local operators together with a heat check.
    I think 80% are oblivious to the requirements and dangers. They think accidents are something that happen to other people?
    The decelerometer may not be as good as a roller tester but it is the best money I ever spent.

  8. Comment by Brian Lafferty posted on

    A Great read for operators.

  9. Comment by Ron posted on

    Following the link at the top of the page takes me to

    and on that page is a link to download the guide, but it does not work and I get a 404 error

    • Replies to Ron>

      Comment by jameslindley posted on

      Hi Ron,

      It should be fixed now,



      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Arthur Ackema posted on

        I'm a bit confused.
        As far as I know the abbreviation LGV was always used for Light Goods Vehicle (class 4 or class 7) and HGV for Heavy Goods Vehicle.
        In the safedrivingforlive site LGV is now used for Large Goods Vehicle.
        For me it is not clear anymore where LGV stands for.
        Did I miss something?

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Martin posted on

        Still not available to download as pdf.

        • Replies to Martin>

          Comment by Paul posted on

          Link still not working.

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by David posted on

        Hi James,
        No Sorry, same problem as Ron, going to Safe Driving For Lie??

      • Replies to jameslindley>

        Comment by Mark Barrow posted on


        Link still does not appear to be fixed ?