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Helping you carry out effective daily walkaround checks

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Enforcement, Features, Guides and reports

a red lorry driving along the motorway

Daily walkaround checks are part of the commitment operators make to get the O licence and they’re vital for road safety; we all know the consequences a lost wheel or not knowing the height of your vehicle could have. 

As drivers are legally responsible for the condition of the heavy vehicle they are driving they must carry out these walkaround checks. The results of the checks must be recorded and any safety defects must be reported and fixed before the vehicle is driven. 

We recommend these checks are carried out before the vehicle is driven on the road each day.  If more than one driver uses a vehicle during the day, the driver taking charge should make sure it is roadworthy and safe to drive by carrying out their own walkaround check before setting off.

So, to help you do these we've updated our guidance and published a new video, showing you what you need to do.

Read the new guidance on 

Preventing bridge strikes 

a lorry stuck under a bridge

One reason we've updated the guidance and video is to help prevent bridge strikes.  

By making sure drivers check, record and fully appreciate the height of both their vehicle and load height each day, it can help prevent drivers striking bridges which are not high enough. 

Network Rail recorded nearly 2000 bridge strikes in 2017 to 18, that’s nearly 40 every week!

As the figure keeps rising over the last 10 years, we wanted to remind drivers to check their vehicle's height.  

As well as being dangerous, bridge strikes cost the UK taxpayer around £23 million a year to repair, as well as landing the owner of the vehicle with substantial costs. 

Network Rail research shows that 43% of lorry drivers admit to not measuring their vehicle before heading out on the road.  

Reporting in-service defects 

So, as well as carrying out a check before driving, it's important drivers’ continue to monitor their vehicle and report any safety defect that occur on the journey too. This could mean the vehicle needs to be repaired at the roadside or recovered to a workshop to make it safe to drive. 

New improved online guide 

Our new walkaround check guide has been designed to make the walkaround check guidance easier to understand for both PSV and HGV Drivers.

In the last 5 years, the percentage of people accessing the guide using a mobile has almost tripled (12.5% to 32.9%), so we've designed the new guide with this mind.

The guidance also more clearly reflects what our Vehicle Examiners look for during roadside checks.

An updated video

To reflect what's covered in the new guidance, we’ve made a new video walkaround check video too.

You can watch it below.


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  1. Comment by David posted on

    How do I down load this video?

  2. Comment by Cliff Elliott posted on

    Much better than the last one.
    Do you do a specific PSV one?

  3. Comment by Donald posted on

    Does anyone know if there is a handy App to help document these checks using a mobile phone?

  4. Comment by Kevin posted on

    I find it quite strange on vehicle heights that you keep asking the drivers to check there height .If your vehicle is over 10 ft tall then the owner of the vehicle is obliged to install a height indicator in the cab . What I would like to see happen is the operator of the vehicle should be 100% lie able if there have put the height of the vehicle wrong thos misleading the driver and vi Versa if the driver loads above that height he is to blame , I think this would reduce bridge strikes. People that say it’s the drivers responsibility should try to measure a vehicles height its nearly impossible to measure . If anybody doesn’t agree with me then I would ask then to get a tape measure out go to a lorry park and measure heights of wagons there lots of deferent type to measure, some driver can be on several different vehicles in one week

    • Replies to Kevin>

      Comment by Charles Dale posted on

      Totally agree. Impractical to measure the height so have to rely on height indicator. Would help if there are height sensors near bridge, especially if you are diverted.

      • Replies to Charles Dale>

        Comment by Sh posted on

        Measuring stick?? Very handy an used by all car Transporter drivers

  5. Comment by Kenny Allison posted on

    Can you make one for Coaches. I understand that most of the LGV checks are relevant but some are not.

    • Replies to Kenny Allison>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Yes, we are planning on producing a PSV version of this.

      • Replies to Peter (DVSA)>

        Comment by Kenny Allison posted on

        Thank you very much.

  6. Comment by Suzanne Symons posted on

    Please can you do a diagram which prints at a reasonable size on A4. Thank you.

    • Replies to Suzanne Symons>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Suzanne, if you set your print options to 'fit to page' this diagram will print off on A4. I've just tried it and it works! I hope this helps.

  7. Comment by Colin Galway posted on

    Good Video, easy to follow, concise and to the point ,,, well done

  8. Comment by Bernie Emmerson posted on

    A much better video than the last but I think maybe the section tyres should have the legal limits with some pop up pictures on.
    As far to many drivers are not aware if tread depth and side/general damage that make a tyre illegal.

  9. Comment by Debbie posted on

    Would of been handy to mention inserting your tachograph and selecting other work is the first thing you do before starting your checks!

  10. Comment by Steve posted on

    There is a staggeringly obvious omission of any useful information related to PCV walk-round checks in your blog. What happened, DVSA ?

    Is there perhaps a lack of funding to produce a an updated, professional ‘walk-round’ video for the bus/coach industry ? An improvement to the ageing 27-minute long (VOSA) video starring Jake Fawcett and Sophie Long is long overdue ! NB: It took 38 seconds before Jake began repeatedly using the term ‘his’, leaving the zealots an opportunity to claim VOSA uses sexist language.

    Jake shied away from confirming the DVSA (unwritten) expectation that a driver should prove his/her devotion to a minimum 15-minute walk-round.

    Some people in the industry might possibly believe you have produced a good video for the LGV world, but from my stand-point it needs more detail. Something as thorough as the Fawcett/Long video would be more impressive.

    Although you referred to your ‘new improved online guide’, for PSVs, you lost the opportunity to provide a convenient hyper-link directly to the relevant GOV.UK page. Most drivers would not have the time to search for it. I tried searching for it, without easy success.

    Buses are also involved in bridge strikes.

    My lasting impression is that the bus/coach industry has come across as the ‘poor relation’ in this ‘Moving On’ blog. Please prove me wrong ?

  11. Comment by Jemma posted on

    Is there likely to be a PSV version?

    • Replies to Jemma>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Yes, we are planning on producing a PSV version of this.

    • Replies to Jemma>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Jemma, yes we are planning on producing a PSV version of this.

      • Replies to Peter (DVSA)>

        Comment by Jemma posted on

        That’s great I’ll look out for it

  12. Comment by Paul Edwards posted on

    Will there be an update to the PSV video?

    • Replies to Paul Edwards>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Yes, we are planning on producing a PSV version of this.

    • Replies to Paul Edwards>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Paul, yes we are planning on producing a PSV version of this.

      • Replies to Peter (DVSA)>

        Comment by Paul Edwards posted on

        Thank you Peter.

  13. Comment by Trevor Coltman posted on

    If you had to prioritise and pick the five most important checks (maybe the most common defects) what would they be?

    • Replies to Trevor Coltman>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Trevor, the top 5 prohibition defects (lamps and insecure load are high on the list and are obviously something drivers should also check) are as follows for each type of vehicle:


      1. Doors and PSV Passenger Doors
      2. Condition of Tyres
      3. Brake Systems and Components
      4. Seat Belts and Supplementary Restraint systems
      5. Interior of Body


      1. Condition of Tyres
      2. Brake Systems and Components
      3. Direction Indicators and Hazard Warning Lamps
      4. Steering Mechanism
      5. Service Brake Operation


      1. Condition of Tyres
      2. Brake Systems and Components
      3. Spray Suppression, Wings and Wheel Arches
      4. Suspension
      5. Service Brake Operation

  14. Comment by Steve F posted on

    Good video but the health and safety would have an issue running his hand around wheels tyres and bodywork with no safety gloves but that's a bit picky as somebody has already said far improved on the old one. Also short enough for drivers not to switch off, good effort.

  15. Comment by J Adams posted on

    It would be lovely if you could also post a walk round check video for PCV vehicles as we seem to get left out of most specified material, it always seems to be HGV related...

  16. Comment by Bill Henderson posted on

    Good little video not too long, however two points to note not wearing gloves when doing checks means dirty controls, not checking tachograph a first port of call before checks could then leave a driver with problems ! But overallqiute good .

  17. Comment by Asha Kadara posted on

    Clear and concise, easier to follow than previous videos and not lengthy. I will also use it as part of the DCPC and tool box talks.

    • Replies to Asha Kadara>

      Comment by Bill Henderson posted on

      Good little video , check for leaks then put your digi card into the tachograph and then do the drivers checks, and wear gloves (bad practice, dirty hands) to do external checks but overall I will use this in tool box talk .

  18. Comment by Mark Bickford posted on

    Nice video, the old walk around check video was poor. I will incorporate this into my Defect Reporting CPC course.

  19. Comment by Bob posted on

    having been driving for over 40 years, it would be helpful to have bridges in both feet, inches and metric, as some are one or the other, some vehicles also same, it would be helpful to have a std.

  20. Comment by Reg Rose posted on

    I am a Driver,Transport Operator and a Vehicle Inspector.
    Your Defect Report Sheet Example still does not show a tick box to show Height or Height markers checked by Drivers,so it's quite pointless bleating on,if the DVSA Example isn't right?
    As a Semi Professional Organisation the DVSA should be 2 years ahead of the Transport Industry,Most Inspectors,I have spoken to over the years,have no experience of operating in a Driver or Operators Mode,most come from a Mechanical Engineering back ground.Having never Loaded or Driven a loaded vehicle.
    The DVSA should pull on the experience of Retired Drivers to make our Roads Safer,instead of theoretical instances,or penalising those who through in-experience go wrong.DVSA need to concentrate on catching up with the Frieght Industries impingement caused by overcrowded roads,Lack of investment or diversification of funding by Highways England,IE high Salaries(more than the PM) at the top.
    All Car Drivers should be introduced to LGV,Large PSV Cabs, to see what a Commercial Driver see's,Maybe in a Simulated Mode, with Video, of a Truck/Bus in motion.
    Why don't the DVSA, put pressure on Police Forces, to enforce the Center Lane hogging by the Fuel Savers, why don't the DVSA,Police and Highway Authorities utilise the numerous camera's dotted along the major routes, record and fine those that cause the holdups on our road.
    Why don't the DVSA approach Highways to place 60 MPH Minimum Speed Limits on Social Vehicles(Cars),some driven at 40MPH in the inside lane,DVSA/Highways you are 30 years behind most of the Western World, What Idiot thought of Smart Motorways,Driver Education and Enforcement would eliminate UK Road Problems.7 Year Retest along with Mental Ability Test on all test.

  21. Comment by Justine posted on

    Let’s see one specific to buses and minibuses please we feel left out lol

    • Replies to Justine>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Hi Justine, yes we are planning on producing a PSV version of this.

  22. Comment by Reg Rose posted on

    Why don't Rail track install slapper boards before every bridge,they had them fitted to the exit to all freight yards,when it was a railway,
    other countries fit them, we are inundated by out of date,Victorian Bridges both under and over railways, due to lack of investment from Governments, that insist on having quango departments within the infrastructure,of the rail and road networks.

  23. Comment by David Quinney posted on

    Could I assume the PCV version will be updated soon?

    • Replies to David Quinney>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Hi David, yes we are planning on producing an updated PSV version of this.

  24. Comment by Julie posted on

    When can we expect the PSV version?

  25. Comment by Fred Ewin posted on

    Good video will make part our Tool Box talks, to further enforce the need to be clinical on the walk round checks.

    • Replies to Fred Ewin>

      Comment by Chris Holloway posted on

      These checks have been on my digital walk round checks on the Motorwaybuddy app for the past 12 months.

      Please feel free to contact me @ for more details