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.
Preventing bridge strikes
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.