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HGV Daily Checks: A Guide

Sep 22, 2020

Drivers, vehicle operators and transport and fleet managers have a responsibility and duty to ensure that the vehicles they operate are safe to drive and roadworthy.

And whilst this is true of all vehicle types, there are specific checks that must be carried out for lorries or other HGV’s daily, before the start of a journey.

Read our guide to HGV daily checks for more information.

What is an HGV daily check?

HGV daily checks are the responsibility of drivers, transport managers and vehicle operators.

Also referred to as walkaround checks, they must be carried out before each journey to fulfil the obligation of ensuring that a vehicle is safe to drive.

Watch this short video which gives an overview of some of the main checks that need to be completed during HGV daily checks

A full list of checks that need to be completed during the walkaround can be found here.

How long should HGV daily checks take?

HGV daily checks are relatively straightforward, but it is important to do a comprehensive, thorough check of your vehicle.

With this in mind, the exact time it takes can be variable. And importance should be placed on carrying out the checks thoroughly rather than how long the checks take.

Some sources suggest the checks should take at least 15 minutes to complete. But it may take longer than this. The important thing is to carry out all of the necessary checks before you start your journey.

What is the latest DVSA guidance about walkaround checks?

Carrying out HGV daily checks

To maintain roadworthiness the DVSA advise that these daily HGV walkaround checks must be completed

  • Before the vehicle is driven on the road each day
  • If more than one driver uses the vehicle in a day, then the driver taking charge of the vehicle should carry out their own additional daily checks to ensure the vehicle is safe for them to drive

The driver must also monitor the condition of their vehicle whilst driving and report any defects which become apparent.

Keeping a record of HGV daily checks

The driver must record all of the defects found during the daily checks and any which become apparent during a journey. It is recommended that an agreed form or system is used to record these checks.

Forms should be used to record that the relevant checks have been carried out each day. If no defects are found the DVSA guidance states that  a ‘nil’ reporting method be used which confirms checks were made but no defects found.

If defects are found, records should include:

  • the vehicle registration
  • the date
  • details of the defects or symptoms
  • your assessment of the defects (for example, ‘dangerous’)
  • your name
  • who the defect was reported to
  • rectification work
  • date rectification work was completed

Records should be reported to a responsible person who has the ability to request remedial action. Records should be kept and be available for 15 months.

If any defects are found with the vehicle which may impact safety, the vehicle must not be used until it is repaired.

Responsibility for HGV daily checks

Drivers are legally responsible for the condition of the HGV that they are driving so the driver must carry out the daily checks.

But transport managers and vehicle operators must ensure that their processes include daily HGV checks. They must also ensure that drivers are made aware of their legal responsibilities with regards to:

  • Vehicle condition
  • Procedures for reporting defects

The DVSA recommends that responsibilities are detailed in writing, drivers must be adequately trained, and drivers must sign to confirm they have received a written copy of their responsibilities and understand what is required of them.

Consequences of not carrying out HGV daily checks

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can stop you and ask you to complete the daily checks on your vehicle. Or request a copy of the records which show that you have completed the necessary daily checks.

If any defects are found on a vehicle during one of these checks, drivers can be stopped from driving until the defect is fixed. Or a fine can be issued to the driver.

Unlimited fines and a prison sentences can be issued for using an HGV in a dangerous condition.

For full details of the DVSA guidance when it comes to maintaining roadworthiness and responsibilities refer to this document.

At Anthony Jones we have a specialist team of fleet insurance specialists. They can help understand your insurance needs as well as your risk management profile to ensure that you meet all of your legal obligations. We are also partnered with Cardinus who are a global risk and safety partner for fleet management services. For more information on how we could help you and your fleet get in touch with us today on 020 8290 9099 or email us at commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.


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