Prior to the commencement of any journey using a Heavy Goods Vehicle, there are a number of things that a driver must check to ensure that the vehicle is safe to drive.

Government guidance states these inspections should be undertaken at the beginning of each driving day by the driver, or alternatively another responsible person. A minimum of one check per 24-hour period must take place, these checks will include a walkaround inspection of the exterior of the vehicle. For those vehicles with multiple trailers, each must be checked individually, as well as ensuring a number of interior features are working adequately.

Heavy Goods Vehicle

External walkaround checks should include:

  • Brake lines
  • Security of load
  • Markers
  • Reflectors
  • Tyres and wheel fixing
  • Spray suppression
  • Security of body/wings
  • Battery security and condition
  • Coupling security
  • Fuel and oil leaks
  • Lights and indicators

Internal checks should include:

  • Mirror and glass condition
  • Brakes
  • Assessing any obstructions to front view
  • Steering
  • Horn
  • Excessive engine exhaust smoke
  • Windscreen washers and wipers
  • Warning lamp

Of course, a number of these inspections may not be feasible for a single person, such as break lights or excessive engine exhaust smoke. Therefore, assistance should be sought to adequately check these aspects.

Following initial checks, drivers must also continually assess the roadworthiness of a vehicle as it is being driven, listening for vibrations or other suspect noises as well as warning lights.

Reporting road-worthiness

Thorough reports should be made of each inspection, reporting and recording faults that will impact the roadworthiness of a vehicle, as well as noting how these faults were rectified prior to driving.

For more information, take a look at the Government guide to maintaining roadworthiness and their diagram on HGV walk around checks.

When recruiting drivers, we ensure that candidates have exhaustive knowledge and experience of all aspects of driving safety, including carrying out these vital checks prior to the beginning of any journey. Failure to carry out these checks ultimately reflects poorly on an employer, and therefore compliance with DVLA regulations is at the forefront of all recruitment we carry out. Get in touch with our team today to find your ideal driver.