HGV drivers are not only responsible for the goods that they carry in their vehicle, but for the maintenance and safety of the vehicle itself. Whether the drivers at Drive Personnel work in a 7.5 tonne, rigid or artic, walkaround checks are an essential part of their daily routine and are legally required to ensure the safety of the driver, the freight and other road users.

What is a daily walkaround check?

Daily walkarounds are conducted by drivers to check the inside and outside of the lorry or other HGV and to confirm that the vehicle is safe to drive. It is the responsibility of the driver to thoroughly check their vehicles every working day or be at risk of facing financial penalties.

When drivers are examining the inside of their vehicle, it is imperative that they check:

  • Mirrors
  • Glass
  • Windscreen wipers
  • Windscreen washers
  • Front view
  • Dashboard warning lights
  • Dashboard gauges
  • Steering
  • Horn
  • Brakes
  • Air build-up in brakes system
  • Height marker
  • Seatbelts

These checks include noting any obvious physical defects such as discolouration or damage of the windscreen or mirrors, as well as checking the handling of vehicle through the steering and brakes.

Drivers must also check the exterior of their vehicle, including:

  • Lights
  • Indicators
  • Fuel and oil leaks
  • Battery
  • Diesel exhaust fluid
  • Security of body and wings
  • Spray suppression
  • Tyres and wheel fixing
  • Brake lines
  • Trailer parking brake
  • Electrical connections
  • Coupling security
  • Number plate
  • Markings and warning plates
  • Reflectors

A third element of the daily walkaround checks includes checking the security of the HGV’s load. Drivers must ensure that the load is secure and not likely to move during transit. If the load does not seem secure, drivers must ask the person in charge of vehicle safety to find a competent person to assess the load, reload or re-secure the load if necessary.

How should drivers record and report their findings?

In order to secure an audit trail and comply with health and safety regulations, drivers must record their findings and report any vehicle safety breaches to their employer. When recording the walkaround check, drivers must report:

  • The vehicle registration
  • Date
  • Details of defect/s
  • Assessment of the defects (e.g.: ‘dangerous’)
  • Name of driver
  • Name and title of the person the defects were reported to

The form used to record the daily walkaround should include the entire list of items being checked; items without defects should be marked as ‘nil’. If you are ensure about what your form should look like, download this template or ask your employer.

What are the consequences of failing to properly conduct a daily walkaround check?

Dismissing the importance of daily walkarounds can not only result in financial penalties but could result in a serious accident if your HGV is unroadworthy. The Driving Vehicle and Standards Agency have the right to request a record of your daily walkaround checks at any time, and failure to produce an accurate, up-to-date record can result in unlimited fines and a prison sentence. If you still feel unsure about walkarounds, check out these resources or contact Drive Personnel about further training by calling 02380 695 600.

About Drive Personnel

Drive Personnel is a specialist driver recruitment agency based in Southampton. We support our drivers and help them maximise their earning potential by providing training and professional development including further HGV Driver Training, Driver CPC Training, ADR, Moffett, HIAB and other advanced training. The team at Drive Personnel are experts in placing drivers in a range of temporary and permanent roles throughout Eastleigh, Southampton, Portsmouth, Fareham and Winchester. If you’re a driver looking for work or a client looking for a driver agency that can provide top-quality logistics staff, call us on 02380 695 600 or send us an email.