It is fundamental that your HGV is road safe and these roadworthy requirements rely on much more than maintenance and upkeep.

There are a number of procedures and checks that need to be performed in order to ensure that your vehicle is 100% roadworthy, and these are the responsibility for both the operators and drivers. The two essential inspections are Daily Walkaround Checks and First Use / Regular Safety Inspections.

Daily Walkaround Checks

A daily walkaround check needs to be conducted at least once every 24 hours, always before the vehicle is used. Operators can assign a driver to perform this inspection but ultimately, the driver is responsible for the condition of the vehicle when it is in use. These walkaround checks can highlight potential issues which can be addressed before the HGV is used and therefore ensure that it is road safe.

Internal Vehicle Checks

  • Windows, mirrors and windscreen – Check that every mirror is secure and aligned correctly, and there are no obstructions in your view or damaged / discoloured glass. Also, make sure your wipers are in good condition and they work together with the washers to clear the screen efficiently.
  • Horn – Check that the horn is easily accessible and works when operated.
  • Seatbelt – Make sure that your seatbelt is adjusted correctly and can fasten and release easily.
  • Steering – Check steering for excessive play and the major components underneath the vehicle to make sure they are present and undamaged.
  • Brakes – Make sure that the service brakes don’t have inefficient anti-slip provision and operates both the tractor and the trailer brakes; also check that the parking brakes are operational.
  • Tachograph – Check that it is calibrated with the correct hours and your speed-limiter plaque is displayed.
  • Warning Lights – Check that all warning lights are operating correctly including: Stopsafe, Brakesafe, ABS and EBS warning lights.

External Vehicle Checks

  • Vehicle – Check that the HGV is square and upright, the drawbar is sturdy and properly attached to the trailer, and all methods of access are stable and safe.
  • Bodywork – Check that all vehicle bodywork, including wings, guards, sides, and rear, are completely secure. Also, all fastening devices and landing legs are fastened and in working order.
  • Curtain, straps and tail lift – Check that your load is fully secure with the curtains intact and the straps fully capable of holding the desired weight. Also, check that the secondary locking device is correctly fitted and the tail lift is in perfect working condition.
  • Wheels, tyres, treads and spray suppression – Check that the wheels and tyres are in good condition, with good inflation, tread depth, and traction. Make sure there are no cords visible anywhere on the tyre and there are no loose or missing wheel-nuts. Don’t forget the location and positioning of the fifth wheel; check that the security bar is in the correct position and the spray suppression flaps have no debris or damage.
  • Steering and brakes – Check that the steering operates without issue and the brakes properly engage; make sure there are no leaks or damage to the brake lines. Check the air suspension of your trailer park brake is correctly set too.
  • Air and electrical suzies (ABS / EBS cables) – Check that the ABS and EBS cables are fitted correctly, and all electric wiring is safely connected; make sure every electrical switch works properly.
  • Lights, markings and reflectors – Check that all lights and reflectors are clean, not broken or missing, and the correct colour. If your vehicle requires marker boards, make sure they are the correct type, they are not obstructed and they are securely fastened.
  • Liquid levels, exhaust and battery – Check the engine, oil, water levels, fuel reservoir levels and look for signs of any leaks. Check that the exhaust doesn’t produce any excess noise or smoke and that the battery is held in place securely with no leaks.

Even though there are a lot of aspects and features you need to identify and examine, over time you will be able to conduct these checks in an efficient way so you don’t lose time or productivity.

First Use / Regular Safety Inspections

Regular safety inspections are separate from maintenance procedures and daily walkaround checks. The frequency of when they should be conducted depends on a few factors:

  • The age and the type of HGV
  • The type and range of operations it will engage and the nature of its load
  • The distance and speed it will travel, and the type of terrain and environment it will operate in
  • The recommendations from the manufacturer

There are also specific situations where first use and regular safety inspections should be undertaken, such as:

Hire, Loan or Lease Vehicles – In order to ensure that your hired, loaned, leased or borrowed vehicle is roadworthy, safety inspections need to be undertaken as well as daily walkaround checks. It will be the drivers responsibility to make sure that it is road safe before it is used.

Brought Into Use – When a HGV is first brought into use, or it has been used but not previously operated, it requires comprehensive first use safety inspections, unless it has already undergone Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI).

Being Returned to Use – If the vehicle has been off the road for an extended period of time, safety inspections need to be conducted on top of routine maintenance procedures.

At Cross Country Carriers, we take road safety extremely seriously and always ensure that our HGV’s are 100% roadworthy. You can rely on our trusted fleet of HGV’s for any of your pallet distribution or collection needs, so contact us today to see how we can help you.

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