The Daily Walk Round Check is a legal and moral obligation for operators and drivers
Undertaken by the driver before he or she starts their journey, the purpose of the check is to ensure the vehicle is roadworthy, the load secure and that neither is a danger to other road users and pedestrians.
Failure to meet the required standards at a DVSA roadside check could, depending on what’s wrong, lead to penalty points on the driver’s licence. For the operator it could lead to the issue of a Prohibition Notice, a visit from DVSA inspectors and possible prosecution.
The Walk Round Check is looking for answers to these questions:
- Does everything work?
- Is everything secure?
- Have you proper control over the vehicle?
- Is anything damaged or missing?
- Does the vehicle create a nuisance?
- Could anything on the vehicle harm anyone?
1. Inside the cab
- Is access to the vehicle clean, safe and undamaged?
- Check the seat to ensure it is secure, and adjust to give maximum control and vision
- If a seat belt is fitted, check that it works and ensure that you use it
- Check that your view to the front is clear
- Make sure the Operator’s licence is present and valid
- Check that the tachograph is operating correctly
- Check your mirrors to ensure they are correctly adjusted
- Ensure that your view of the mirrors is not obscured in any way
- Switch on the electrics so you can check wipers, washers, lights and all other electrical components
- Check that all dashboard warning lamps work correctly
- Check that the horn is working correctly
- Check your driving controls: steering, parking brake and footbrake
- Operate the footbrake to ensure that it is working on both tractor and trailer
- Press the brake, release and listen to see if air exhausts from tractor and trailer
- If the vehicle is fitted with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), check that this is operating correctly
- Start the engine so you can listen for air leaks, and check exhaust emissions for excessive noise or smoke
2. Wheels and Tyres
Spotting tyre wear can be difficult, so carry out these checks with particular care:
- Look at the tyre walls and tread for signs of scrubbing, exposed cord, any bulges or tears
- Do any of the tyres look under-inflated? (especially on the inner tyre on twin wheel sets)
- Now take a look at the wheels for missing wheel nuts
- Visually inspect the wheel nuts to ensure they show no sign of becoming loose
- Check mudguard security and fitment of spray suppression equipment
3. Fuel tank, fluids & couplings
- Check the level of engine oil, fuel, coolant and windscreen wash
- Check the fuel tank for any leaks
- Check the fuel cap to ensure it is securely fastened
- Check the air-pipes for leaks
- Check that the connectors are secure and operating
- Look for wear and tear to the brake lines
- Take a look at the fifth wheel coupling. Is the trailer sitting properly on it?
- Check that the safety bar is back in the correct position and the safety device is correctly in place
- Look at the whole of the trailer (remember to do both sides!):
- is anything loose?
- has anything changed?
- is anything missing?
- are there any jagged edges that could injure anybody walking past?
- Check straps, side curtains, sideguards and side master lamps
- Trailer landing legs should be fully raised with the handle in position
- Check the load either on or within the bodywork to ensure:
- the weight is distributed correctly across axles
- securing devices have been correctly applied and tightened
- containers have a secondary locking device fitted
- Check the side reflectors
- Check the bodywork
- Are the loading doors secure?
5. Front & rear of the vehicle
- Check windscreen and mirrors are clean and secure
- Switch on the vehicle lights so you can check that they’re working on the tractor and the trailer
- Use a reflective surface to check that your stop lights are working
- Check all marker lights and reflectors
And finally… Just as you move off, apply the brakes at a slow speed to ensure they are working.
The list of Walk Round Checks is not exhaustive and is only a guideline.