Daily Vehicle Checks

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Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby captainkidd » Thu May 20, 2010 3:17 pm

Iam looking for some advice from anyone in the know about H+S regarding dailey van checks.

I have been asked/told to do the daily checks on my van before i start for work in the morning which is something iam no happy about as i have never had any advice/training on how to do this and wont be getting any as have been told that its all "common sense" the checks are approx 25 things and include some of the following which are of most concern to me -

Check condition of wheels and that they are secure

Check hand brake and foot brake are operational

Check driving controls/steering for wear and operation

Check fluid levels (oil/water etc)


The rest of the checks iam not to bothered about such as lights, horn, tax disc and body damage etc, these i dont mind but its not far from a serice i would be doing on my van every morning and with having no training on this i would be greatfull if someone could point me in the right direction.
Also is there any offical web links that someone could post regarding the matter, i have done a search on goggle but found nothing thats for deifnate

Thanks
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Keith1983 » Thu May 20, 2010 3:21 pm

I think asking the driver of a vehicle to do these checks is fine. Simply ask the person who is telling you to do these to do it with you a few times until you get to know how to do these checks. I think the request is reasonable as long as they are not expecting you to go into too much detail. I would say any checks requiring tools would be too much, but quick visual checks and checking the wheels by having a quick pull on them is fine.
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby bigrob019 » Thu May 20, 2010 3:26 pm

I agree with Keith, the driver should do the checks after all if you get pulled by the police it is the driver that gets the points and fine for a bald tire etc. Had a problem with this before and I trained all my drivers up on the issues concerned and once that was done they were more than happy to check them. I also supplied them with a check sheet to work from to record what they have done.
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby captainkidd » Thu May 20, 2010 3:44 pm

Thanks for the quick replies, regarding the wheel condtion/security i asked about how i would check they are secure, he said you just need to look at the wheel nuts and not touch the wheel at all, in my opinion you cant tell if a wheel is secure just by looking at it. I'll leave things as they are for now, dont want any unnecessary hassle.


Bigrob019 - when you say you trained your drivers up how did you go about this, was it yourself showing your drivers round the vehicles or did you get a mechanic etc in to show them?
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Alexis » Thu May 20, 2010 4:25 pm

Hi captainkidd and welcome. :wave:

Companies really need to have these checks in place, but I do think they should actually show people just what they want them to do, so I am certainly on your side with regards to the training even it only consists of a 15 minute toolbox talk to yourself and colleagues.

I would ask your H&S person or your Safety Rep. if you have one, to do a small toolbox talk just to be sure you know what is required.

There is a good leaflet from the HSE which tells you all about your companies duties to comply with H&S Legislation. You can access it by clicking this link. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg382.pdf

I am sure all will fall into place once you and your colleagues are shown exactly what is required.
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Reddwarf » Thu May 20, 2010 4:29 pm

Captainkidd

This is what i would call paying lip service. the company are saying for you to do daily checks because they have to not because they want to. They can't provide you a check list or show you because they don't know themselves. If you are driving a different vehicle very day then you would need to check everything if you have the same car day in day out then the tyres are suddenly going to go bald over night.

Most checks you would probably do automatically without realising Like any engine warning lights on the dash board when you switch the ignition on, the seatbelt is in good order, the brakes appear to work correctly I'm sure you will notice very quickly if something wasn't right, same with steering. Other things will require a bit closer inspection like tyres for baldness or uneven wear the light are working correctly indicators brake head reverse and fog if fitted. You might consider looking under the bonnet but if you feel you have the necessary knowledge oil radiator level and wash screen topup.

Certainly you are not there to get tools out as you are not a mechanic and it's down to the company to ensure the car is serviced correctly as well as MOT tax and insurance. If you feel that this is the company might neglect then ask to see copies as it is you that could end up with points or a fine if they are not.

I'm sure other could add more checks but these are the mains ones i can think of as i sit here typing. one source might be from the modern day version of the driving test as I'm sure they now require students to demonstrate a basic understanding of checking a vehicle.

I'm sure you are an intelligent person and can no doubt put together a document for your company and other driver will find useful. I'm sure your company will appreciate you being so pro-active and creating a document there is no reason why you can't as everyone has a part to play in health and safety in a company not just the person with the title on their door.

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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Peter Cary » Thu May 20, 2010 4:37 pm

Hi Captainkidd,

Speaking as Fleet Trainer Approved Driving Instructor, I am very disappointed to hear that your Boss is expecting you to carry out essential safety checks, but has not given you any training on what should be done AND has no intention of doing so this would appear to be a complete lack of duty of care on his/her part.

Relying on that VERY RARE COMMODITY, common sense can come back and bite with a vengeance.

Only on Tuesday I attended a meeting where we discussed an "accident" involving a JCB off road vechile, travelling down a grassy slope at less than 10 m.p.h where one person was killed and another had suffered life changing injuries and the boss was fined £2,500,000 because he relied on the driver (a university graduate, uninjured in the incident but who will have to live with the consequences of what he did to his friends) using their common sense, the driver was sentenced to two years imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving, suspended for five years solely because the court felt the boss was greatly to blame for the death because of the almost total lack of training and there was NO documented proof that any had been given.

Driving a van is totally different to driving a car and one should have under gone a familiarisation course which would have included daily checks.

Depending on the type and/or size of your van you may also be subject to different speed limits than when driving a car, and I have come across drivers who are driving some vans that exceed their licence restrictions or asked to tow trailers they are not allowed to tow without passing another test, purely because the employer was unaware of the changes in legislation.

And/or require Tachographs to be fitted to them.

BUT.....

It is the driver who will be fined and receive the penality points for breaking the law, as ignorance is NO DEFENCE.

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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby bigrob019 » Thu May 20, 2010 6:09 pm

Bigrob019 - when you say you trained your drivers up how did you go about this, was it yourself showing your drivers round the vehicles or did you get a mechanic etc in to show them?


I trained them myself, as having spent 20 odd years in the Forces it was drummed into me to do these checks, so I called on my past experience. In my opinion some training was better that none.
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Brett Day SP » Thu May 20, 2010 10:18 pm

Ok here are some standard basic vehicle checks:

Basic car checks can be summed up by the acronym POWER:

P: Petrol (fuel including diesel or LPG), a full tank or at least twice what you will need for your journey.

O: Oils (including power steering and transmission) engine oil should be at least halfway to the top of the dipstick – other oils / fluids will have levels in your manual. A little 3 in 1 oil or WD40 in the locks will help prevent them freezing you out of the car.

W: Water (screen wash and coolant) a good winter mix for screen wash can be made of screen wash concentrate, a shot of washing up liquid and 200ml of methylated spirit per 5 litres of water (most cars have a 4.5 or 5 litre tank). Coolant should already have the right amount of anti freeze, but can be checked with a simple kit.

E: Electrics (battery, bulbs heated screen etc) is your battery a sealed unit in which case there is little to check many have a green ‘OK’ dot in a window if the electrolyte is down or the battery is near the end of its life it will show red. Old style batteries may need a top up charge in very cold weather and a top up of the water with distilled water (also known as deionised water).

Bulbs inside and out should be checked and make sure lenses are clean before setting off (a clean lens picks up less dirt that an already dirty lens), check the lights inside the car including the dashboard lights – when you turn on the electrics most cars illuminate all the warning lights on the dash as a self test. Check that your heater & demister fans work as well.

R: Rubber (wiper blades and tyres) Check that wiper blades are in good condition and not cracking, torn, split or with the edges curled over as this will reduce their effectiveness, a quick wipe with a rag soaked in methylated spirit will remove a lot of muck and road film that can build up.

Tyres need to be at the right pressures, the days of summer and winter pressures on tyres no longer really applies to most road tyres, the main exceptions are specific off road tyres, snow and winter tyres (the latter rarely used in the UK), check the sidewalls and tread for damage, impacted stones or bits of glass. Likewise check the tread for depth, the UK standard is 1.6mm across 2/3 of the tyre, however, it is recommended that tyres should be changed at around 3mm tread depth as the tyre will have lost 70% of it’s grip. Uneven tread wear can indicate problems with inflation and tracking (Uneven tread wear can also indicate problems with wear in the steering mechanism).

As for the handbrake, the mot standard is that the handbrake should fully engage with 3-5 clicks on the ratchet dependant on type and age of vehicle (according to a friendly MoT tester older cars had a longer action on the handbrake).

Footbrake - even with the engine off (though this is best done with the engine on) you should feel the pressure on the brakes steadily build up - it should feel firm if the brakes feel 'spongy' or release pressure then start to build up again it can indicate either water in the brake fluid or a small leak in the system - either way do not drive and get it checked out.

Wheel nuts - they cannot be checked using the mark one eyeball alone - some commercial vehicles use indicators - they are set on the nuts with a pair facing each other if they do not align then it can indicate that they may be coming lose, garages use (or should) proper torque wrenches for setting wheel nuts as per manufacturers specs. First check I make is are they hand tight then use a wheel brace (the extending ones are pretty good) if you can put your foot on the end and the nut doesn't turn when you are pushing down with your body weight it's pretty tight (not as precise as a torque wrench but a good field guide).

For your fluids - check the manual this should give you the location of reservoirs, filling points, fluid type and grades needed.

Hope that's of use, if you need any more info please yell.

It does really bug me that so many companies that require employees to drive all trot out the same rubbish about performing daily/weekly/monthly checks etc yet despite it not being taught to learner drivers nor is it part of the test expect company drivers to know what these checks are and how to perform them.

Sorry captainkidd that wasn't aimed at you, just a rant over a pet peeve of mine at employers who seem to view driver safety as 'outside' of 'normal' H&S often (IMO) because they haven't a clue themselves.
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Brett Day SP » Thu May 20, 2010 10:23 pm

The POWER Checks are from the IAM / Police Class 1 and Roadcraft.

Big Rob - I'm ex RAF and they used to call the checks 'First Works' am assuming that was the same name you were used to?
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Johnno » Thu May 20, 2010 11:09 pm

Anyone with any kind of UK Road Licence should already be doing these checks on their own personal Vehicles surely?
Are we now a society that just jumps in and razzs off? :(
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Re: Daily Vehicle Checks

Postby Keith1983 » Fri May 21, 2010 8:04 am

Johnno wrote:Anyone with any kind of UK Road Licence should already be doing these checks on their own personal Vehicles surely?
Are we now a society that just jumps in and razzs off? :(



I see where you're coming from Johnno, but I think we all know that alot of this is also about demonstrating competence through training records etc when it comes to a company vehicle. I must admit that since the arrival of our little girl (18 months ago) I am alot more thorough when it comes to making sure the car is in good condition and luckily I have the knowledge and skills to do this myself. When it comes to a works vehicle though I think things are a bit different and it isn't only necessary to ensure there is a paper trail for correct training, checks, maintenance etc but not everybody has the skills and knowledge to do these properly and it can't be assumed they have just because they have a driving licence.
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