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Thu, June 13, 2024

HGV Vehicle Checks: Ensuring Safety and Compliance

HGV Vehicle Checks: Ensuring Safety and Compliance

Regular vehicle checks for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are crucial for maintaining road safety and complying with legal requirements set by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). These daily walk-around checks, which must be conducted before taking the vehicle on the road, help prevent accidents by ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy and free from defects. Failure to perform these checks or to document them properly can result in serious consequences, including fines, points on the driver's license, and potential disqualification from driving. Therefore, adhering to these mandatory checks not only promotes safety but also ensures compliance with legal standards, thereby protecting drivers, fleet managers, and other road users.


What is the HGV Walk-Around Test?



Definition and Purpose of the HGV Walk-Around Check


The HGV walk-around check is a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of the vehicle, including any trailers. The primary purpose of this test is to identify any defects that could compromise the vehicle’s safety or operational efficiency. These checks help ensure that the vehicle meets the legal standards set by the DVSA and is safe to operate on public roads.


Key Elements Inspected During the Walk-Around Test


During a walk-around check, drivers should inspect various elements of the vehicle, including:

  • Interior Checks: Mirrors, windscreen, steering, dashboard warning lights, and seatbelts.
  • Exterior Checks: Lights and indicators, tyres and wheel fixings, body panels, and security of the load.
  • Operational Checks: Brakes, air build-up systems, horn, and exhaust emissions.



Daily Walk-Around Checks for HGVs



How Long Should an HGV Walk-Around Check Take?


An HGV walk-around check typically takes around 15 minutes, but it is crucial not to rush. Thoroughness is more important than speed. The check should be comprehensive enough to identify any potential issues, regardless of how long it takes.


Legal Requirements for HGV Walk-Around Checks


Performing daily walk-around checks is a legal requirement under DVSA regulations. These checks must be documented, and the records should be available upon request by enforcement officers. If multiple drivers use the same vehicle, each driver must conduct their own check to ensure the vehicle's continued safety throughout the day.




Daily HGV walk-around checks are vital for maintaining vehicle safety and compliance with legal standards. These checks help identify potential issues before they become serious problems, ensuring that the vehicle is roadworthy and safe to operate. By adhering to these guidelines, drivers and fleet managers can avoid fines, ensure the safety of road users, and maintain the efficiency of their operations.

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