HGV walkaround checks 2020: official DVSA guide

Updated: Feb 17


Check inside the vehicle



1. Mirrors and glass


Check that the windscreen is not:

crackedscratcheddiscoloured

Check that the windscreen and front side windows are not excessively tinted.

Check that all mirrors are in place and not:

damaged or missing glassobscuredinsecure

If a camera system is used instead of a mirror, check that it works and the view is correct.


2. Windscreen wipers and washers


Make sure the windscreen wipers work. Check that they are not:

missingdamaged or worn

Make sure the windscreen washer is working.


3. Front view


Check that no objects get in the way of your front view.

As a general rule, there should be nothing in the swept area of the windscreen wipers.

Some official stickers and road safety items are allowed, as long as they do not seriously block your view of the road, for example, operator licence disc.


4. Dashboard warning lights and gauges


Check that all of these are working correctly:

instrumentsgaugeswarning lights - including the engine warning, emissions system, anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic braking system (EBS)


5. Steering


Check that the steering wheel:

moves properly and that the power-assisted steering works correctlyhas no excessive playdoes not jam

Check that there’s no excessive lift or movement in the steering column.


6. Horn


Check that the horn works and is easily accessible from the driver’s seat.


7. Brakes and air build-up


Check that:

the air builds up correctly and warning system worksthere are no air leaksthe footwell is clearthe service brake operates both the tractor and trailer brakesthe parking brake for the tractor worksthe service brake pedal does not have excessive side play or missing, loose or incomplete anti-slip tread


8. Height marker


Check the correct vehicle height is displayed on the vehicle height marker in the cab.

Remember, the height can change, for example, when the fifth wheel is adjusted, or if the trailer is loaded, unloaded or reloaded.


9. Seatbelts


Check that seatbelts:

do not have any cuts, damage or fraying that may stop them from workingstay secure when you plug them inretract against you when fitted, and fully retract when you take them off


Check outside the vehicle


10. Lights and indicators


Check that:

all lights and indicators work correctlyall lenses are fitted, clean and the right colourstop lamps come on when you apply the service brake and go out when you release itmarker lights are fitted and work


11. Fuel and oil leaks


Check that the fuel filler cap is fitted correctly.

Turn on the engine and check underneath the vehicle for any fuel or oil leaks.


12. Battery security and conditions


Check that your battery is:

securein good conditionnot leaking


13. Diesel exhaust fluid (AdBlue)


Check that your diesel vehicle has enough AdBlue diesel exhaust fluid and top up if necessary.


14. Excessive engine exhaust smoke


Check that the exhaust does not emit an excessive amount of smoke.


15. Security of body and wings


Check that:

all fastening devices workcab doors and trailer doors are secure when closedbody panels on tractor or trailer are secure and not likely to fall offlanding legs (if fitted) are secure and not likely to fall off while drivingsideguards and rear under-run guards are fitted if required, and that they’re not insecure or damaged


16. Spray suppression


If spray suppression flaps are required, check that they are:

fittedsecurenot damagednot clogged with mud or debris


17. Tyres and wheel fixing


Check that:

the tyres and wheels are securethe tyres have a tread depth of at least 1mmthe tyres are inflated correctlythere are no deep cuts in the tyre’s sidewallthere is no cord visible anywhere on the tyreall wheel nuts are tight enough - you can check if wheel nut indicators (if fitted) have moved to do thisthere are no objects or debris trapped between the twin wheels


18. Brake lines and trailer parking brake


Check that:

couplings are free from debris and are in the right placethere are no leaksthere is no damage or wear to the brake linesthe parking brake for the trailer works

After the initial brake test, leave the engine running so pressure can build up. This will make it easier to hear any leaks as you carry out the rest of the walkaround check.


19. Electrical connections


Check each connection and make sure that all:

visible wiring is insulatedvisible wiring is not likely to get caught or damagedall electrical trailer couplings are connected securelyall electrical switches work correctly


20. Coupling security


Check that your vehicle is securely attached to your trailer and that the:

trailer is located correctly in the fifth wheel or coupling secondary locking devices are in the correct position


21. Security of load


Check that the load does not move and is not likely to move.

Make sure you use the right type of load securing system for the load.

If you’re not happy with how the load is secured or how stable it is, ask the person in charge of vehicle safety to:

get a competent person to assess itreload or resecure it if necessary

Read detailed guidance about load securing.


22. Number plate


Check that the number plate is not:

broken or incomplete incorrect or spaced incorrectly dirty faded covered over by anything


23. Reflectors


Check that the reflectors (including side reflectors) are not:

missing brokenin secure fitted incorrectly the wrong colourobscured by dirt or other objects


24. Markings and warning plates


Check that the vehicle’s markings (including conspicuity markings) are:

the right colourvisiblesecurely fastenednot obscured by dirt or other objects

If the vehicle is carrying dangerous goods, check that the hazard information panels are:

show the correct information for the load visible securely faste ned not obscured by dirt or other objects


Other check items


You might need to check other items specific to the vehicle, for example, loading or specialised equipment.


Record and report the result of your check


Record and report all defects that you:

find during the daily walkaround check become aware of during your journey


What to record


Record:

the vehicle registration (number plate) or identification markthe datedetails of the defects or symptomsyour assessment of the defects (for example, ‘dangerous’)your namewho it was reported to

Use a form that includes a list of the items checked each day. Record ‘nil’ defects if you do not find any.


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