In addition to safety inspections, freestanding inspection reports can be produced which provide the operator with the means of determining not only the roadworthiness of individual vehicles in service but also the overall effectiveness of their vehicle maintenance system, thus enabling the instigation of any changes that might be necessary. Continuous reviewing and monitoring of the quality of the systems in place is essential to ensure that they are sufficiently comprehensive to do the job.
One method of monitoring is to invite a technically competent third party periodically to re-inspect or undertake a safety inspection irrespective of whether inspections are done in-house or are contracted out.
Service/Routine Maintenance Scheduling/Safety Inspections
According to VOSA's guidance to maintaining roadworthiness, safety inspections must include those items covered by the appropriate Department for Transport annual test:
- Safety inspections should be pre-planned, preferably using a time-based programme.
- The system of safety inspections must be regularly monitored, especially in the early stages.
- Documentation must be help for any remedial work carried out as a result of safety inspections and must be recorded.
Operational needs must not over-ride safety considerations. Safety inspections should, where it is practicable, be programmed to follow a time-based pattern. The frequency at which inspections are undertaken should be determined by assessing the level of mechanical degradation likely to be incurred over a period as a result of the vehicle's usage. By managing the process from start to completion OLMC can ensure that the safety of your vehicles is paramount, and prohibit any issues arising for your operators licence due to non compliance.
First Use/Pre Use Inspections
A responsible person must undertake a daily walkaround check before a vehicle is used.
A driver, may carry out the check before he drives the vehicle on the road each day.
Drivers should be made aware that daily defect reporting is one of the critical elements of any effective vehicle roadworthiness system.
Assistance may be required at some time during the inspection, for example to see that lights are working. Alternatively, a brake pedal application tool may be used as an effective way of making sure stop lamps are working and that the braking system is free of leaks.
In addition, a torch, panel lock key or other equipment may be needed.
Regular Safety Inspections
Regular safety inspections are essential to an effective roadworthiness maintenance system. Although a part of the overall vehicle maintenance plan, the inspections should ideally be undertaken as a separate, albeit often sequential, operation to routine servicing and repair. This provides the maintenance programme with the flexibility to intensify or otherwise change the frequency of inspections. It also allows the introduction of ad hoc inspections, should they be required, without affecting frequency of servicing and other routine work (e.g. when the operating conditions call for more regular checks or when first-use inspections are required).
Managing your tyre provider to do things your way can often be a time consuming exercise, let alone complying with the VOSA recommendedCode of practice for the selection and care of tyres and wheels for commercial vehicles. There is huge amount for a driver and a haulier to understand and put into practice which is why OLMC can ofter you advise and systems to maintain your tyres, not only from a roadworthiness perspective but also correctly inflated tyres have financial benefits and environmental savings to offer as well.
Even if you do not undertake the repairs yourself, and you decide to use a contractor (repair agent/dealer), you are still responsible for the condition of vehicles that are inspected and/or maintained for you by your agents or contractors. However, you should ensure that the agent is qualified to work on the type of vehicles you operate and that adequate facilities and tools are provided.
OLMC can offer you the expertise to identify the best repair agent to work in partnership with your business, organise contracts to move things forward aswell as undertake regular inspections to ensure that your fleet is suitably maintained. Even when a maintenance contract exists between you (the operator) and an agent, you remain legally responsible for the condition of the vehicle, the authorisation of any report work undertaken and the retention of records. We can help you mitigate this risk by offering you the technical expertise to negotiate with your repair agent.
Own Services & Repairs
Operators who undertake their own safety inspections must have the correct tools and facilities for the size of the fleet and type of vehicle operated. Do you know your requirements? OLMC will undertake an inspection of your facilities and make recommendations on improvements where necessary.
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