Vehicle checks with MyDriveSafe

Don’t leave vehicle & driver safety to chance: MyDriveSafe

The last few months have been marked by an increase in vehicle stops by police across the country. Taxis and goods vehicles are among some of the most frequently stopped as authorities aim to crack down on unsafe vehicles operating on UK roads, as well as non-business motorists too.

With the consequences of being found in an unsafe and unroadworthy vehicle to be as severe as a driving ban, £2500 fine, and three penalty points, it’s in both drivers and companies’ best interests to create a rigid routine of vehicles checks that ensures that no vehicle gets caught out for avoidable issues.

The law in the UK

In the UK it is the legal responsibility of both the driver and employer to ensure that vehicles in operation are roadworthy and safe for use, and it’s the responsibility of the driver to ensure their vehicle has been checked before setting out.

While the task of vehicle walkaround checks can be delegated, the responsibility ultimately falls upon the driver should the vehicle be pulled up. It is therefore vital that each driver ensures that vehicle checks have been carried out in full.

Should a vehicle be found to be unroadworthy, uninsured, or with an expired MOT – the consequences can be varied and severe. Mostly the potential fines and points will fall on the driver, however for employers the consequences of lax vehicle checks could be costly in reputation and finance.

You can read more about the law on vehicle checks and roadworthiness here.

Losing track of your growing fleet?

Mental notes and paper checklists may no longer cut it, and with business’ paper trails increasingly becoming digital, now is the right time to mirror this trend with your fleet’s vehicles checks. Putting to use an intelligent piece of software designed to make vehicle checks impossible to get wrong, and collating all necessary paperwork in one place for easy management will help you to streamline vehicle checks across your fleet; whatever its size.

MyDriveSafe is a great tool for both drivers and fleet managers to ensure that fleet vehicles are safe to drive, issues are dealt with, and paperwork is tracked, compiled and compliant.

For drivers

For your fleet drivers, MyDriveSafe can be downloaded as a free and easy-to-use app. On this app, drivers can select the make and model of their vehicle and choose either from an industry standard checklist, or create a customised checklist. Putting these checklists in the pocket of your drivers makes it harder to miss important points in the daily walk around, saving both time and hassle. With a notes function and the option to upload photos, issues can be quickly and efficiently flagged with management and all data is then stored in cloud for fool-proof documentation.

For fleet managers

All information gathered using the MyDriveSafe app is collected in the managers portal. Administration quickly soaks up time in the working day, however the MyDriveSafe manager’s portal automatically organises driver vehicle checks from your driver’s apps and can organise the data for you. This way, you know that all the vehicles you send out each day have been checked for faults and are operating safely and legally.

Other useful features include time monitoring for vehicle checks and you may use Google Maps to see where the vehicle check was carried out. When issues are raised with vehicles, the MyDriveSafe app will give you reminders to ensure nothing ever falls off the radar.


Streamline your fleet management

Daily vehicle checks are just one of the vital cogs that keep fleets in smooth operation. In addition to keeping cars, vans, and other vehicles in safe working order, routes need planning, tracking set in place and vehicle servicing and maintenance managed.

Fuel Card Services has a vast portfolio of fleet tools designed to streamline fleet management so you can operate to the highest possible standard at a competitive price. MyDriveSafe costs as little as £1 per vehicle per week and with telematics, servicing management and more all priced with your pocket in mind, fleet safety needn’t break the bank.

Get in touch with our team today.

How safe are your company vehicles?

How safe are your company vehicles?

This is the second in a series of articles written with our partners at FleetCheck to help business owners and managers understand their legal requirements around managing staff that drive for work.

Vehicle roadworthiness is one of the biggest challenges for fleets today. It’s an issue that the police and DVSA are taking increasingly seriously, with regular compliance stop events across the country where vehicles are checked. There are various clues that giveaway poorly maintained vans and so these stops typically have a very high hit rate (often between 80 – 90%), and the offending vehicles are usually found to have more than one fault.

In addition, government statistics show that, approximately a third of cars and half of vans fail their MOT test at the first attempt. Policies and procedures that promote regular vehicle checks and ensure they are in a safe, legal and well-maintained condition are therefore essential.

This means regular checks of tyres, windscreen, lights and fluids, and this process is especially important for high mileage drivers. Vehicles should be maintained within manufacturer guidelines and any faults rectified immediately.

Vans and other commercial vehicles should all receive a full pre-use daily check with a written defect report. If a safety-critical fault is found, the vehicle must not be allowed to be used until the fault has been rectified.

Tyre failure is one of the biggest causes of incidents on high-speed roads and, therefore, one of the biggest causes of disruption to thousands of other drivers while the incident is cleared.

Many companies don’t have a system in place for daily pre-use vehicle safety checks, and many that do struggle to ensure drivers carry them out properly and report safety critical faults such as worn tyres, cracked windscreens or broken lights. This means that if one of your drivers gets stopped, it can be glaringly obvious that the vehicle hasn’t been checked for weeks, or even months. In other cases, the system falls down when drivers do highlight faults but they aren’t rectified promptly.

Consequences of unroadworthy vehicles for drivers and business owners

Failure to implement a robust vehicle defect management system can lead to a number of problems.

First, the police are likely to pin the blame for unroadworthy vehicles on the driver in the first instance. Multiple faults can easily rack up enough points to see the driver’s licence being revoked meaning you now have to find a replacement driver, plus the vehicle will be off the road while the faults are fixed.

Second, multiple failures on the same vehicle, or stopping more than one vehicle in the same fleet, could quite easily lead the police to suspect a systemic management failure that warrants further investigation, meaning more disruption and stress for you.

Why you need a robust vehicle defect management system

Regular checks are essential to maintain the safety of the vehicle but, if your business owns its vehicles, they are also essential to maintain their value when they reach the end of their useful life in the business. If you lease the vehicles, then poor maintenance could result in penalty chargebacks at the end of term.

A good vehicle defect management system should include:

  • Guidance to car and van drivers on what checks are required
  • A procedure for reporting defects
  • A procedure for rectifying defects
  • Ensuring regular service and maintenance is carried out on time
  • Prompt resolution for any MOT advisory notes

The limitations of MOT testing for vehicle safety

Be aware that an MOT test only checks for basic defects, and does not guarantee the safety of a vehicle. It is also only a snapshot of the vehicle’s safety on that particular day – it does not mean the vehicle is safe to use until the MOT expires.

It is also important to pay attention to MOT advisory notes as these will often highlight where items such as tyres or brakes are very likely to need replacing for the next inspection. Replacements need to be scheduled in good time so the van isn’t being used when it has become unsafe.

The worrying thing about MOT failures is that these faults were found on the day the driver knew the vehicle would be tested. If the driver fails to do a proper check on test day, it’s highly unlikely the vehicle has been checked very often during the rest of the year, if at all.

Safety checks for new vehicles

Remember also that, while drivers who are always in the same vehicle may be familiar with what needs checking and when, drivers new to a vehicle may not be.

Drivers should be encouraged to formally check and report on the condition of any vehicle given to them for the first time, especially if it has been bought pre-used or transferred from another person within the company.

The driver is entitled to expect the company to fix any issues such as worn tyres, damaged windscreen, or faulty lights immediately as these are safety issues for which the driver could be penalised if stopped by the police.

If you would like more information on how to manage a safe and compliant fleet, check out our FleetCheck service here.

A man uses a tablet while checking an HGV

The HGV daily walk around check: Why it’s vital for commercial vehicle operators

We should all do a once-over of the oil and tyres when going out in our own vehicles, but operators and drivers of HGVs have a legal requirement to do more.

By definition, these vehicles are significantly heavier than cars and could therefore pose a real risk to other road users if they are not properly maintained and cared for.

That’s why the HGV daily walk around check is a vital part of road safety. It’s also essential before every journey under Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) regulations.

Here, we’ll take a look at this part of the law in more detail and explain how and why HGV operators must adhere to it.

What is the HGV daily walk around check and why do it?

The HGV daily walk around check lays out what drivers need to inspect – both inside and outside their vehicles – before taking to the roads. It’s just as essential as scheduled maintenance checks like servicing, and it can be followed up on at any time by police.

It aims to pick up on faults – however minor – on commercial vehicles and ensure they are addressed before they worsen and become potentially dangerous.

This might seem like a chore, but the HGV daily walk around check could actually save you money. By finding defects on lorries early, both maintenance costs and vehicle downtime may be reduced in the long run.

Indeed, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), 85 per cent of lorry defects could be picked up during a simple walk around. Many are also quickly and inexpensively solved.

Logistics UK and the Road Haulage Association recommend that the HGV daily walk around check should take around 15 minutes if done properly. This means it must be factored in as an essential rather than skimmed over as an afterthought.

Furthermore, it could prove crucial should detailed records of a journey be required in the event of an accident.

What should be looked at during the walk around check?

Young female driver sitting in cab of truck

Inside the vehicle, drivers must check:

  • Mirrors
  • Windscreen and wipers
  • The front view
  • All dashboard gauges
  • The steering
  • The horn
  • Seatbelts
  • Brakes and air

Importantly, height is also a requirement, as outlined in Network Rail’s ‘Wise Up, Size Up’ campaign against HGV bridge strikes.

Outside the vehicle, drivers must check:

  • Lights
  • Reflectors and indicators
  • Fuel and oil
  • The battery
  • Exhaust fluid
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Spray suppression
  • Brakes
  • Electrical connections
  • Coupling security
  • Number plates
  • Tyres
  • Warning plates

The DVSA’s guidance lists everything that should be examined as part of a walk around in greater detail, and there is an accompanying video and diagram to act as a reminder.

Who is responsible for the HGV daily walk around check?

It is each individual driver’s responsibility to ensure daily walk around checks on their HGVs have been carried out prior to use.

Even if more than one driver uses a lorry and it has already been out on a particular day, the next driver must do their own inspection before they embark. This will ensure the vehicle is always roadworthy and safe, even if a new fault occurs between trips.

The HGV daily walk around check may be carried out by anyone provided they have been trained to do so, whether that is a driver or a mechanic.

Although drivers cannot be expected to scrutinise their vehicles in the way a mechanic might, they should be able to spot simple flaws that could be flagged up to someone with additional maintenance training.

Fleet and other commercial vehicle owners should provide initial training for every employee when they start, then top this up with refresher courses later on. This will ensure greater knowledge of new makes and models, as well as cover any new developments in terms of updated equipment and regulations.

Remember too that equipment such as waterproof clothing and torches must be provided so that employees can carry out inspections in all weathers without missing anything.

The DVSA regularly organises and runs seminars for training purposes, so this may be worth looking into.

Failure to carry out checks

If HGV drivers are failing to carry out their daily walk around checks, owners could stand to lose more than money in costly repairs.

DVSA officers and police have the legal right to stop commercial vehicles at any time to do inspections at the roadside. Under these circumstances, they will likely ask for the records of the walk around check.

If any issues are discovered that should already have been noted and repaired as part of daily maintenance, the driver may have their vehicle confiscated and an on-the-spot fine issued.

Should the HGV be deemed unroadworthy or dangerous, both the driver and the operator may face the prospect of criminal prosecution, a public inquiry and even a prison sentence.

In the unfortunate event of an accident, daily walk around check records will also be pulled up. Should they prove lacking, the driver and the operator could find themselves liable and face considerable insurance issues.

DVSA records state that 35,744 prohibitions were handed out in 2018-19, with tyres, brake systems, steering and indicators among the most common faults.

How to record the HGV daily walk around check

A driver records information on a tablet near an HGV.

All HGV operators must have a system in place for recording and reporting their daily walk around checks. Templates can be found online to download so that drivers have their own book of vehicle walk around sheets and defect forms.

Should defects be discovered, drivers must report them so further action can be taken. They should not use the vehicle until the defect has been fixed.

On their defect forms, the following information should be recorded:

  • Time and date of defect discovery
  • Description of defect
  • Action taken to mitigate effects

How a daily walk around check app could help

Although paper forms remain a legally acceptable method of recording and reporting vehicle defects, they are subject to disadvantages. Drivers may lose or damage them, and some may even be tempted to backdate them in a bid to set off more quickly.

Operators also have the problem of having to transfer data from paper forms into an electronic system for their records.

In a digital age, a daily walk around check app such as MyDriveSafe offers an electronic version of this traditionally manual inspection process.

Apps are easy to use, reduce the likelihood of errors, make it easy to comply with government safety standards and boost efficiency, meaning drivers will save time while still sticking to the law.

Users can record information using Quick Reference (QR) codes on their vehicles, including photographic evidence and time and date details, with the results sent to operators’ fleet management systems in real time.

This provides an auditable trail should any issues crop up with vehicles at a later date.

With new updated guidance from the DVSA on HGV daily walk around checks available online – and in video form for mobile devices – as well as apps to help carry them out, there really is no excuse not to be on top of this part of the law.

To find out more about how tools like MyDriveSafe can help ensure your fleet is safe and compliant with the law, get in touch with our team today.

MyDriveSafe.Expert vehicle checking app – the features and benefits

UK law states that all commercial vehicles are checked daily, regularly inspected and recorded constantly to ensure that they’re safe to drive.

Carrying out checks daily to ensure that vehicles are safe is the responsibility of every driver, and every manager. Thankfully, that responsibility is now much easier with MyDriveSafe.Expert. The app is free to download and use. Plus, there’s a manager’s portal and full reporting and compliance with all major standards.

MyDriveSafe.Expert will help you to protect your business and ensure you’re staying compliance.

Make huge savings

The MyDriveSafe.Expert app reduces admin time, records time taken to complete vehicle checks, and produces a clear audit trail for just £1 per week per driver. You’ll spot potential problems, earlier, preventing increasing, costly repairs and keep your fleet on the road.

There’s no hidden start-up fees, long term commitment or minimum number of vehicles as well as easy, hassle-free online reporting.

Middle aged businessman wearing shirt while sitting at office desk and using his computer.

Security and peace of mind

Security is a key feature of every My Fleet Hub solution, and MyDriveSafe.Expert is no exception. With the MyDriveSafe.Expert app, a user can’t go back and amend their results once their check has been completed. Defects with vehicles are displayed until they are fully resolved, which can be a key component of your fleet management to help ensure you’re staying fully compliant.

It also comes with an offline function, so when you have no signal or data, you can still perform daily walkaround checks and the data will be transferred once you’re back online. There’s also support for many motoring organisations which is included within the templates, making it even easier for your fleet to comply.

Forwarder or truck driver in drivers cap holding mobile phone

A comprehensive suite of services

MyDriveSafe.Expert also comes with the ability to customise your checklists, report defects quickly and look up a vehicles DVLA information. With the driver’s app, there’s no more paperwork or guesswork, you simply have to choose your vehicle from the database by typing in the vehicles registration, choose from one of the industry standard, or custom templates and complete your check all from a smartphone app that’s free to download.

With the manager’s portal, you can view all vehicle safety checks in one clear, user-friendly dashboard. You can then sort against each vehicle or driver with a clear prompt for unresolved problems.

Our dedicated team can help you discover all the advantages available with MyDriveSafe.Expert, helping you with seamless integration with your business. Contact one of our team members today to get started.

Truck Drivers Hand Holding Tablet Checking Stock Photo

Vehicle checks and defect reporting

Having an effective way of reporting and checking for vehicle defects should be a key part of your fleets vehicle maintenance regime. It’s also a good way to make sure your drivers are aware of which defects to look out for.

It’s estimated that 85% of roadworthiness infringements could be avoided if the driver has done a walk around check before starting their journey. Operators have been called to public enquiries because drivers have missed defects during their checks, or in some cases, haven’t done checks at all.

Your drivers aren’t necessarily expected to be mechanics but their vehicles should be in decent roadworthy condition before they’re out on the road. Carrying out daily fleet vehicle checks is a legal requirement, so you can demonstrate you are compliant with Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) requirements.

As well as the legal prerequisites, daily checks are important for noticing any potentially dangerous or expensive vehicle faults.

Methodical daily vehicle safety checks

Truck driver holding clipboard daily checking safety truck wheels, vehicle maintenance checklist program.

The inspection has to take place before the vehicle is out on the road. If the vehicles are used by multiple drivers in a single day, it’s preferable to have a responsible individual carry out the checks initially. Other drivers that operate the vehicle through the day should also constantly monitor the vehicle during its use.

There is a full list of the fleet vehicle checks on the government’s website.

Things that drivers must check include things like: tyre condition, brakes, steering, lights, indicators and hazard warning lights. These checks should cover the whole vehicle, including the trailer if the vehicle is towing one, and any interior and exterior items should be also carefully inspected.

The results must be recorded and any defects or faults must be reported and repairs should be undertaken before the vehicle is allowed back on the road again.

Reporting defects

Any defects discovered during the daily walkaround check, and indeed any that the driver becomes aware of during their journey must be reported.

What to record

  • The vehicle registration/identification mark
  • The date
  • Details of the defects
  • Your assessment of the defect (e.g. ‘dangerous’)
  • Your name
  • Who it was reported to

If a driver is made aware of any defects during a journey

The driver should find a safe place to stop and assess and report any defects that they become aware of during the journey. Any dangerous defects must be fixed before continuing the journey.

The DVSA can ask for a record of the walkaround check during a roadside check. You can receive an unlimited fine and prison sentence if you are found using a HGV in a dangerous condition.

Reporting can be done via a form that includes a list of the items checked each day. If no defects are found, it should be recorded that ‘nil’ defects have been found. The checks themselves usually take little time, but it’s now much easier and more efficient with the MyDriveSafe.Expert app.


Female using her mobile phone, city skyline night light background

With the MyDriveSafe, there’s no more paperwork. The app is free to download and use and significantly reduces admin time. The app also records the amount of time taken to undertake the checks, creates incident/accident reports, producing a clear audit trail. This helps you identify problems sooner, helping to avoid increasing costs and keeps your fleet moving.

You can view all of your vehicle checks in one clear and user-friendly dashboard. From there, it’s easy to sort against each vehicle or driver with a clear prompt for unresolved issues.

Contact us now and we’ll help you save time and money with MyDriveSafe.Expert.