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Daily Vehicle Checks: A Routine for Safety

One of the first things you learn during PCV training is the need for daily walkaround checks of your vehicle. Have you ever stopped to consider exactly why they’re so important? Well, they’re crucial in terms of safety even when talking about regular cars, so the fact that these vehicles are larger and often carry many more passengers makes them even more essential.

In this article, we delve into why these checks are an absolute must for professional PCV drivers. We’ll look at what they involve and the many benefits they offer to transport managers, PCV drivers and passengers.

Why Are Daily Checks Essential For PCVs?

First and foremost, daily PCV walkaround checks are carried out to maintain the safety of all of your passengers and other road users. They also help to identify potential safety problems, such as faulty components or those that are starting to wear out. This allows them to be dealt with early so that they don’t escalate into more serious problems.

Naturally, this helps to prolong the lifespan of the vehicle question, while saving the operator lots of money on repairs. However, there are other regulatory reasons why daily PCV checks as inspections are often mandated by the authorities and failing to meet requirements can result in fines and legal repercussions.

While there’s no specific legislation for PCVs under 3500kg, ensuring the safety of work vehicles is covered by an employer’s basic duty of care responsibilities, so ensuring that drivers carry out daily checks is a must.

More Reliable, Safer, More Cost-Effective PCVs

When daily checks are carried out, they result in vehicles that are more efficient and less likely to break down. The knock-on effect of this is a fleet of more reliable vehicles that tend to be on time and are viewed as being so by the passengers that use your service. So, what does a daily walkaround check usually involve for a PCV?

They usually include the following:

  • The vehicle’s exterior – the exterior of the vehicle is checked to ensure that all lights are working correctly, in addition to verifying tyre pressures and condition. Mirrors should also be checked for damage and correctly adjusted.
  • The vehicle’s interior – the focus inside the PCV is on passenger comfort and safety, so it involves checking emergency exits and seating. You should also check the internal lights and the vehicle’s public address system.
  • Under the bonnet – next, you’ll be checking critical fluid levels, such as coolant, brake fluid, and engine oil, to make sure they’re all within recommended levels. The battery condition should also be checked, paying particular attention to loose or corroded connections.
  • Brakes and suspension – the braking system, including the air pressure in air brakes, should be tested for responsiveness and efficiency. The suspension system should also be checked for any signs of wear or damage that could affect the vehicle’s handling
  • Documentation – the last part of your daily walkaround check involves ensuring that you have all the necessary vehicle documentation. This includes having up-to-date insurance, road tax, and any necessary permits or certificates.
  • Emergency equipment – an emergency situation can arise at any time, so you need to be sure that all of your safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, safety hammers and first aid kits, are present and in good condition.

It’s also good practice to document successfully completing your daily walkaround PCV checks each day as proof that you’re carrying them out. Check out our dedicated articles that focus on how daily vehicle checks fit into scheduled vehicle maintenance and the safety equipment that all PCVs should have on board.

Daily Checks Result in More Efficient, Safer Vehicles That Last Longer

While carrying out these daily walkaround checks might seem time-consuming and unnecessary to some, the benefits they offer are invaluable. Not only do they make your vehicles more efficient and cost-effective, but they also contribute to higher safety standards. In a world where road safety is increasingly scrutinised, the role of thorough, daily vehicle checks cannot be overstated.

In essence, daily checks are a fundamental aspect of PCV operation. They safeguard passengers and protect operators from fines and legal issues while helping your company enjoy a good reputation as a reliable bus or coach company. This level of care and attention to detail is what sets apart high-quality, reliable passenger transport services in today’s competitive landscape.

About the author

Jonathan Gilder

Jonathan Gilder

Head of Training and Transport
Jonathan is a distinguished NRI HGV Instructor accredited by RTITB, with certifications in IOSH Managing Safely, RTITB Lift Truck Instruction, and ROSPA Assured PAT Testing. His expertise extends to EdI Level 3 NVQ Assessing, Btec Level 2 in Transportation of Goods by Road, and he is a skilled Trainer in Driver CPC and Incident Investigation from GH Safety.

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