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Preparing & Executing Vehicle Maintenance Audits

Running a fleet of well-maintained, roadworthy heavy goods vehicles that meets all required standards and laws in the UK requires transport managers to carry out maintenance audits. In this article, we lay out the best ways in which to prepare and execute yours.

Basically, a vehicle maintenance audit is an inspection of not just the condition of your fleet, but also your set processes for keeping them roadworthy. They’re carried out to make sure they’re safe and legally compliant.

The Advantages of Vehicle Maintenance Audits

The benefits of carrying out these audits is not solely for compliance reasons, although that is reason enough for doing them. Another advantage is that they allow issues that present safety risks to be identified, while saving transport companies money relating to repair costs by spotting issues early.

There are several ways you can prepare yourself to carry out these audits, which include the following:

  • Gathering all of the necessary documents (e.g. maintenance records, inspection reports, and MOT certificates) to ensure that they’re organised and easy to access.
  • Letting your team know about any upcoming audits, what they entail and what you expect from them.
  • Check the legal requirements so that you’re 100% sure that you understand how to stay compliant.

Executing the Audit in Practice

So, how do you go about actually executing the audit? Well, first, you select someone to act as the auditor, who will be a suitably experienced and qualified person. Next, you create a comprehensive checklist of all the areas that are to be audited and schedule a date and time that’s convenient for everyone involved.

During the Audit

In order to make the process a smooth and cohesive one, you should make sure that your whole team cooperates with the designated auditor. This means providing all the necessary information, as well as access to the relevant vehicles and documentation.

It’s also important to observe the audit process as it takes place so that you can take notes for future reference. Should the audit uncover any discrepancies, you must seek clarification and fully understand the implications.

After the Audit

Once the maintenance audit has been completed, you need to thoroughly view the report to analyse and understand the recommendations it highlights. In the event of issues or discrepancies being raised, they should be addressed in a timely manner.

If necessary, best practice is to schedule a follow-up audit to make sure that all the issues raised have been dealt with.

Training & Awareness

Another post-audit step you need to take is to hold team training sessions during which you educate your staff on the findings and talk about how future issues can be avoided. This is also a good time share best practices with your team in order to improve safety levels and ensure compliance.

You must be aiming for continuous improvement with your audits, meaning you should elicit feedback from your team with regards to how they might be made better or more efficient. Regular audits of this kind are essential to your operation.

Maintaining the Required Standards

While it takes time, and effort to carry out vehicle maintenance audits, they’re essential for maintaining the condition and roadworthiness of your fleet.

Compliance with the law is also an important element that needs to be considered and by adequately preparing for your audit, and cooperating fully and addressing issues raised, you improve safety, fleet efficiency and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

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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