Regardless of the size or nature of your commercial fleet, putting safety first isn’t just a moral but a legal obligation. It’s no secret that without the right maintenance checks undertaken on a daily basis, your commercial vehicle could not only breach the latest UK health and safety legislation but leave you open to penalties with fines running in to the millions. Shockingly however van maintenance isn’t always completed and of the 10,800 vans stopped by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), 63% had major mechanical defects whilst more than 90% were overloaded.
As shocking as these recently released figures are it is essential to understand the importance of taking better care of your fleet. As well as saving you money in the long run, regular maintenance checks will also help to keep your drivers and other road users safe.
The SMMT van maintenance campaign
Launched in April 2015, the van maintenance campaign from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) offered plenty of food for thought for the commercial van industry. With more than 3.2 million vans currently servicing the UK, the need for a smooth running and safe fleet is bigger than ever. As well as providing the latest statistics regarding the road safety risk posed by commercial vehicles, campaign organisers published easy to follow guidance detailing how fleet managers and drivers everywhere can uphold safety and avoid the fines that are becoming a major issue industry-wide.
Your roadworthiness checklist
Thanks to guidance from the SMMT, maintaining roadworthiness is easier than ever and a responsibility that all vehicles carrying commercial goods should fulfil…
- Beware of overloading and make sure all goods are fully secure in accordance with the vehicle’s maximum payload
- Check that your brakes, tyres, wheels, seats, seatbelts, bodywork and doors are in good condition and free from damage
- Ensure all lights and indicators work correctly – this includes all dashboard lights
- Make sure all windscreen wipers are fully operational, whilst mirrors and glass should be aligned, secured and unobscured
- Keep brake fluid, engine coolant, engine oil, power steering fluid and windscreen washer fluid at their optimum levels.
What else can be done to enhance safety?
In addition to utilising the roadworthiness checklist prior to every journey, there are a number of innovative products that can be invested in to protect your vehicle and enhance safety in the same breath. Our Hope Safe T Bar for example helps to reduce damage caused by driver error and forklift truck loading, a worthwhile investment for those looking to safeguard their vehicles, promote improved safety and effectively manage maintenance re