Upholding the highest standards of health and safety isn’t just a moral obligation but a legal one. Road safety is drilled into us from the moment we get behind the wheel, and for good reason, but the lessons don’t end when you pass your test and receive your licence. For commercial vehicle operators and their fleet managers, van maintenance is a vital part of ensuring the latest health and safety requirements are met.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is known for its stringent roadside checks but with the latest statistics released by the government department, failing to take care of your commercial vehicle could land you in more hot water than you think.
The UK’s BIG maintenance problem
Of the 10,800 vans and light goods vehicles (LGVs) stopped by the DVSA at the roadside, 63% had a serious mechanical defect whilst 88.5% were overloaded. Whilst an annual service should prevent the majority of maintenance problems, many operators and fleet managers are simply overlooking daily checks and letting good maintenance fall by the wayside. Without a sharper approach to van safety drivers and managers are leaving themselves exposed to hefty fees with many already falling victim to such costs. Almost 50% of the vehicles that posed a road safety risk had to be taken off the road, a ruling that could cost owners up to £4,000 per day!
In regards to breaking the terms of the latest licensing rules and regulations, commercial vehicle operators could face millions in fines if they don’t correctly maintain their vehicles.
SMMT’s van maintenance campaign
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has taken matters into their own hands to support better van maintenance and lower the likelihood of incurring additional costs and fines for operators of the 4 million plus vans currently registered in the UK.
The SMMT van maintenance campaign provides a 9-point plan so that drivers can complete daily maintenance checks with confidence. Thanks to this guide you can ensure your vehicle is maintained and you are fully prepared for the journey ahead. The campaign gives you the information you need to complete checks in the following areas:
- Load and towing
- Brakes and steering
- Tyres and wheels
- Lights and indicators
- Washers and wipers
- Mirrors and glass
- Seats and seatbelts
- Fluids, fuel & oil
- Bodywork and doors
The use of safety equipment
In addition to using the guide provided by the SMMT, van safety equipment is a worthwhile investment for drivers and fleet managers. Our specially developed Safe T Bar range can be used on light commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The Safe T Bar is fitted to Light Commercial Vehicles to help reduce damage through driver error when reversing or during loading. The rear underrun protective device (RUPDS) can be fitted easily to HGVs to protect other road users. The device uses an audible warning system to alert the driver and calls upon a swing back system to absorb impact at low speeds. Hope Technical Developments produces industry leading products to help protect drivers and other road users, and to help extend the life expectancy of light commercial vehicles and lower associated maintenance and repair costs.
For further information about our Safe T Bar and RUPD ranges please browse our website. You can also view the SMMT van maintenance guide for yourself here.