As a manufacturer in the van access and protection market, we understand more than most that van safety matters. With more than 4 million vans being driven on UK roads at the last count, vans and other commercial vehicles are the backbone that keeps small and large sized businesses satisfying their own customers, however without the right maintenance these companies will quickly find that their fleet is actually a drain on resources.
According to the latest statistics gathered by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), of the 10,800 vans stopped annually at the roadside, 88.5% were overloaded, 63% had serious mechanical defects and 50% would fail an MOT. Carrying out relevant safety checks daily, not just at your next MOT or service, is a vital part of van maintenance and without them you could find yourself facing a hefty fine, van prohibition or vehicle immobilisation. Here we take a closer look at the van safety checks every driver should be completing every day…
Your daily checklist
By following this simple van user checklist you can ensure that your van is maintained to a high level, free from mechanical defects and not driven whilst overloaded.
- Be aware of your vehicle’s maximum payload to avoid overloading, and when towing make sure that the tow bar and trailer of the van is secure and any electrical connections are fully operational
- Check your brake pedal and parking brake, both should experience very minimal play whilst the latter should hold your fully loaded vehicle when stationary
- Each tyre should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, be correctly inflated, its sidewall must be free from deep cuts, cord should not be visible on the tyre, and all wheel nuts should be present and secure
- Your van’s lights, indicators, marker lights and dashboard warning lights should work correctly
- The windscreen wipers and washers must also be in good working order, i.e. able to clear the windscreen of debris when switched on, whilst your washer fluid should be topped up at all times
- All mirrors should be fully secured to your vehicle, aligned to the driver’s preference, and free from damage and discoloured glass
- Seats should be secure and the seatbelt on each fully operational and free from damage
- The levels of fluids, fuel and oil should be checked before every journey regardless of its length, this includes the brake fluid, engine coolant, engine oil, power steering fluid and windscreen washer fluid. Your vehicle should also be free from leaks with all caps able to be fully secured
- Your van’s bodywork and doors require attention too, all doors should be secure when closed and the bodywork should be free from damage and sharp edges, paying special attention to the van’s body panels.
Additional safety measures
To enhance safety further, there are a number of innovations that make great investments for drivers of vans and commercial vehicles. Our range features a diverse selection of specialist equipment, each of which is designed and developed to protect your vehicle, allow easy access for drivers and improve safety. Our Safe T Bar and Safe T Step products are made from the highest quality materials and approved to the highest standards to provide various benefits to not just the driver but all those who encounter the vehicle.