The why and how of HGV driver walkaround checks

Did you know approximately 85% of roadside defects found by the DVSA could be avoided if the driver had carried out a careful defect check?

In our latest blog we find out the why and how on this most important of subjects.

What is an HGV daily check?

There are no shortcuts to safety, it is the driver’s duty in law and for public safety to ensure the vehicle being driven is roadworthy by carrying out his or her daily checks before taking the vehicle out on the road.

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Driver Daily Walkaround Check applies to HGVS, PCVs as well as Vans.


Why carry out a daily check?

When your vehicles are driven with defects this will have repercussions on your O Licence and your Operator compliance risk score, should your vehicles be stopped and checked by the DVSA.

The DVSA uses the Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) system to decide which vehicles should be inspected during roadside checks. As an operator, you get points when a test or inspection finds a defect or infringement of the rules. The more serious the defect or infringement, the more points you attract. The more times your vehicles are likely to be stopped and inspected.

Drivers may be fined or prosecuted for roadworthiness offences found on vehicles if they are considered partly or wholly responsible.

Traffic commissioners can also take action against a driver who fails to complete an adequate walkaround check, this could lead to a driver conduct hearing which may result in the loss of their vocational driving licence.

How long should HGV daily checks take?

The HGV daily checks are relatively simple, but it is important to do a comprehensive, thorough check of the vehicle.

With this in mind, the exact time it can take will vary. The emphasis should be placed on carrying out the checks thoroughly and carefully, rather than the length of time it takes to check your vehicle.

There are some sources that say the checks should take at least 15 minutes to complete, but it may take longer than this. The important thing to carry out each of the necessary checks before starting your journey, regardless of how long it takes.

How to carry out the check

The DVSA has updated guidance on what to carry out when conducting daily walkaround checks, the full guidance can be found at

For more information on how to conduct daily HGV checks this short video from the DVSA will also help:

Keeping a record of HGV daily checks

The driver must record all of the defects found during the daily checks and any that become apparent during a journey. It’s recommended that an agreed form or system is used to record the checks.

Forms should be used to record that all the relevant checks have been carried out each day. If no defects were discovered, the DVSA guidance states that a ‘nil’ reporting method is used, therefore confirming that checks were made, but no defects were found.

If defects are discovered during the checks, the records should include:

·         The vehicle registration

·         The date

·         Details of the defects or symptoms

·         Your assessment of the defects (e.g. ‘dangerous’)

·         Your name

·         Who the defect was reported to

·         Rectification work

·         Date rectification work was completed

·         Records should be reported to responsible person who has the ability to request the remedial action and records should be kept and be available for viewing for 15 months.

·         If any defects are discovered that may impact the vehicles safety, the vehicle must not be used until its repaired.

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