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New survey highlights importance of checks for truck drivers

According to a new survey, 39.3% of HGV drivers carry out no walkaround vehicle checks. Furthermore, 15.8% stated that they rarely complete checks.

The survey compiled feedback from more than 500 UK and Ireland-based drivers.

As a vital method of monitoring vehicle condition, only 29.4% of drivers claimed to always carry out checks, while 15.5% “usually do them”.

CameraMatics, who commissioned the survey, advises that walkaround checks should be part of every driver’s pre-journey routine and that operators should put processes in place to ensure compliance.

Its founder and director, Simon Murray, said, “It’s concerning to hear that more than 50% of drivers say they do not carry out regular walkaround checks.”

In January 2020, the DVSA reported that 85% of lorry defects can be picked up during a visual check, which provides drivers and operators with crucial status updates on the operational condition on their vehicles.

An unlimited fine and, in extreme cases, a prison sentence can be given to drivers found in operation of a dangerous vehicle. Evidence of walkaround checks could prove crucial in the event of an accident.

CameraMatics also surveyed 250 HGV fleet managers and found that 50% of respondents operated a paper-and-pen-based system for such checks. According to Murray, use of an app-based system “significantly improves” safety and compliance.

He said: “It gives managers an instant notification of check completion and results, and there’s also a time and location-stamped record of every check.”

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