Why companies need to ensure drivers are carrying out walkaround checks

Increasingly at FleetCheck, we’re seeing evidence that drivers are treating essential walkaround checks on their company vehicles as a “tick box” exercise.

As you’ll know, these inspections should be carried out on a daily basis, ideally, and so it is perhaps inevitable that some degree of fatigue sets in. Drivers may just go through the motions rather than carry out a genuine inspection and do so for very human reasons – perhaps they are late to a meeting or the weather is poor.

However, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that these checks are being done, especially if there is evidence that drivers’ attention is drifting over time.

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Why you need to keep “walkaround” checks interesting

The walkaround check is very much at the frontline of risk management for fleets, whether it is a simple tyres, levels and lights check for a company car driver or the more formal and controlled checks that commercial vehicle drivers have to complete under VOSA regulations.

What these checks have in common is that they are prone to complacency over time, that drivers start to tick the boxes without really looking properly at the areas they are supposed to be inspecting.

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Walkaround- the easy way

Just like taking out the recycling, walking the dog on a rainy day and mowing the lawn, the walkaround safety check can feel like a chore. Life would be so much easier if our drivers could simply jump into their van, turn on the radio and start the day. But instead they must find the clipboard and a pen that works, then fill out yet another form, remembering to hand it in to the office where it will be checked – sometime – and then filed away.  Gathering dust, in a folder.  Third drawer down.  There – right at the back.  Sounding familiar?

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