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Five Top Tips to Maintaining HGV Fleet Compliance

Keeping on top of HGV Fleet compliance is critical. So much to remember and the onus is entirely on you, the Operator. To help, we asked DVSA to share their top five HGV fleet compliance tips....

1. Safe loading of your vehicle


When you are loading your vehicle make sure the contents of the vehicle does not exceed the plated weights for both axle, gross and train (if you are pulling a trailer). The load needs to be safely secured to the vehicle using the correct restraint system. Any restraint system should prevent the load from moving forwards, backwards, to either side and from bouncing. 2. Complete Walkaround checks

Before beginning a journey, ensure your driver carries out a walkaround check of the vehicle. The checks, both on the inside and outside of your vehicle, are an opportunity to make sure it’s roadworthy and safe. If a defect becomes apparent during the journey the driver needs to act, such as replacing a blown bulb or reporting the defect to the transport office, so that it can be rectified immediately. SmartCheck makes this process quick and simple, saving you time and keeping you compliant.

3. Drivers’ hours and welfare


It is important that drivers get adequate rest and have their wellbeing supported. Driver fatigue is extremely dangerous. Tired drivers have slower reaction times, reduced attention, and awareness which all increase the chance of an incident. Drivers must follow the rules on how many hours they can drive and the breaks and rests that a driver needs to take. The rules can be complicated so a driver should familiarise themselves with the guidance readily available via this link drivers’ hours.

4. Route planning and vehicle familiarisation


It is essential to ensure the route is planned to maximise fuel efficiency, ensure that there is access to rest facilities and to avoid any potential hazards such as low bridges and accidents. If a driver changes trailer mid journey, make sure they are aware they need to reassess the vehicle height & dimensions.

Up to date information on traffic conditions can be found on the National Highways website. DVSA will also provide important information that might have an impact on route planning for a journey such as the latest news on drivers’ hours relaxations.

It is also important to allow time for a driver to familiarise themselves with the assistive safety features on a vehicle if it is an unfamiliar make or model. The vehicle may have intelligent active driver assist, around vision, adaptive braking and/or lane departure assistance etc, to help a driver on their journey.

5. Complete Routine Maintenance on time


Make sure that vehicles are regularly inspected and maintained by a competent person. If you use a third-party maintenance provider don’t make assumptions about their level of competency, make sure they have the correct equipment and that their staff are qualified. If they do the maintenance on your site, make sure your facilities are suitable. SmartCheck’s Maintenance Planner can help with this.


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