At Fleetsmart, we’re proud to offer one of the UK's leading telematics tracking services. As part of this, we provide all of the latest advice and updates for the fleet industry to help you stay up-to-date and at the top of your game when it comes to managing your fleet.
In this guide, we’ll be explaining what the DVSA’s Fleet Vehicle Checklist is for 2023, how you can ensure your fleet is compliant with the latest rules and regulations and the ways in which Fleetsmart’s vehicle tracking can help.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), has a mandatory vehicle checklist for fleet operators and business owners to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy and compliant with government regulations and manufacturer recommendations.
As a fleet manager, it is your responsibility to ensure the following tasks are carried out.
But what exactly does this involve?
While your drivers don’t need to be experts in the mechanics of their vehicles, they should have an idea of whether or not the vehicles they are about to drive are safe to use on the road. Your fleet drivers should walk around the vehicle and look out for any problems which could lead to an accident or put a risk to safety in the event of an emergency.
Drivers should verify that the fuel filler cap is securely fitted and that there are no signs of fuel or oil leaks beneath the vehicle when the engine is turned on.
If the vehicle uses diesel, check there is plenty of diesel exhaust fluid and top it up as and when required.
Drivers should check that all lights and indicators are functioning properly and that all lenses are securely in place, correctly coloured, and kept clean to ensure they remain visible to other drivers. Ensure that the brake lights come on when the brake pedal is pressed and turn off when released.
Check the battery is secured properly and in good condition. Make sure to report if it is leaking.
Ensure the exhaust doesn’t emit an excessive amount of smoke.
If the vehicle requires spray suppression flaps, drivers should make sure that they are fitted, secure and free of any damage or blockages caused by mud and debris.
The driver should inspect the couplings to ensure they are properly positioned and free of debris, and verify that the brake lines are without leaks, damage, or signs of wear. They should also check that the trailer's parking brake is functioning correctly.
Ensure cab and trailer doors are secure when shut and that body panels on the tractor and trailer are fitted well. Additionally, check that any landing legs and side guards, if present, are securely fastened along with any other fastening devices.
Tyre conditions don’t just affect the safety of the vehicle, but can also contribute to high fuel costs if not correctly inflated to the appropriate level. Drivers should also look out for any deep cuts, cords, or debris trapped between twin wheels.
Drivers should make sure any visible wiring is insulated and unlikely to get caught or be damaged. Each connection and switch should work correctly and all electrical trailer couplings should be connected securely.
The registration plate should be clearly visible to other road users and kept clean from dirt and debris. The spacing of the lettering and font should also be compliant with the latest regulations.
The trailer should be attached securely to the vehicle, and located correctly in the fifth wheel or coupling. Drivers should also make sure the secondary locking devices are positioned correctly.
Markings on the vehicle must be visible, correctly coloured, securely fastened and not obscured by dirt or other objects. If the vehicle is transporting dangerous goods, drivers must ensure that the hazard information panels are showing the correct information for the load.
When the vehicle is loaded, the goods inside should not move about. This means checking the right type of load securing and fastening system is in place and asking the individual in charge of vehicle safety to reload if it is inadequate.
Drivers should check that the reflectors aren’t missing, broken, incorrectly fitted, the wrong colour or obscured by dirt.
Drivers should check that the windscreen and side windows are not scratched or cracked or excessively tinted as this could reduce visibility and therefore safety. By law, all windscreens must let in 75% of light and front windows must let in at least 70%.
They should then check that all mirrors are securely in place and aren’t damaged or missing and that none are obscured. If you have cameras in place instead of mirrors, these must also be checked to ensure the view is correct.
Drivers should check that the air builds up correctly with no leaks and that the warning system works properly. The service brake should operate both the tractor and trailer brakes and should have adequate anti-slip tread. It’s also important to keep the footwell clear from objects so that nothing obscures the brakes.
Making sure seat belts don’t have any cuts or fraying and that they remain secure to the body once plugged in is necessary to maintain driver and passenger safety.
Test all instruments, gauges and warning lights are working as they should, including the engine warning, emissions system, anti-lock braking system and electronic braking system.
The horn should work correctly and be well accessible from the driver’s seat.
The correct vehicle height should be displayed on the marker in the cab, however it is important to remember that this can change when adjustments to the fifth wheel are made, or if the trailer is loaded.
Drivers should check that nothing is in the way of the front view. Generally, nothing should obscure the swept area of the windscreen wipers. Of course, some official stickers such as operator licence discs are allowed so long as they do not seriously block the view.
It is important to inspect the steering system to ensure that it operates smoothly and the power steering is functioning properly. If there is excessive movement, blockages, or the steering column lifts excessively, it should be reported.
A driver or operator must report any defects or issues they identify during a walkaround check immediately, recording the vehicle's registration number, details of the issue, their name and the person they are reporting to.
Keeping your vehicles well maintained ensures they are up to standard and safe to use on the roads. You should arrange for a qualified technician to regularly check safety critical components and keep them well maintained.
Your fleet vehicles should also be serviced to at least the minimum standard in line with the manufacturers guidelines and each vehicle’s insurance, tax and MOT should be kept up-to-date.
Keeping records and appropriate documentation ensures you know all you need to about your vehicle’s roadworthiness.
The types of relevant documents include a history of:
It’s crucial to efficiently train and educate drivers to a high standard regarding road safety and operational matters to help prevent accidents or legal issues for your business..
By monitoring your fleet using Fleetsmart’s vehicle tracking devices, you can get the full picture of all of your vehicles at any one time, helping you to stay up-to-date on their operations and maintenance. Here are just some of the ways in which Fleetsmart can assist you in ensuring your vehicles are safe on the roads
Fleetsmart’s telematics system can keep track of your vehicles’ maintenance schedule, giving you notice when they are due for maintenance and servicing. This gives you plenty of time in advance to book each vehicle in and plan around its downtime so you don’t cut into productivity hours.
Early detection of issues can lead to preventative maintenance, saving time and money as well as meeting crucial third party vehicle safety compliance requirements.
Engine and performance metrics are all actively monitored and stored for retrospective analysis, including flagging any hazardous driving behaviour. This data can be used help educate employees on safer driving habits.
Fleetsmart’s vehicle tracking allows for more effective journey planning and rapid alternative route selection, all contributing to a greater fuel economy.
You may be rewarded by your insurance providers for installing trackers in your fleet vehicles.. Many insurers see asset tracking as a means of theft prevention and an asset recovery tool and will lower your insurance premiums as a result.
At Fleetsmart we are the UK’s #1 vehicle tracking app and system. We offer a range of the latest vehicle trackers and dash cam technology to suit you at extremely cost effective prices, with scalable options starting from just £6.95 per vehicle per month.