Walk round checks - What you need to know.
Picture the scene: you’ve parked the vehicle the night before and the night before that and it’s been fine, hasn’t it? It’s early in the morning and that 10 or 15 minutes spent doing the walk round checks would be better spent getting straight on the road missing the traffic. The M25 has been really bad the last few weeks, so just tick the boxes and it’s done. It will be fine, won’t it?
So what if today’s the day that the wheel nuts on a drive axel suddenly decide to come loose? They don’t have to come right off – the movement of the wheel will see to that, but of course they haven’t just come loose have they? They can’t have done because it was fine when you parked it up the night before and the night before that.
So, the wheels break free and you smile as you think someone’s lost a wheel. You see it bounce across a field, then realisation dawns as you notice they are your wheels. As one loses itself harmlessly in a field, the other is making its way on its own without the constraints of weight to slow it down along the motorway…
I could end this analogy with something easier to swallow like coming to rest harmlessly on the barrier, but the real end could be so different. Once something that heavy is moving that fast, it doesn’t need much to fire it up into the air, changing its direction. It could well be heading towards cars coming in the opposite direction.
This scene isnt going to be a pretty one and although it's not exactly where we're heading with this video it proves the importance of completing a full daily walk-round check. Just think, your desire you get on the road could cause other road users to lose their lives and since you are a professional on the road do you think it would be more sensible to carry out that check before you set off? let that scene resinate in your mind and think of it before every shift, before you set off without doing a complete check.
Of course it isnt all about the drivers of the vehicles but the operators and the management in charge. Some questions to ask yourself is did you ensure the driver was aware he had to carry out a daily walk-round check?, does the driver know how he/she is to report anything they find?, do the driver have anything written down to refer to should they so need to? It's your responsibility as an operator to ensure you and your staff comply with the undertakings of the operator licence and one of those undertakings in ensuring vehicles are roadworthy.
Chris Chapman, lead consultant for NTP explains in the video below what operators should be doing to ensure they are complying with the undertakings. Please take a look, in the long run it could save you a lot of trouble and money!
Chris will be providing us with weekly advice videos on all kinds of topics, please keep checking out our blog :)