Daily walk around checks

As the owner or user of a commercial vehicle you are required to develop and put in place systems for the regular inspection and maintenance of vehicles; there are two types of inspection which must be undertaken : 

  • Pre-planned preventative maintenance checks
  • Daily Walk around checks

Here you will find information on daily walk around checks including sample sheets that can be adapted as appropriate for operators own use.

What do daily walk around checks entail ?

“Walk around” daily checks prior to driving the vehicle are a simple and effective way to spot potentially dangerous issues before vehicles are used. These walk-around checks may be carried out by any person trained to conduct such checks (including: drivers or mechanics)
Potential roadworthiness issues can also be identified during driving, and therefore you should seek driver feedback as a source of information on vehicle condition.
As the owner user or driver of a commercial vehicle you must ensure that a walk around inspection of the vehicle is carried out before the vehicle is used on a public road.

Obligations in relation to recording of defects

For the daily walk-around check to be effective, you must have a system in place for reporting and recording vehicle defects. It is a good practice to give drivers a book of check sheets and defect forms where they can record all completed checks and any defects, as in the following examples HCV walk around check sheet and defect report (PDF) 
PSV walk around check sheet and defect report (PDF) LCV walk around check sheet and defect report (PDF) When a defect is identified during an inspection, the following information must be recorded:

  1. Description of the defect
  2. Time and date of the discovery of the defect; and
  3. Any temporary measure taken to mitigate the effect of the defect

Detection of defects by drivers when “on the road”

If a defect to a vehicle is likely to be a danger to the vehicle or other road users, when in motion,  the driver should  stop driving the vehicle as soon as possible at a safe location and not drive the vehicle until the defect is inspected and, if necessary repaired by a suitably qualified person.
Vehicle owners should be aware that they may be prosecuted if they knowingly, or could have discovered by the exercise of ordinary care caused or permitted a driver to drive a defective vehicle until:
     a)    Where a repair or corrective action is required, the defect is repaired by a  suitably qualified person, or
     b)    Having inspected an alleged defect, a suitably qualified person certifies in writing that a repair or other corrective action is necessary

 Repairing defects to vehicles

All reported defects must be followed up and you must ensure that appropriate action is taken before the vehicle is used on a public road. The corrective action taken must be recorded and included in the vehicle’s maintenance record.
RSA recommended best practice is that each driver should be furnished with a book or an electronic solution which contains the items to be checked during the walk-round check. Defects recorded should be brought to the attention of the person responsible for vehicle maintenance.

Suitably Qualified Person

A “Suitably Qualified Person”, is a nominated person given responsibility for carrying out inspection and maintenance of your vehicles and any repairs required to rectify defects on your vehicles or trailers.
Your SQP will usually be a mechanic or equivalent person with the relevant experience and/or qualifications to enable them to assess the roadworthiness of a vehicle and carry out any necessary repairs.


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