Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness

27 June 2018

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have published a revised ‘Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness‘, which provides best-practice advice on the responsibilities an operator or driver has to ensure the roadworthiness of their vehicles as well as detailing minimum legal requirements.

The 2018 guide acknowledges the development of technology such as smartphone apps to assist with driver defect reporting and contains references to new approaches such as electronic brake performance monitoring (EBPM). Other changes include an updated driver defect report (which now include vehicle height and AdBlue system checks), updated safety inspection reports, (including brake temperatures and report sign-off) and advice for using Vehicle Operator Licensing system (VOL) for maintenance updates.

Some of the key changes

  • Removal of the inspection frequency graph – The change is designed to promote a proactive, evidence-based approach to setting inspection frequencies. Six-weekly intervals are considered to be a good starting point for many operators, but operators are encouraged to regularly review this period based on the results of inspections and performance of vehicles. The graph is replaced by case study examples of time-based frequency for various operating conditions.
  • Safety inspection and repair facilities – The guidance has been updated to highlight the importance of ensuring that in-house workshops and/or maintenance contractors have adequate inspection facilities for the job. The new content also strongly recommends that workshops and technicians should have achieved a recognised quality standard, such as IRTE accreditation scheme.
  • Tyre management - A section highlighting important aspects of tyre management including monitoring tyre age has been added. Operators are also providing details on where to locate a detailed tyre management guide produced by the road haulage and tyre industries.
  • Brake testing – The guide strongly advises that a laden roller brake test should be carried out at every safety inspection. The guide now includes details of how to use EBPMS and has more advice on brake testing. If a road test is being used to assess the brakes, the guide recommends that brake temperature readings are measured and recorded on the safety inspection report.
  • Emissions and air quality – In response to the DVSA focus on emissions fraud and changes to the HGV levy rules from February 2019 to reward cleaner vehicles, a section on exhaust emissions and the importance of correctly maintaining the vehicle’s emissions control system, has been added.

This article is from the June 2018 issue of Deliver, our newsletter for those working within the road transport and logistics sector. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. Law covered as at June 2018.

To keep up-to-date with the latest news, legal updates and seminar information, please register and select the areas that are of interest to you.