How To Ensure Effective Driver Walk Around Checks?

Driver vehicle check

To ensure effective driver walk around checks, operators need to have the confidence that their drivers are doing them and more importantly doing them properly.

Effective drivers walk around checks ensures vehicles are going out in a safe, legal, and compliant condition. Which will avoid costly vehicle downtime and potential roadside fines for drivers and help protect your O Licence and improve your OCRS score.

How to ensure effective driver walk around checks?

  1. Provide adequate training to ensure drivers have a full understanding of their obligations and the appropriate skills required to conduct a proper check of the vehicle every day, including how to report any defects.
  2. Continually review the performance of these driver walk around checks in accordance with the DVSA’s Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness. One way to do this is through ‘Gate Checks’ to identify any potential issues.
  3. Provide drivers with the correct tools in which to carry out a proper walk around checks. Whether that is the paper-based vehicle check & defect report books or through an electronic walk around app.

Driver Walk Around Training

Making sure that your drivers undertake this important check before they take over driving the vehicle (even if the vehicle is being handed over to them by another driver) is crucial.

Appropriate training will help drivers know how to identify defects and how and why defects should be reported and documented. Understanding the role they play and the impact they have on a company’s O licence is essential in order to meet your legal requirements and remain compliant.

Remember to always document all evidence of training as this can be used as evidence to support any dialogue that you may have with DVSA.

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Driver Pre Use ‘Gate Checks’

Once you are confident that your drivers are carrying out their walk around checks properly and understand how to report any defect, you should then have a system in place to regularly monitor this.

Gate Checks auditors will stop drivers leaving and entering site and will check the walk around check sheet of the vehicle already completed by the driver. They will then do a physical walk around check of the vehicle themselves.

A summary report is produced for each site for all vehicles and trailers checked which will help identify potential training needs and areas of exposure.

Ensure you document and keep on file all evidence of ‘gate checks’ as evidence that you are monitoring your drivers checks.

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Provide drivers with the correct tools

Ensure all drivers are equipped with either a vehicle check and defect paper-based book which includes all items listed in DVSA’s latest Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness or provide them with a walk around app.

Either will not only help drivers to effectively carry out vehicle checks but will also provide operators with an effective means of evidencing that their vehicles are thoroughly checked by the drivers daily.



You can order your vehicle check & defect report books Online from just £2.50 per book



Improving the effectiveness of your driver walk around checks and ensuring compliance could not be easier

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