Key Points to A Good Maintenance System

Here are a few important key points to ensuring you have a good maintenance system.

Use these important key points as a guide to help you plan and set up a compliant and effective maintenance system for your vehicles.

  1. A driver or responsible person must undertake a daily walkaround check, preferably immediately before a vehicle is used.
  2. First use inspections are essential for operators who lease, hire or borrow vehicles. These are especially important where vehicles and trailers have been off the road for some time.
  3. Drivers must report promptly any defects or symptoms of defects that could adversely affect the safe operation of vehicles. Reports must be recorded and provision should be made to record details of any rectification work done.
  4. Drivers’ defect reports used to record any faults and rectification work must be kept for at least 15 months.
  5. Operators must ensure that safety inspections are carried out at the stated frequency.
  6. Safety inspections must include those items covered by the appropriate statutory annual test.
  7. Safety inspections should be pre-planned, preferably using a time-based programme.
  8. The system of safety inspections must be regularly monitored, especially in the early stages.
  9. Any remedial work carried out as a result of safety inspections must be recorded.
  10. The safety inspection record must include:
  • name of owner/operator
  • date of inspection
  • vehicle identity (registration mark/trailer number)
  • make and model • odometer (mileage recorder) reading, if appropriate
  • a list of all the manual items to be inspected
  • details of any defects
  • name of inspector
  • full details of any repair work and who did it
  • a signed declaration that any defects have been repaired satisfactorily and the vehicle is now in a safe roadworthy condition.
  1. On certain types of vehicles and for some operations, intermediate safety checks may be necessary. 17 of 112 Guide to maintaining roadworthiness
  2. Records of safety inspections must be kept for at least 15 months for all vehicles, including vehicle/s that have been removed from the operator licence.
  3. Staff carrying out safety inspections must be competent to assess the significance of defects. Assistance must be available to support the safety inspection process.
  4. There must be an internal system to ensure that unroadworthy vehicles are removed from service, with someone responsible for taking vehicles off the road.
  5. Operators who undertake their own safety inspections must have the correct tools and facilities for the size of the fleet and type of vehicle operated.
  6. All operators should have access to a means of measuring brake efficiency and setting headlamp aim. For vehicles showing signs of visible exhaust smoke, a diesel smoke meter should be used to ensure that the level of smoke emission is within the legal requirements.
  7. Operators are responsible for the condition of vehicles and trailers that are inspected and/or maintained for them by agents, contractors or hire companies.
  8. Operators who have contracted out their safety inspections must draw up a formal written contract with an inspection agency or garage, and this must be retained on file. Such operators should view inspection records and have a means of regularly monitoring the quality of work produced for them.
  9. The dates when safety inspections are due must be the subject of forward-planning.
  10. A maintenance scheduling system, planner or wall chart should be used to identify inspection dates at least six months for manual systems or can be dynamic for electronic systems.
  11. Any system of maintaining roadworthiness of vehicles should be effectively and continually monitored.
  12. Any changes by licensed operators to arrangements for safety inspections must be updated on the vehicle operator licensing system (VOL).
  13. Drivers must be adequately trained and given clear written instructions about their responsibilities.

If you need any help reviewing your systems or need an independent review. Please don’t hesitate to contact us 01543 897505 or


Lloyd Morgan Group are one of the countries leading HGV & PSV compliance specialists and the only compliance partner of the Confederation of Passenger Transport.

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