Independent Maintenance Systems; Maintenance Documentation and Safety Inspection Audits
The maintenance of vehicles and trailers that are specified on the licence is one of the most important areas of compliance. When the operator licence is initially applied for the applicant signs a series of important declarations that include the following:
“Vehicles and trailers, including hired vehicles and trailers, are kept in a fit and serviceable condition;
Drivers report promptly any defects or symptoms of defects that could prevent the safe operation of vehicles and/or trailers, and that any defects are recorded in writing;
Records are kept (for 15 months) of all driver reports which record defects, all safety inspections, routine maintenance and repairs to vehicles, and that these are made available on request;
The declaration states:
I understand that by signing the application I am accepting the undertakings below; that they will be recorded on the licence; that failure to comply with the conditions or undertakings recorded on the licence may result in the licence being revoked, suspended or curtailed; and that failure to comply with these conditions is also a criminal offence.
I understand that it is an offence to make a false declaration.”
Throughout the pages of this website you will find mention of safety and how to make sure that compliance is always given top priority.
Any operator that allows their fleet to become non-compliant is liable to lose the authority granted to them by the Traffic Commissioner to run trucks. So, it is essential that maintenance standards are kept high and to make sure that this remains in place independent maintenance audits are one way to ensure that nothing is getting missed, or allowed to slip.
Advice is such that an outside pair of eyes is a good idea and there are many independent options available to you, including the trade associations – The Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association - as well as specialist and independent consultancies, such as Truck UK.
The latest DVSA Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness (2014 edition) specifically states that operators are expected to have an independent maintenance audit carried out at least every two years, to give peace of mind that complacency hasn’t set in and/or any shortfall in compliance has not been allowed to creep into the procedures.
We work with the operator to complete an audit that provides as much useful information as possible, thereby assisting the operator in improving compliance while at the same time the focus includes, wherever possible, reducing costs.
Should you have entered into an undertaking with Traffic Commissioner to have independent maintenance audits carried out we can provide you a guaranteed top quality service at a realistic price.
Contact Steve Williams for more information. It is Steve that carries out all of our compliance auditing and should you decide to use this service he will be your point of contact throughout the process. Confidential advice is available to all operators, just telephone Freephone 0800 644 87 87 from a landline and 01832 274762 from a mobile phone and ask for Steve Williams.