Here is a quick guide to what commercial van drivers should be checking for daily:
- Load and towing – Know your van’s maximum payload and make sure that you are not overloading it and that your cargo is properly secured. Overloading will make the van more difficult to stop and handle and will make the vehicle’s brakes and suspension wear quicker. When towing, make sure the towbar and trailer are secure and all electrical connections working. If the van has a tail lift, make sure it is free from damage and functions properly.
- Brakes and steering – Check that the brake pedal doesn’t have excessive travel and that there isn’t too much play in the steering. The parking brake must hold the vehicle when stationary and fully loaded.
- Tyres and wheels – Unsafe or illegal tyres can result in receiving three penalty points on your licence per tyre. Make sure each tyre has: a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, sufficient inflation, no deep cuts in the sidewall, no cord visible on the tyre, no missing or insecure wheel nuts
- Lights – All lights and indicators must work correctly, stop lights should come on when the brakes are applied and lenses must be present, clean and the correct colour. Marker lights must also be present and working. Inside, all dashboard warning lights must work correctly.
- Washers and wipers – Windscreen wipers must move continually when switched on and clear the windscreen effectively. Washers must point at the windscreen and be operational; washer fluid must be topped up.
- Mirrors and glass – All mirrors must be properly aligned and secured. Your view of the road when reversing your vehicle shouldn’t be obscured by damaged or discoloured glass.
Seats and seatbelts Check that seatbelts operate correctly and are free from cuts and damage. Ensure all seats are secure.
- Fluids, fuel and oil – Make sure that brake fluid, engine coolant, engine oil, power steering fluid and windscreen washer fluid levels are correct. Ensure there are no fluid- or oil-leaks and that the fuel filler cap is securely fitted.
- Bodywork and doors – Check that all doors shut properly and are secure when closed. There should be no sharp edges or damage to the bodywork and no danger of body panels falling off.