A growing number of fleet drivers are starting to treat walkaround checks on company vehicles as a ‘tick box’ exercise resulting in possible risk management issues for fleets as a result.
So says FleetCheck as it urges fleets to ensure that drivers are carrying out essential checks properly.
According to Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck – which launched a Walkaround Check App for fleet vehicles earlier this year – drivers may just tick the boxes rather than carry out a genuine inspection, perhaps due to growing “fatigue” with such checks or because they’re running late.
He added: “However, it is the responsibility of employers to ensure that these checks are being done, especially if there is evidence that drivers’ attention is drifting over time.”
A typical giveaway, said Golding, would be if a vehicle was taken in for a service and a tyre tread depth were reported to be below the legal limit or the standard depth used for replacement on the fleet, even though the driver’s recent checks recorded them as OK.
“This is a very clear flag that the driver concerned isn’t taking their checks seriously or doesn’t understand how to carry them out properly. It is the kind of thing that may well be picked up by the authorities in the event of an accident and subsequent investigation.”
One solution would be to update the company risk management policy to ensure drivers are watched conducting a check every year or six months, effectively auditing their walkaround skills.
“Watching the employee in action is a good way of underlining the fact that you take this issue very seriously. Certainly, it is a simple way of addressing the fatigue that we are seeing on an anecdotal basis,” Golding added.