Posted on 20th Apr, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
How often do you hear the horn? It’s a common refrain amongst some fleet operators, and actually refers to how often they witness their HGV drivers do their daily checks. Since a short, sharp burst of the horn makes up a vital part of those checks, it’s an easy way to tell that drivers are regularly carrying them out. Most firms argue that it wouldn’t be realistic to perform a full, exhaustive check each and every morning, on every single vehicle. We think that’s a fair case here at Vision Techniques, but at the same time we’d say that thorough, in-depth checks do still need to be made on a regular basis. This week, we’ll be talking about what those in-depth checks should include.
At a glance:
Obviously, visibility is absolute cornerstone of excellent vehicle safety, so checking that the windows are clear, mirrors and unobstructed and reversing cameras are functioning should all be amongst your top priorities. In fact, this is an excellent time to ensure the smooth operation of all of your vehicle safety equipment inside the cab, including any reversing radars or on-board CCTV. Windscreen washers, wipers and demisters are all integral to making sure your vision stays continually clear, so they should be next on the list.
Once that’s done, you need to make sure that you’re comfortable at the driver’s controls, and that the seatbelt especially is adjusted correctly. Then give your horn a quick blast to make sure that it’s in sufficient working order – you may have to make surrounding colleagues aware first.
Next, your tachograph needs to be calibrated with the correct hours, with your speed-limiter plaque displayed. This is vital for warning motorists about the cap on your vehicle’s speed, ensuring that they treat you accordingly on the road. Finally, ensure that all your instruments and warning devices are operating correctly – this includes systems like Stopsafe and Brakesafe, both of which can be instrumental in preventing accidents. Your ABS and EBS warning lights will also need to be on this list.
At a glance:
This first check is an essential one, however straightforward it may seem – you need to ensure that the HGV is square and upright, not tilting to one side. We probably don’t need to tell you why it would be so dangerous otherwise! From there, ensure that all methods of entering, exiting and working around the vehicle are stable and safe, and that the drawbar is sturdy, in good condition and properly attached to the trailer.
The next step is to check the vehicle bodywork, to ensure nothing is liable to crumple, bend or even fall away. Then turn your attention to the cargo elements; the curtains need to be intact and the straps fully capable of holding the weight they’re designed to. Similarly, the tail lift needs to be in absolutely perfect working condition, as anything less could expose yourself or employees to incredible danger.
The wheels and traction need to be inspected like any other car, with tyres at a good inflation and tread depth. Make sure you know the location of the fifth wheel, and that the landing legs and handle are in the correct position. Similarly, the steering and brakes (including the trailer park brake) should operate and engage without issue. Your air suspension also needs to be correctly set, to prevent any unpleasant surprises while out on the road.
All air and electrical brakes suzies should be inspected to guarantee that they’re also fitted correctly. This includes the ABS/EBS cable – after all, if that isn’t operating as required then it renders much of their safety purposes completely null! Any lights, reflectors and markings should be thoroughly inspected to ensure that they’re clean and visible at the distances they need to be. Unless drivers can see them in time, they’re completely pointless. If an accident occurs because of this, it could potentially expose your company to litigation if the worst should happen (not to mention the physical risk it poses to other drivers).
The exhaust also needs to be checked to ensure that there is no excess noise or smoke which might be indicative of any problems, serious or otherwise. Just as normal cars, engine oil levels, windscreen washer reservoirs and water all need to be checked – take care to look for any signs of ruptures or leaks!
Most drivers will do this anyway, but your load needs to be properly secured, with the weight distributed evenly before you set off. Finally, with the tachograph, speedometer and speed limiter all in perfect working order, and with all displays fully operational inside the cab, you’re ready to go. Don’t forget to turn your ABS/EBS warning lights off!
It looks a lot when explained fully, but a quick daily walkaround check will often be more than sufficient to satisfy many of the safety requirements, and even new drivers will quickly become adept on the most efficient ways to do so. Here at Vision Techniques, your safety is our priority. Products like our StopSafe system have been specifically designed to reduce the likelihood of accidents should anything fail with your vehicle – even if drivers themselves become incapacitated at the wheel. You can click here to find out more about StopSafe, or alternatively explore the benefits of our VT Banksman Reversing Radar.
Posted on 27th Mar, 2018 by Jack Stocker
The emergency services are amongst a wide range of industries that we serve here at Vision Techniques, and we’re happy to say that many of our products are universally useful in a variety of emergency situations. For the purposes of brevity we’ve summed up just a few of them in this post, categorising them in terms of how they enhance safety, security and effectiveness.
Using various devices such as vehicle cameras, emergency vehicles like fire engines and ambulances can effectively extend their ranges of visibility. Their roles require them to reach occasionally awkward locations quickly and discreetly, which means that drivers need to have exceptional awareness of the clearances of their vehicles. Ambulances, for example, will always need to park as close as they feasibly can to the casualty, whereas fire engines need to be well within range of the building to effectively fight the fire. Once the emergency is dealt with, reversing cameras and alarms can help them prevent accidents when they’re emerging out of these tight spots, alerting them to nearby passing pedestrians.
Though it’s not always a common occurrence, emergency vehicles can sometimes be targets for thieves or vandals. For this VT Ident, our Radio Frequency Identification system, is ideal for preventing unauthorised access, helping to guarantee the security of the vehicle. Just as few of the consequences of unauthorised access could involve (in the majority of cases) the theft of expensive or sensitive equipment, or even vandalism. In cases where the vehicle is actually stolen, thieves could speed across public highways with impunity, or write the emergency vehicles off entirely – which could be both costly for the service in addition to being incredibly dangerous.
In addition to helping serve the security purposes we’ve just covered, mobile CCTV in particular is an exceptionally helpful measure for helping many emergency services perform their jobs to a highly effective degree. As we’ve mentioned, it can help drivers maintain unparalleled awareness of the clearances of their vehicle, and for enforcement organisations (like the police), it can actively record instances of dangerous driving or similar crimes in progress, providing valuable evidence for convictions.
Similarly, it helps to ensure that there are no false claims made against the public servants themselves, protecting them from counter-accusations from criminals or even (in extreme cases) crash for cash schemes. When used in concert with these, fleet tracking and GPS tracking software is also a must for many emergency services, as it can help pinpoint the exact distance of individual vehicles from their destination.
This isn’t necessarily comprehensive, but should serve to give you just an idea of how our vehicle safety products can assist the emergency services. If you have any specific questions or if you’d like to place an order, don’t forget that you can always give our sales team a call on 08452 873 170, or for more details you can check our emergency services industry page.
Posted on 14th Jul, 2017 by Dominic Benabda
Quarrying and mining is just one of a variety of sectors we serve here at Vision Techniques. As one of the UK’s most hazardous industries in which to work, safety is a particular priority for employers in this field. Many accidents that occur in these sorts of workplaces involve vehicles and vehicle collisions – this is a lot to do with the fact that there are numerous and often unpredictable factors that might impact a driver’s visibility. At Vision Techniques, we stock a range of products specifically designed to tackle this problem of driver visibility, improving safety for everyone on-site.
Posted on 30th Jan, 2017 by Jonathan Peach
Cyclist safety is a massive national concern, especially for those in urban environments, and is a big issue for us at Vision Techniques. Between 2000 and 2012, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on our roads went up by 59%, which is an unnerving figure to say the least, and current London mayor Sadiq Khan made it a focal point of his campaign. HGVs were involved in the vast majority of these accidents, despite making up a tiny proportion of normal road traffic.
Posted on 24th Oct, 2016 by Dominic Benabda
A reversing camera is perhaps one of the best investments you can make as a vehicle operator. It helps to improve your safety and other’s safety – as well as protecting your car from crash-related damage. You don’t have to buy a new vehicle with an in-built reversing aid either. At Vision Techniques, we have a whole range of vehicle cameras, designed to make driving safer and easier.
Posted on 19th Oct, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
Dashcams have been available for a while now, but it’s only in recent years that we have seen major advances. Improvements in dashcams have allowed vehicle operators and fleet managers to get a lot more out of the technology – from better coverage to clearer, crisper pictures. At Vision Techniques, we lead the way in vehicle technology – offering the best solutions on the market. One newest vehicle recording technology, VT Record, shows just how far this technology has come and what today’s modern technology can offer.
Posted on 19th Sep, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
Each year, reversing is the cause of accidents and fatalities on Britain’s roads. In fact, figures produced by the Association of British Insurers suggest that approximately 17% of accidents involve reversing. Furthermore, HSE data indicates that 25% of deaths at work occur when a vehicle is reversing. Reversing-related accidents don’t just cause injury and death; they can also cause costly damage to vehicles and premises.
Posted on 23rd Jun, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
Nearly 25% of all deaths involving vehicles at work occur while a vehicle is reversing. Many more reversing-related accidents result in injury or damage to vehicles, equipment and premises too. The way to reduce these accidents is really quite simple; all you need to do is fit your vehicle with a reversing camera.
Posted on 9th May, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
When it comes to safety on Britain’s roads, vehicle camera systems have proved to be a great all-rounder. They’ve helped reduce the risk of accidents, giving drivers a clearer picture of the roads, and been essential in reducing the number of fraudulent claims. With so much to offer, it’s clear that cameras are the one technology that will benefit all vehicles and cars.
Posted on 11th Apr, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
Did you know that nearly 25% of all deaths involving vehicles at work occur as a result of a reversing? What’s more, in scenarios where other individuals aren’t involved, serious damage can occur to the vehicle and property that’s been reversed into – causing yet another headache for fleets and businesses.