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 19th Mar, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
Blackburn based vehicle safety company increases focus within the quarrying and construction industries to improve the safety for the workforce, following the appointment of industry proven specialist Lee Taylor (pictured right).
Posted on 1st Mar, 2018 by Jack Stocker
The welfare of the vehicles and freight itself is naturally one of the biggest priorities of typical fleet operators – but equally crucial is the welfare of the drivers themselves, who are often subject to unique stressors that can have a severe impact if left unchecked. This week we’re looking at some of the most important ways to protect HGV drivers, as well as how Vision Techniques products can help.
This issue is well known as one of the most widespread problems facing the haulage industry in particular. Drivers are often subject to tight deadlines (or even paid on commission), and many are known to work particularly long hours on the road in order to meet them. It’s such a well known problem that there are a series of laws that govern the appropriate amount of rest drivers should take. These include:
Though there is little solid data available about how much these rules are adhered to, it’s arguably accurate to say there is a sizeable proportion of drivers who ignore them. It’s up to fleet operators to ensure that drivers are taking their prescribed breaks, as tiredness can easily lead to accidents. Our fleet tracking software is ideal for this sort of application, allowing operators to see where the vehicle is at all times and where and when it’s parked up.
This is arguably as much for the protection of other motorists as it is for HGV drivers themselves, but it still serves as an effective protective measure. Putting limits on the speed that HGVs are permitted to achieve discourages drivers from taking risks, or ‘seizing gaps’ in traffic that might put themselves or others at risk. It also allows emergency measures like StopSafe to take effect that much faster if the driver becomes incapacitated (e.g. by falling asleep at the wheel), thereby preventing collisions that might lead to injury or death.
Not all threats to drivers are physical – they can be financial and legal, as well. Though an uncommon occurrence, some drivers have been known to target HGVs because of their slow-moving nature. These drivers can then induce crashes, either out of spite – such as this case involving careless driving in Scotland – or in Crash for Cash schemes. In order to protect against these, it’s wise for fleet operators to invest in in-vehicle recording software so that drivers can be easily exonerated in such circumstances, saving them from personal legal repercussions and the fleet operator from significant financial costs (in addition to the repairs of the vehicle in question).
Here at Vision Techniques, we are passionate about the safety of all road users, whether HGV drivers, other motorists or cyclists. You can browse our full range of vehicle safety products here, or for any enquiries give our sales team a call on 08455 643 337.
Posted on 11th Jan, 2018 by Dominic Benabda
Today we’re officially introducing a catalogue of E-learning video guides for our vehicle DVR ‘VT Record’.
Posted on 6th Feb, 2017 by Jonathan Peach
Heavy Goods Vehicles have been making headlines again recently, and unfortunately it’s not always been in a positive light. A rise in HGV collisions, blockages and other awkward immobilisations on public roads are being attributed to drivers using satnavs that are intended for smaller vehicles. Frequently, these incidents are leading to miles-long tailbacks, making local officials increasingly vocal in demanding a solution.
Posted on 30th Dec, 2016 by Ben Earnshaw
Car insurance fraud – including “crash for cash” scams – costs the insurance industry almost £400 million a year. Motorists, however, are beginning to make a stand – investing in vehicle technology to protect themselves. Dashboard cameras are one of the technologies on the rise – with commercial and municipal vehicles already seeing a decline in “crash for cash” claims against them thanks to their use.
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 15th Aug, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
If you want to improve operational costs and the productivity and safety of your fleet, we’ve got the perfect solution. Real time vehicle tracking, used in VT Live, our 360 degree real-time vehicle CCTV system, allows you to closely monitor your fleet and make those all-important decisions to improve your business.
Posted on 15th Jul, 2016 by Ben Earnshaw
Demand for vehicle CCTV systems has never been higher. In the last year, demand has gone up by 30% in the courier industry alone – with sales rocketing in other vehicle industries too. The reason behind the popularity of these dashcams is simple; they capture footage accurately and easily – helping to prevent against fraudulent claims and protect drivers.
Posted on 30th Jun, 2016 by Jonathan Peach
Looking after and monitoring your fleet can be quite a challenge. In 2014 alone, 150 company vehicles were involved in road traffic accidents, according to Roadsafe. The claims of such accidents total around £2 billion each year. While accidents do happen, there are plenty of ways to minimise your exposure to and risk of accidents – vehicle CCTV systems providing a critical solution.