Being a professional van driver isn’t all about the driving – even though you do need to do that safely of course. As well as training you in safe driving, we also talk to you about the importance of doing the proper checks on your vehicle.

Here’s a brief rundown of what you need to do.

Checks To Do Outside The Vehicle

A walk around the vehicle should take in every detail. Don’t just check the front and the driver’s side, but all around it, and look out for the following things:

1. Wiper blades

Are they loose? Can they move properly? Are they stuck?

2. Anything insecure or damaged

Anything that could fall off your vehicle while you’re moving.

3. Every tyre and wheel

Check the wheel nuts are secure, check the tyre tread isn’t too worn down, and check the tyre pressure.

4. Doors

Do they open and shut securely?

5. Sharp edges

Anything that could hurt another road user.

6. Lights

Check all the lights around the vehicle are working, including side lights, fog lights, indicators and brake lights.

7. Number plate

Is the number plate secure and visible, and is the light over it working

8. Loading

Check the loading area and any loads, are they secure?

9. Panelling

Is it secure?

10. Step area

Is it secure and clear?

11. Fuel cap

Is it secure and sealed, with no leaks?

12. Under the bonnet

Check the levels of brake fluid, steering fluid, water, window solution and oil. Check for any signs of leaks damage. Check the fan belt.

Checks To Do Inside The Vehicle

Open the doors and have a good look around for the following:

1. Seat belts

Check the length of each seat belt, make sure it’s secure and it moves properly, checks for any cuts or damage. Plug it in and check it’s secure, and that it unplugs when you need it to.

2. Seat

Check the seat is secure. Get in.

3. Window

Check all the views through the windscreen and mirrors, check nothing is obscuring the view such as stickers.

4. Functions

Check all the driving controls and electrics in the vehicle, as well as the warning lights, indicators, washers and wipers, steering wheel and horn.

5. Footwell and pedals

Check there’s no rubbish in the way, check the pedals work and there’s no sign of leakage

6 .Start up

Check the vehicle starts ok, check the steering, check for any smoke from the engine, look out for warning lights when the engine is started. Check the feel of the steering and brakes.

What if there’s a problem?

If there’s any issue with your vehicle at all, you should report it right away. As inconvenient as it might seem, you mustn’t drive the vehicle at all until it’s been given the all clear, so don’t take it on the road with a fault.

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