DAILY WALK AROUND CHECKS
A responsible person must undertake a daily walk around check before a vehicle is used. As a driver, DVSA recommend this check is carried out before you first drive the vehicle on the road each day.
Where more than one driver will use the vehicle during the days running the driver taking charge of a vehicle should make sure it is roadworthy and safe to drive by carrying out their own walk around check.
TYRES & WHEELS
You should check your tyres and wheel nuts as part of your routine check of the vehicle. A damaged tyre, such as one with exposed ply, can have a major effect on your vehicle’s handling and will make it a danger to you and other road users.
All tyres must be properly inflated and in good condition. Tyre failure can have serious consequences. This can be avoided by checking your tyres at the start of each journey.
It’s an offence to drive with one or more tyres that have these defects. Driving at higher speeds and for longer periods, such as on motorways, can cause your tyres to overheat and disintegrate. You should make a point of checking them when you stop for a break.
Tyres over 10 years old are not to be used on the front steered axles of LGVs,
It is also a requirement for the manufacturer’s date code to be legible on all tyres fitted to LGV tractor units and trailers over 3.5 tonnes.
If a tyre is a retread then the manufacturer date is taken from when the retread was carried out.
Energy-saving tyres keep fuel costs down because they have a lower rolling resistance and better grip than ordinary tyres. You should consider this when replacing your tyres.
CHANGING A WHEEL
A torque wrench is essential for fitting a road wheel. It’s essential that all wheel nuts are tightened to the specified torque with a calibrated torque wrench.
The wheel nuts, fixings and markers should be checked every day before you start your journey. If you notice any missing wheel nuts, park and seek assistance.
Always make sure your vehicle is secure and level before a wheel is changed. Apply the parking brake and use chocks if they’re available.
Wheelnuts should be rechecked after about 30 minutes if the vehicle hasn’t moved, or after 40 to 80 km (25 to 50 miles) of driving.
Your tyres must be in good condition and properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Research has shown that the tyres most likely to fail are those that have been over-inflated.
When a tyre explodes, fragments are thrown over a wide area. This can create a serious hazard for other drivers. You should regularly check your tyres for cuts, damage and pressure. Frequent checks and proper maintenance can help prevent a blow-out.
Tyres have codes shown on the wall of the tyre. These refer to the maximum load and speed capability of the tyre.
On a hot day, the fuel in your tank will expand. If this happens when the tank has been filled to the brim, fuel will spill onto the road. This can be very dangerous or even fatal for other road users – especially motorcyclists. Allow for this expansion when filling your tank.
If diesel fuel becomes very cold, it can partially solidify. Additives are used by the fuel companies to try to prevent this. Any solidifying (waxing) of the fuel can prevent it from flowing properly and cause the engine to run erratically or even stop. Some vehicles are also fitted with heated fuel lines which help prevent waxing
Most diesel engines use a high-pressure fuel injector system that will deliver pressurised fuel directly into the combustion chamber of the engine. This system is known as a direct-injection engine.
Oil levels must be checked when parked on a level surface. If you check the engine oil level when your vehicle is standing on a slope, the reading on the dipstick won’t be accurate. Park it on flat ground, so the dipstick shows the true level.
If the engine contains too much oil, the moving parts can hit the oil surface, causing a loss of power or even damage to the engine. Excess pressure may damage oil seals, causing oil to leak onto the road, creating a slippery and dangerous road surface.
Not enough oil in your engine can lead to break downs. It could also cause sudden and unexpected loss of control, putting you and others in danger. If your engine seizes, you should make every effort to stop in a safe place.
To comply with the law, all lights must be in good working order, even in daylight when they’re not being used. Before you set out, make sure that everything is working and get any faulty lights fixed.
You may need to use your headlights or other lights if you’re delayed or find yourself driving in conditions of reduced visibility.
Bulbs should be replaced as soon as you’re aware that they’ve failed. Carry a stock of all the various bulbs used on your vehicle, so you can repair a fault without delay.
While driving on a building site, bricks, mud or other debris can become lodged between a lorry’s double rear wheels.
When you leave the site and increase your road speed, anything lodged between the tyres could be thrown out.
This flying debris can be a hazard for drivers of following vehicles and can create dangerous road conditions, especially for motorcyclists.
A diff-lock is designed to be used in slippery conditions, at low speed, when maximum traction is required. However, you must not attempt to drive at normal speeds with the diff-lock engaged as it will severely affect your steering control.
If your wheels leave mud on the road, you must arrange for it to be cleared. A slippery, muddy surface could cause danger to other road users.
The fifth-wheel coupling is a device to connect the tractor unit to the trailer. It allows articulation between the tractor and trailer, and it should be regularly maintained.
The fifth wheel requires regular lubrication and inspection. This should be carried out either monthly or every 10,000 km -whichever comes first.
Whenever you uncouple a trailer, you must work through the uncoupling process methodically. Stop on a level surface , making sure that the brakes are applied on both the vehicle and the trailer.
When recoupling, you must connect the dog clip to secure the kingpin release handle and check that all connections, systems and lights are working correctly.
Draw Bar Units
The eyelet coupling on draw-bar units should also be checked on a regular basis for damage or wear. Heavy duty grease should be used as lubrication.
VEHICLE MAINTANANCE & COMMON PROBLEMS
Workshop manuals are available for advice about the maintenance and repair of your vehicle. These are essential for anyone who intends to service or repair their own vehicle. Making repairs on a vehicle is only advisable for competent individuals
Don’t take risks. As soon as you detect a fault on your vehicle you must take action. Always report minor faults as soon as you detect them. Minor faults can become major ones if they aren’t repaired quickly.
As the driver it is your responsibility to ensure that the vehicles you use are roadworthy. It is an offence to use an unroadworthy vehicle on the road.
Coolant solution is also known as anti-freeze. It provides protection from freezing and also contains a corrosion inhibitor that prolongs the life of the cooling system. Remember to check the coolant level regularly.
Coolant can be used all year round
If the steering becomes heavy, the power-assisted steering may have failed. It’s also possible that your vehicle has a puncture or the load might have shifted. You should stop safely, investigate the cause and call for help if necessary.
Oil filters collect tiny fragments of metal from the moving parts. The oil filter is designed to remove these fragments. Most filters are designed to be replaced at service intervals.
If the air-pressure warning activates, you should have enough air to allow you to stop safely on the hard shoulder. Don’t delay stopping, as further loss of air may cause the brakes to lock on. Switch on the hazard warning lights. Use the nearest emergency telephone to call for assistance.
Moisture in the air condenses as the air pressure increases. This moisture can be transmitted around the braking system and is especially dangerous in cold weather. It can lead to ice forming and blocking the valves and pipes.
The ignition light should go out when the engine has started. If it fails to go out or comes on while you’re driving, it means that there’s an electrical fault of some kind.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to move or drive a vehicle with an air leak in the braking system. Report the fault immediately, or arrange to have it repaired. Place a warning sign in the cab, telling other drivers not to drive the vehicle and why.
0 of 5 questions completed
You have already completed this test. You cannot start it again.
Test is loading...
You must sign in or sign up to take this test.
You must first complete the following:
0 of 5 questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed.
You have reached 0 of 0 point(s), (0)
Score: of ()
0 Essay(s) Pending (Possible Point(s): 0)
Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes must have a minimum tyre tread depth ofCorrectIncorrect
On a hot day, fuel in your tank is likely toCorrectIncorrect
On a cold day, fuel in your tank is likely toCorrectIncorrect
How often should the fifth wheel be inspected?CorrectIncorrect
When a wheel has been changed, when should you recheck the wheel nuts?CorrectIncorrect