Overlooked Aspects in Walk Around Vehicle Checks

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When it comes to operating vehicles, especially in professional settings - conducting thorough pre-trip inspections is necessary for safety, compliance, and operational efficiency. While most drivers are conscientious about standard checks like fluid levels and tyre pressures, there are several critical areas that frequently get overlooked. These oversights can compromise safety, lead to costly repairs, or even result in legal issues. 

Overlooked Inspection Points

Checking Your Wheels

Before diving into the inspection, it’s crucial to secure the vehicle. Chocking the wheels is a simple yet often neglected step. This is not just a safety measure but a preventative action against potential accidents that could occur if the vehicle inadvertently moves.

The Importance of Cleanliness

Visibility is critical for safe driving, making the cleanliness of windows and mirrors more than just an aesthetic concern. Dirt or debris on these surfaces can severely impair a driver's ability to spot hazards, particularly in adverse weather conditions or during night driving. Moreover, a clean engine bay can help in identifying leaks and other issues more easily, thus preventing engine damage.

Checking Brakes Regularly

Brake systems are vital for safety, yet their inspection can sometimes be superficial. Beyond checking for worn pads, it’s important to look for signs of hydraulic fluid leak or air pressure issues in the brake lines, which are common causes of brake failure.

Emergency Preparation

The condition and availability of emergency equipment like first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and reflectors are critical, yet they are frequently overlooked. Ensuring these items are accessible and in good working order can be lifesaving in an emergency.

Seatbelt Safety

The integrity of seatbelts should never be taken for granted. A detailed check to ensure they are functioning correctly and free from damage is essential for driver safety.

Wheel Lug Nuts

The fastening of wheel lug nuts is another crucial check. Loose or corroded lug nuts can lead to a wheel detaching during travel, posing serious risks to not just the driver but also to other road users.


Lastly, ensuring all necessary paperwork is up-to-date and present, including licences, registration, and insurance documents, is vital to avoid legal troubles and fines.

Strategic Inspection Path and Key Checks

When performing a walk-around, it is advisable to move in a consistent direction—typically clockwise—around the vehicle. This method ensures no part of the vehicle is overlooked. Starting at the front, key components to inspect include:

  • Headlights, indicators, and other front lights for functionality.
  • The wind-shield for cracks or chips.
  • The front tires for tread depth and even wear.
  • The bumper and front body for any signs of damage.

These thorough checks serve multiple purposes. Firstly, they ensure the vehicle's operational reliability and safety on the road. This not only protects the driver but also other road users. Additionally, regular and detailed inspections can significantly extend the lifespan of a vehicle, reducing the overall operational costs associated with repairs and downtime.

Switching to a digital pre-trip inspection tool can dramatically improve the efficiency and thoroughness of these checks. Digital checklists can be tailored to include all necessary inspection points, ensuring nothing is missed. It also facilitates real-time reporting of issues, speeding up the maintenance process and reducing vehicle downtime. Fleet management gains instant access to inspection data, which helps in proactive maintenance and compliance management.

By focusing on these often-missed checks and utilising advanced tools, fleet managers and drivers can ensure their vehicles are not just compliant with regulations but are also operating in peak condition, thus safeguarding their most valuable assets—their vehicles and their people.

Prolius offers streamlined maintenance workflows that provide fleet operators with comprehensive visibility and control over inspection, maintenance scheduling, and planning across their entire fleet network. By leveraging predictive maintenance capabilities, we empower companies to proactively identify and address potential vehicle issues before they escalate, thereby enhancing overall fleet reliability and reducing unplanned downtime. This proactive approach not only ensures optimal fleet performance but also drives significant cost-efficiencies across the business.

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