Logistics UK tackles maintenance best practice

By Categories: NewsPublished On: Monday 30 October 2023

Some concise and wise words on compliance were provided by Chris Yarsley, senior policy manager at Logistics UK (pictured, right), at the organisation’s Transport Manager conference.

He reported that pass rates at MoT annual tests for com­mercial vehicles had improved in the last year and now stood at 92 per cent for trucks and over 70 per cent for vans.

Tyres and braking perfor­mance were categories where there had been significant im­provement at test, and fleets of all sizes were doing better.

The picture at the roadside was slightly less rosy, with tyres being a significant area where faults were found.

He pointed out that oper­ators should understand the tone of the DVSA’s Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.

Where it said “must”, this was a legal requirement. Where it said “should’” this was advice, but operators might find themselves having to justify why they had not fol­lowed the advice!

He said that ’first use’ in­spection of new equipment should be to MoT test standard and include roller brake test­ing.

After every PMI the vehicle must be validated and signed off as being ‘fit for use’ be­fore it was returned to service. Where operators were pulling third-party trailers, they should have access to the trailer’s maintenance records.

Load security was increas­ingly important.

The operator should make sure that the driver was provid­ed with straps that were suffi­cient and suitable for the task. Straps should not be used ‘in line’ with chains, and all straps and chains must be securely stored when not in use. Secur­ing a single IBC would require more than one strap to be used.

Logistics UK’s engineering forums have developed a sys­tem for rating individual inde­pendent commercial vehicle workshops, after statistics revealed that operators using third-party maintenance pro­viders had a higher proportion of roadside prohibitions and annual test fails than those who maintained vehicles in-house.

Launching the projected Commercial Vehicle Workshop Rating Scheme at the confer­ence, Chris Yarsley said getting through the annual test was not enough.

“Vehicles must be roadwor­thy at all times.

“Every PMI should be of suf­ficient standard that the opera­tor can be confident that every component examined will last until at least the next PMI.

“But accountability remains with the operation, not the workshop,” he warned.

“What’s proposed is some­thing like TripAdvisor or the lo­cal authority hygiene ratings for workshops to enable users to differentiate between the good and the bad,” he explained.

It would cover two aspects: the competence of the work­shop staff and the environ­ment in which the work was done.

“Only companies employing qualified staff and with good premises would get a Grade A or B rating.

“It’s not an accreditation scheme, and we hope to get it up and running by the end of the year,” he said.