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Improve Road Safety With A Vehicle Pre-Start Inspection Checklist

Ensure your vehicles are fit for the road and protect your drivers from accidents with a vehicle pre-start inspection checklist that can help you spot vehicular defects before they take the driver’s seat. Try it out for free today with the Lumiform app!

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What Is Vehicle Pre-Start Inspection Checklist?

According to the World Health Organization, over 1.3 million deaths are caused by road traffic crashes annually. This shows that road safety should not be put on the back burner, especially for employers who regularly employ drivers for business operations.

Observing the proper safety measures and inspections can make a difference in lowering WHO’s annual statistics and in huge potential financial blows to your organization. Vehicle pre-start inspections are routine examinations that are meant to ensure your drivers (and pedestrians) are safe from preventable risks caused by defects or vehicle damages.

Even better, this inspection is easy to conduct and can be standardized through a vehicle pre-start inspection checklist, so your employees can thoroughly perform the necessary steps to check if your fleet is good to hit the road. These inspections typically include looking for exterior damage, the functionality of lights (i.e. indicators, brakes, headlights, and beacons), condition of the engine and odometer, availability of safety equipment inside the vehicle, and mechanics of the vehicle like fluids and hoses.

The overarching goal of a vehicle pre-start inspection checklist is to make sure that the vehicle is safe to use, so your workers are protected. This is why a digital vehicle pre-start template is particularly useful because it can be customized to fit your needs and avoid the necessity of creating your own checklist from scratch. Whether you need a heavy vehicle pre-start inspection checklist or a light vehicle pre-start inspection checklist, a digital template efficiently caters to your business needs.

This article covers the following topics:

1. Why you need to do a vehicle pre-start inspection

2. How to conduct a vehicle pre-start inspection

3. Advantages of using a digital solutions for pre-start inspections

Someone measures the tire pressure on a vehicle

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Why Do You Need to Do a Vehicle Pre-start Inspection?

A vehicle pre-start inspection is the foundation of the fleet’s proper maintenance programs for workplace safety within your organization. Educating your workers on safety practices and providing them with a guide while checking vehicles will ensure that all modes of transportation are in good working condition.

Using a vehicle pre-start inspection checklist can spot hidden issues that can be missed by just conducting surface-level checks—more often than not, it’s those easily missed defects that end up being the most dangerous. A thorough inspection can prevent this and spell the difference between a life or death situation.

Apart from protecting your people, conducting an inspection will also benefit your bottom line:

1. Save Money

When an accident happens, it’s not just your worker that suffers but also your company. The liability costs are huge and the damage to property can set you back handsomely. The cost of prevention is much lower compared to the cost of an accident, so make it a point to invest in safety to avoid higher insurance premiums, probably liabilities, and worker’s compensations.

2. Maximize the Life of Your Vehicles

Preventive maintenance will help your vehicles stay in optimal working condition so they can last longer. When issues are spotted before they grow into bigger problems, you save yourself potentially detrimental damage in the future. The last thing you want is to have a small problem worsen right under your nose, only to find out when it’s already beyond repair.

Giving your fleet the attention they need will prevent that. Even more so, reduce the cost that comes with frequent repairs and replacements. With a clean bill of health through a vehicle pre-start inspection, you can get the most use out of your vehicles.

3. Avoid Penalties

Safety laws require vehicle inspections as a requirement for road safety. Having the necessary documentation will help you avoid penalties and reduce your company’s liability exposure in case of an accident.

4. Keep Your Clients Happy

A defective vehicle can break down and cause unnecessary delays to your operations, which can be detrimental to your brand reputation. However, when your services and products are always on time, they will reflect positively on your organization. Fewer breakdowns are good for business.

How Do You Conduct a Vehicle Pre-start Inspection?

Though the number of steps may seem intimidating, the things that need to be done are actually really simple. A vehicle pre-start inspection checklist can guide your team to identify which parts of the vehicle need to be checked.

Here are some of the steps that are commonly done during inspections. However, this is not exhaustive, and depending on the type of vehicle (heavy or light), adjustments and additions might be needed.

  • Do a walk around as you check the exterior of the car. Check for defects or damages to the panels, lights, mirrors, wheels, tires, and wipers.
  • Check each tire for any signs of deflation. Keeping a tire pressure gauge inside the glovebox is good practice in case a tire’s cold pressure needs to be checked while on the road, too.
  • Take a look at the tread and keep an eye out for bald spots, any protruding objects, or punctures to the tires.
  • Double-check if the wheel nuts are tightly secured.
  • Check for fluid leaks or drains under the vehicle.
  • Then, visually inspect the engine. You can use the vehicle’s manual to check the parts that need to be checked and where you can find them.
  • Pull on the belts and check if they have enough tension.
  • Check if the brake and clutch fluid is sufficient.
  • Make sure your coolant and windscreen fluid is full.
  • Check the air filter and clean it if needed. If it needs to be replaced, it’s imperative that you do so before using it.

Another integral facet to implementing a vehicle pre-start inspection checklist is providing the necessary training and awareness to workers when it comes to vehicle and road safety. It cannot be stressed enough that complacency can lead to dangerous consequences. The inspections are only as good as the people who perform them. That’s why facilitating a safety culture in your organization is essential. Here’s are some ways you can do it:

  • Communicate the dangers associated with improper vehicle inspections and the importance of following the implemented safety measures.
  • Perform regular audits to promote accountability.
  • Correct poor performances through coaching and mentoring programs.

When it comes to implementing safety procedures, management is at the helm of its effectiveness. The importance of the vehicle pre-start inspection checklist should be demonstrated by those at the top management, so the safety culture ripples down to the workers.

Mechanic checks the engine following vehicle pre-start inspection checklist

How Can You Use a Digital Checklist for Pre-start Vehicle Inspection?

Ensuring that your vehicle fleet is road-worthy can save time, money, and most importantly, lives. A digital solution such as Lumiform can make maintenance and repairs a lot easier on your mechanics. Let’s face it, most people don’t have a photographic memory and are prone to making mistakes. A checklist eliminates the risk of human error by creating a step-by-step, procedural account of parts to be inspected.

But that’s not the only benefit of a digitalized checklist.

  • With Lumiform’s super intuitive mobile app, you can edit pre-existing checklists or create new ones to fit the individual needs of your fleet, heavy or light. You can also frequently change or reword the bulleted items on the checklist to limit redundancy and inspector lassitude.
  • With the flexible form-builder kit, you can complete inspections up to 30%-40% faster than with old-fashioned pen and paper checklists. This reduces the time vehicles are grounded, so you can increase business revenue.
  • Make it so you always comply with regulations by having a checklist to remind the maintenance crew of everything they need to do before hitting the road.

Mechanic fills air in light vehicle before trip

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