Comments Off on Nil defect reporting – what is it? How long should I keep reports?
Nil defect reporting is the most common method for reporting defects. This requires drivers to complete a check form even if no defects are present. It is highly recommended to implement a nil defect reporting system as it can be your first line of defence when trying to demonstrate that your vehicles are maintained in a roadworthy condition.
It is important to ensure your drivers are completing defect reports fully to include all required information. This includes:
details of any discovered defect
who the defect was reported to
It is also very important to ensure rectification work is recorded on the defect report and signed off by the repairer. Any reports with recorded defects must be retained for 15 months in your vehicle files.
Nil reports where no defects have been recorded should be kept as they are a useful means of checking that drivers’ are carrying out their duties. The daily forms can be compared to safety inspection reports to identify shortfalls in driver reporting.
Contact us for advice on how nil defect reports can be used to identify the effectiveness of your driver(s) daily walk round checks.
The Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness was revised in 2014 to include the requirement “access to an adequate under-vehicle inspection facility”. In general, a mobile HGV mechanic may be able to perform inspections adequately during the brighter, summer months but in the depths of winter, it is unlikely that the quality of checking will be of the same standard.
Comments Off on How often should my vehicle be inspected?
Safety inspection intervals for all commercial vehicles should fall between 4 – 13 weeks. The standard interval is generally 6 weeks but depending on the type of work you’re doing, the mileage covered and the terrain the vehicle is usually travelling on, this can differ. For example, if you are involved in quarry work or regularly drive on building sites, these type of conditions can contribute to accelerated ‘wear and tear’ and inspecting vehicles more frequently would be recommended. Alternatively, if your vehicle accumulates low mileage and is only ever lightly loaded, it may be more practical to inspect every 8-13 weeks.
One of the first things that we look to ascertain with new clients is what their OCRS Score currently stands at – and often, they have no idea!
The Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) is DVSA’s internal risk-based mechanism used at the roadside to help identify operators who are most likely to be non-compliant. Despite being in use since 2006, major changes were implemented in late 2012 and it is these changes that some operators are (still!) adjusting to.
First things first – how is your OCRS score calculated? Your score is derived from a rolling three-year set of data updated on a weekly basis. This helps to keep your score as current as possible whilst also providing more data than previously (the old system used a two-year data set) to base an informed opinion on your level of compliance.
Your score takes into account ROADWORTHINESS and TRAFFIC encounters.
The roadworthiness category covers data derived from annual test history and any roadside encounters relating to maintenance issues; and your traffic score is determined by roadside investigations into driver records and/or overloading.
Points are issued on a graduation basis dependent on the severity of the defect or offence; for example, an immediate prohibition for brakes will receive more points than one for defective bodywork. “S” marked prohibitions will incur double points as it has been determined that there has been a significant breakdown in the operator’s maintenance arrangements.
Type of Defect
Category 1 – Immediate prohibition for tyres, brakes or steering defects
Category 2 – Immediate prohibition for all other defects
Category 3 – Delayed prohibition for tyres, brakes or steering defects
Category 4 – Delayed prohibition for all other defects
Category 1 – Immediate S marked prohibition for tyres, brakes or steering defects
Category 2 – Immediate S marked prohibition all other defects
Category 3 – Delayed S marked prohibition for tyres, brakes or steering defects
Category 4 – Delayed S marked prohibition for all other defects.
Annual Test failure for tyres, brakes or steering defects
Annual Test failure for all other defects
For a full list of the points associated to each defect, please click here.
Your score will be banded green, amber, red or grey. Red rated operators will be those most likely to be stopped at the roadside with green and amber operators being considered less likely to be non-compliant. Grey rated operators are those who DVSA have no information on and are more likely to be stopped than green and amber rated operators.
Your banding is dependent on your baseline score. Your baseline score is determined by dividing your total number of defect/offence points by the number of events (i.e. roadside inspections) you have encountered. The older an offence, the fewer points it carries.
Managing your OCRS score effectively is vitally important to maintaining a safe operation but the fact remains that many operators are still unaware of their score. To register for your score, please follow this link. This will grant you access to your online reports – a sample report can be found here.