Although any business needs to make sure that the vehicles they use are roadworthy, this is particularly important for businesses which hold a transport operator’s licence. Aside from other inspections such as a first-use inspection or a daily walk around check, you must also make sure you undertake a Preventative Maintenance Inspection, often referred to as a PMI, to ensure any vehicles used are roadworthy and safe to use. Even at the application stage for a transport operator’s licence, you need to clarify how and when you intend to carry out your PMIs.
It’s not enough to say how and when you intend to do your PMI, it’s also about being sure that you can also provide evidence to show you have done it. To assist, you'll find the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency‘s ‘Guide to maintaining road worthiness’ very useful.
The guide emphasises that, although there is a “flexibility of inspection date”, you must ensure that “one size does not fit all operations for inspection frequencies”.
Your PMI must be undertaken;
– At least as and when you have agreed to do so as part of your operator’s licence
– As part of a regularly monitored “pre-planned” written system. The guide effectively means that PMIs must take place according to the
o age and type of vehicle
o load, equipment and fittings
o type and range of operations
o the terrain and environment it operates in
o distance, speeds and journey times.
The guide includes a chart to help plan PMIs based on categories such as the age of the vehicle and the type of use. So, for example, if a vehicle is over 12 years old, the PMI must always be at least every 6 weeks, whereas any vehicle which carries “constant loads” covering 160,000 miles or more each year should be checked every 4 weeks.
PMIs should also be conducted;
– “within the week they are due to fall, or mileage based time scale”, but not beyond
– in a manner which complies with any “items covered by the appropriate Department for Transport annual test”. For example, roller brake tests must be carried out at least 3 times a year in additional to the annual test.
AMD Solicitors has a specialist Road Transport and Traffic Law team who can provide you with additional information about PMIs, transport safety and operator licenses generally. Contact our Bristol solicitors on 0117 962 1205 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.