The Maintenance Investigation Visit Report forms used by DVSA examiners when carrying out checks at operator premises have been updated. Sharon Clancy picks out the highlights.
The Maintenance Investigation Visit Report (MIVR) form is the document that DVSA staff complete during inspection visits to operators’ premises to check that satisfactory systems and facilities are in place for safety inspections to maintain vehicle roadworthiness.
CVW readers will, of course, know that inspection and maintenance records should comply with DVSA’s recommendations in the ‘Guide To Maintaining Roadworthiness’ (GTMR) and these basic record-keeping requirements have not changed; for example, safety inspection intervals must be in accordance with those specified on the operator licence and records must be kept for at least 15 months for all vehicles.
However, in the new guidance, there are additional vehicle systems that examiners will now to check to confirm the operator is monitoring satisfactorily, including exhaust emissions, wheel security, tyres, and safety recalls. DVSA explains what examiners will look for and how they assess whether your systems are satisfactory, mostly satisfactory, or unsatisfactory. Operators will always receive a copy of these maintenance inspection reports along with other feedback to help them improve if necessary.
Some fleets will already be recording these items as they are included in the GTMR, but here’s a checklist of the main ones:
- Emissions control checks
Examiners will expect evidence that effective maintenance and monitoring systems are in place to ensure all vehicles operated have correctly functioning emissions control systems. Unless approved, no other equipment may be fitted to the vehicle, nor may any equipment be removed, such as to reduce the effectiveness of the original fitted system.
- Wheel security
The operator must have systems in place to ensure wheel security is maintained. The system needs to include effective daily monitoring of wheel security and ensure correct wheel fitment maintenance and torqueing procedures are followed.
- Tyre management
The operator must have arrangements in place to ensure vehicles’ tyres are legal, safe, and effectively managed. Examiners will assess the effectiveness of tyre management systems by reviewing tyre failures and/or encounters resulting in tyre-related prohibitions.The system should monitor that drivers are properly trained and equipped to recognise and report tyre issues. Tyre age and pressures must be monitored and maintained, and tyres regularly and closely examined for damage and wear, with mechanisms in place to address any identified issues. There also should be evidence that processes are in place to ensure best practice in tyre management is followed throughout the fleet. Staff dealing with tyre management are properly trained and empowered to act with sufficient authority. Any technician dealing with tyre inspections or repairs must be trained and qualified.
- Safety recall rectifications
Any safety recall notifications for specific vehicles and evidence of rectification must be recorded on the vehicle maintenance file. Normally it would be expected that safety recall rectification work should not extend past the next scheduled safety inspection.
Any road worthiness prohibitions issued during the period under review will be assessed by examiners, including roadside enforcement encounters, the current fleet check, and prohibitions issued at annual test. Prohibitions, both immediate and delayed, will be categorised as ‘S’ if the examiner considers that any of the defects which led to the prohibition are indicators of a significant failure of roadworthiness compliance and are defects that the operator and/or driver should have been aware. This includes long-standing defects that should have been detected and repaired at the last safety check; any issues that should have been detected at the first use/daily walk- round check; defects recorded at annual test which should have been found before the vehicle was presented for test; or simply that the number and nature of defects present indicate a significant failure in maintenance. Prohibition will be categorised as ‘X’ if examiners consider the defects(s) not to be maintenance related and where it is also apparent that it would not have been noticed by the driver.
Back to basics
The DVSA’s ‘Guide to Maintaining Road Worthiness’ includes all the information needed to help ensure records are satisfactory when an examiner comes calling. Here is a reminder of some of the basics:
- Braking performance records
Examiners will expect to find that every safety inspection includes an assessment of the braking performance of the vehicle or trailer. There are four possible methods: roller brake test (laden where possible); decelerometer (rigid vehicles); electronic braking performance monitoring system for trailers; and a road test with brake temperature measurement. However, DVSA warns that a road test to check the braking performance for all planned safety inspections will usually be inadequate: “It is, therefore, normally expected that the vehicle or trailer should complete at least three successful brake efficiency tests spread throughout the year in addition to the annual MOT test.”
- Driver defect reports
At least one walk-around check must be carried out in any 24-hour period of vehicle use. Reports must include details of the defects or symptom, the driver and who it was reported to, the assessment, and when the defect was rectified. DVSA is encouraging the use of ‘nil defect’ reports: “It is good practice to have ‘nil defect’ reports as they are a useful means of checking that drivers are carrying out their duties and these forms can be used for audit purposes. A ‘nil defect’ reporting system demonstrates a check has been conducted and is a positive report that the vehicle is free from defects.”
- VOR records
A vehicle that has been logged as VOR and has missed the scheduled safety inspection should only be brought back into service after a safety inspection confirms that it is roadworthy.
- Out sourced maintenance
Operators who have contracted out their safety inspections must have a written contract that sets out the details of the vehicles covered, inspection interval and the work which will be carried out.
- Annual test records
Failure of safety-critical defects, multiple failure items, and multiple retests indicate poor maintenance standards. Check out the various guides available from DVSA to minimise risk of test failures.