Vehicle Inspection Service

Industry leading inspections and management reporting covering HGVs, vans, passenger vehicles, tankers, specialist vehicles and mechanical handling equipment.

Ensure you are complying with the latest legislation with FTA's wide range of inspections.

What is this service?

Our wide range and type of vehicle inspections are carried out on everything from vans and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to buses and specialist lifting equipment. All our inspections are accredited by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) and are available nationwide.

The VIS team of engineers covers the UK and Republic of Ireland and works with some of the biggest names in logistics across a wide range of industry sectors such as retail, construction and 3PL (third party logistics) operations. We also provide this service to a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Our engineers are equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment to carry out either a Preventative Maintenance Inspection (PMI), a thorough examination inspection of your lifting equipment (Loler), or an Audit Inspection to check the standards of your maintenance providers.

As we undertake this type of work across a significant number of FTA members, we are able to supply industry specific benchmarking information to help you manage compliance.

Why inspect my vehicles?

As part of your operator licence undertakings and road traffic law you have a legal obligation to maintain your vehicles in a roadworthy condition and ensure your drivers are carrying out their duties in completing routine driver walk around checks. Around 80 per cent of heavy goods vehicle operators entrust their vehicle maintenance and repairs, and ultimately their operator licence, to external service providers.

You should regularly inspect your vehicles to:

  • ensure compliance with the latest legislative requirements
  • reduce the risk of safety critical defects that could contribute to accidents
  • improve vehicle downtime, save money on costly repairs that occur when defects are left to further deteriorate
  • prevent the possibility of vehicles being prohibited, drivers receiving graduated fixed penalties and assist with the improvement of your operator compliance risk score (OCRS)

Why choose FTA's vehicle inspection services?

Convenience

Wherever you are in the UK or Republic of Ireland, you’ll have access to one of our highly skilled engineers, all of whom are trained, irtec inspection accredited and audited to a national standard.

Reports

VIS reports are supported by Vision - the leading compliance platform, specifically designed to enable you to drive efficiency, cut costs, increase performance and reduce risk. Using Vision allows you to quickly identify key areas that require attention  within your vehicle or equipment fleet utilising the information reported and contained within your reports since they’re tailored to your specific requirements.

Expertise and competence

Our engineers demonstrate a consistent and demanding level of competence which is regularly scrutinised and assessed under our internal quality system and externally by UKAS. Our engineers hold industry recognised irtec licences in vehicle inspection.

First class service

Our inspections and audits are accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), ensuring they’re of the highest standard. View our inspection method statements and certificates of accreditation here

Cost saving

Proven reductions in vehicle defects result in reduced repair costs, vehicle downtime and risk of receiving roadside prohibitions.

Increased compliance

With a proven track record in reducing vehicle defects and our effective reporting service, your risk of non-compliance is minimised.

Independence and quality assurance

Being accredited to ISO/IEC 17020:2012 as a Type A Inspection Body means our inspections are a completely independent assessment which supports robust quality monitoring systems.

Reduction in defects

Statistics show that vehicles we have inspected have on average 66% less wheel defects and 57% less brake defects compared to the national average

Inspection services by operation

Commercial vehicle inspections

A variety of inspections of your vehicles are available to help ensure safety, compliance and reduced downtime due to defects.

Inspections available include:

  • Roadworthiness inspections - these report on defects that could affect the safety, legality or reliability of your vehicle before the next scheduled safety inspection. The inspection covers all the items that make up the statutory periodic test, as well as items that should be covered by driver walk around checks. It ensures safe, legal and reliable condition of your vehicle, providing you with a full inspection report and discussion with the VIS engineer to help keep you compliant. Typical use is preventative vehicle inspections(PMI) or Audit inspections of your maintenance provider – as per the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) Guide to maintaining roadworthiness.
  • Roadworthiness Plus reports provide everything from the Roadworthiness Inspections along with imagery which identifies discretionary repair items, this also includes tyre tread depths. Typical use of this report is the same as the above, however companies choose this report when brand image is also a key consideration.
  • Maintenance inspections - these in-depth visual examinations build upon the roadworthiness inspections to give you valuable insights into maintenance standards and the general care of the vehicle. The inspection looks at paintwork and livery, along with tyre tread depth and partially worn components. Typical use of this inspection report would be for Pre-Purchase, End of Lease, to name just two.
  • Pre-purchase inspections - these provide information on the condition of a vehicle before you buy. You’ll receive a full maintenance inspection, a standard road and brake test, plus a report on the details of the vehicle such as plated weights, test certificate details and tyre types.
  • End-of-lease inspections - these provide an objective third-party report on the condition of vehicles before they’re returned to the supplier. Our reports will highlight areas that require repair before the vehicle is returned.
  • Due diligence inspections - these examine the condition of a vehicle fleet in the event of a takeover or merger.
  • Lifting equipment inspections (Loler) - these full visual thorough examinations are available as an addition to your roadworthiness or maintenance inspections. They focus on the operation and mechanics of lifting equipment and include tail lifts, lorry mounted cranes, bin lifts and demountable body systems.
  • Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) - Certificate of Approval for Road Vehicles inspections.   give you confidence in your compliance with the EC regulation No 1/2005, Article 18 Certificate of Approval for Road Vehicles. We are appointed by Defra as a competent inspection body. 

MHE and racking inspections

Our warehouse inspection service covers a large variety of mechanical handling equipment, it is designed to make warehouse safety your main priority and save you the cost of non-compliance.

What are my legal obligations?

You must carry out racking inspections in accordance with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), governed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Racking equipment

PUWER states that an independent and experienced person must regularly inspect racking structures and record these examinations. These generally take place annually, but may be more frequent depending on equipment usage and conditions.

Lifting equipment

Lifting equipment inspections fall under PUWER obligations and Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER), which are governed by HSE. LOLER requires lifting equipment to be examined:

  • at least six months in the case of lifting people
  • at least every 12 months in the case of other lifting equipment
  • every time an exceptional circumstance arises that jeopardises safety

FTA's lift truck thorough examinations (Loler) and audits

Our engineers carry out lift truck examinations and systems audits to a national standard and ensure you are fully supported in rectifying any highlighted issues or defects.

FTA's racking inspections

Working with the Storage Equipment Safety Service (SESS), we provide racking inspections that examine the structure and functionality of your warehouse racking. These inspections ensure you stay compliant with health and safety requirements, promote effective use of space and give you peace of mind.

Passenger carrying vehicle inspections

A variety of inspections of your vehicles are available to help ensure safety, compliance and reduced downtime due to defects.

FTA offers a number of different inspections and audits in order to reduce the maintenance costs and allow for the early detection of defects, thus increasing reliability guaranteeing peace of mind that you are operating legally, safely and efficiently.

Our passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) inspections cover all types of vehicles within the PCV sector. All inspections are completed by irtec assessed engineers to one UKAS-accredited inspection service, this service being available nationwide to assist with the effective management of your fleet.

You can choose from the following inspections:

  • Roadworthiness inspections - these report on defects that could affect the safety, legality or reliability of your vehicle before the next scheduled safety inspection. It includes:
    • an inspection of all items covered on the statutory annual test
    • an inspection of all items that should be covered by driver walk around checks
    • a computer printed report of all items contravening annual test regulations
  • Maintenance inspections - these in-depth visual examinations build upon the roadworthiness inspections to give you valuable insights into maintenance standards and the general care of the vehicle. It covers:
    • all items in the Roadworthiness Inspection
    • cosmetic appearance including paintwork and livery, tyre tread depth information and partially worn components
  • Pre-purchase inspections - these provide information on the condition of a vehicle before you buy. You’ll receive a full maintenance inspection, a standard road and brake test, plus a report on the details of the vehicle such as test certificate details, this also includes tyre types.
  • End-of-lease inspections - these provide an objective third-party report on the condition of vehicles before they’re returned. Our reports will highlight areas that require repair before the vehicle is returned.
  • Due diligence inspections - these examine the condition of a vehicle fleet  in the event of a takeover or merger.
  • Lifting equipment inspections (Loler) - these full visual examinations are available as an addition to your roadworthiness or maintenance inspections. They focus on the operation and mechanics of lifting equipment such as wheel chairlifts.

Tanker inspection and certification inspections

Comprehensive examinations of tankers and their associated equipment in accordance with the current road transport regulations for dangerous goods movement.

These inspections help support a robust tank maintenance system, checking components which are often overlooked during regular preventative maintenance such as tank openings and valves.

Your legal obligations

The schedules of the current road transport regulations for dangerous goods movement require that all dangerous substance tankers have a periodic or intermediate examination at specific intervals and tank documentation is retained for the whole life of the tank. 

Additionally, tankers must undergo an extra annual test over and above the normal heavy goods vehicle roadworthiness test, an ADR test, to ensure they comply with part 9 of the European Agreement concerning the ADR.

If loading in a participant terminal, additionally tankers require a UK petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) / Tank Storage Association (TSA) Safe Loading Pass Scheme inspection at six-monthly intervals and display a pass to gain access to the terminal.

Road Tanker Certification Service

FTA successfully holds UKAS accreditation and Department for Transport (DfT)/Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) approval for the certification of both ‘old’ UK (pre 9 May 2004) and ‘new’ (post 10 May 2004) ADR tanks meeting the requirements of the current road transport regulations for dangerous goods movement and the requirements of ADR. 

The intermediate inspections incorporate:

  • an examination of the tank documents and maintenance history
  • inspection of the tank interior and exterior to identify any defects such as fatigue and corrosion
  • a leakproofness test utilising low pressure nitrogen or compressed air, removing the risk of product contamination
  • inspection of service equipment to ensure serviceability of valves, openings, pipework, seals, switches and wiring
  • a vapour tightness test checking breather valves and vapour recovery systems
  • check on ancillaries fitted such as hose reels, tank access equipment and safety devices

In addition to the above, periodic inspections include:

  • a detailed non-destructive test (NDT) of the tank shell
  • an examination of the tank interior employing remote inspection equipment
  • a hydraulic test utilising nitrogen or compressed air to check the structural integrity of the tank

On completion of the inspection and tests the tank plate is stamped. An inspection report detailing any notable defects is provided, a leakproofness/vapour tightness report and the appropriate certificate through the DfT online system.

Regular Tank Inspections

A regular dangerous substance tank (DST) inspection helps ensure that tankers remain compliant with ADR requirements whilst in operation. It provides an assessment of maintenance standards and helps highlight any developing issues in between certifications, as these vital checks might be missed during a garage PMI check. The visual inspection includes:

  • cab and personal protection equipment
  • placarding, marking and firefighting equipment
  • wiring, lighting and electrical continuity
  • exhaust and fuel tanks
  • tank mountings, supports and shell
  • tank compartments, openings, valves, loading and discharge equipment

Safe Loading Pass Inspections

FTA is equipped to provide inspections meeting the Safe Loading pass Scheme (SLPS) requirements with a disc issued on successful completion. Inspections can be tailored to members’ requirements with discounts available when tank inspection products are combined. Inspections can be used as part of a robust maintenance system, providing detailed information on tank condition and compliance peace of mind.

Find out more about...

Defra Vehicle Inspections

FTA offers Defra Vehicle Inspections to give you confidence in your compliance within the EC regulation. We are appointed by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as a competent body - achieved by UKAS accreditation. 

View Defra Vehicle Inspections

Pre-Purchase inspections

Pre-Purchase Inspections provide information on the condition of a second-hand vehicle that you are looking to purchase. With the inspection you will receive a full maintenance inspection, a standard road and brake test, plus a report on the details of the vehicle.

View Pre-Purchase inspections

Vision

Providing a platform to support FTA’s compliance services
Engineered by our in-house, industry leading developers, Vision makes it faster to manage, control and analyse your data.

View Vision

Audits & Standards

Our excellence schemes are designed in partnership within the industry and aim to raise standards and to recognise excellence: Driver Agency Excellence, Truck Excellence, Van Excellence.

We offer independent audit solutions to ensure your systems and processes satisfy DVSA and Traffic Commissioner scrutiny.

View Audits & Standards

Roadworthiness awards

Our prestigious Roadworthiness Awards highlight FTA members' efforts to keep their fleets safe, legal and efficient. Award winners are presented with a custom-printed 1:50 scale model truck, a certificate and a feature in FTA's Freight magazine.

View Roadworthiness awards

VIS customers' reviews

See what our members are saying about FTA’s Vehicle Inspection Service… 

View Customers' Reviews

Interested in this service?

Take a look at our brochure or get in touch

Have a read through our Vehicle Inspection Services brochure. You can find out more by completing our enquiry form or calling us to discuss your requirements on 03717 11 22 22*

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