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Fundamental Vehicle Safety Checks

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The fundamental vehicle safety checks refers to the basic checks that must be carried  out on daily basis before the vehicle is put into use. Otherwise can be referred to as Vehicle parade.

Types Of Vehicle Checks   

There are three major levels of vehicle checks 

First Check 

W = Water: Check water level in the radiator 
0 = Oil: Check the level of engine oil in the sump using dip stick 
F = Fan belt: Check fan belt for tension and cuts 
T = Tyre: Check for cuts, punctures, depth of threading, pressure, alignment symptoms and wheel nuts. 
Checks on the vehicle engine oil

Second Checks

Lighting System: 
  • The lighten system to be checked includes; the head lamps, side lamps, signal indicators and reverse lights. 
Brakes and Clutches: 
  • The hydraulic level must be checked 
  • Check effectiveness of the brakes; The whether the braking  system is active. Just start the vehicle, drive off a little and step on the brake pedal to test the effectiveness 
  • Check the tightness and effectiveness of the brakes and clutches 
  • Change all the gears, one at a time, while pressing the clutch pedal 
  • Ensure that the wind screen wipers are functional 
  • Check the blades for effectiveness 
Steering Mechanism: 
  • Check for clearance or 'free play'. Not to be stiff or difficult to manipulate. 
  • Check level of Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) for power steering only
  • Ensure that your horns are in good working condition 
  • Do not fit wrong horn on your vehicle 
Spare Tyre: 
  • The vehicle spare tyre must be checked for cut, puncture, thread and pressure 
  • Ensure that jack, jack handle and wheel spanner are in the vehicle 
Reflective Triangle: 
  • Ensure that a pair of reflective triangle is in the vehicle 
Fire Extinguisher 
  • Ensure that you have the correct type and size of fire extinguisher for your vehicle. A multipurpose fire extinguisher is preferable. 

Checks on the vehicle fire extinguisher

  • Check level of electrolyte (battery liquid) and condition of battery terminals. 
Body Inspection: 
  • Walk round the vehicle to check for dents and loose parts. Very important for security checks

Third Checks 

At the end of the day's activities: 
  • Check all items in the first and second Checks
  • Its good to keep a good record of things about the vehicle in a book kept inside the vehicle. Record appropriately in the log book
  • Select the correct tyre and inner tube size for the one with tube and specifications for your vehicle and ensure that they are not defective. Worn out tyres or tubes with multiple patches are very unsafe. 
Tyre Pressure 
  • Road traffic crash research has shown that tyre defect and "blow outs" constitute a high incidence factor. 
  • Ensure that your tyres, including the spares are correctly inflated at all times in accordance with the recommended level for the tyre type. 
  • Check the manuals of your vehicles and the size of the tyre for the correct pressure. 
Under Inflation 
  • Under inflated tyres are bound to worn out at both ends and subsequently, cause road crashes by sudden blow-out, peeling or tearing at the sides. 
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