A new app has been launched which allows van drivers to complete their vehicle inspection checks on a smartphone or tablet.
It's called Walk Around Check and its maker – the Freight Transport Association – believes it will cut down on the inefficiencies of a paper-based check and help fleet managers monitor the efficiency of their drivers.
It uses a system of weather-resistant barcode tags that are placed on the vehicle's key inspection points. These barcodes contain information about the driver, vehicle, inspection point and the components to be checked.
The driver walks around the vehicle scanning each code in turn, and either gives the point an all-clear or selects faults from a pre-defined list of defects and advisories.
The app automatically transmits the results of the check to a secure database on a website that can be checked at any time of day by authorised users.
As well as ensuring that drivers conduct a thorough inspection and confirm the vehicle is safe to drive, it also flags-up any defects in real-time, stores a full history of inspections and times the duration of each check.
The app is compatible with iPod, iPhone, iPad and a selected range of Android devices. It also complies with the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency's safety and maintenance guide and is available for vans, trucks, coaches and busses. It costs £22 plus VAT per vehicle for the first year and £12 per vehicle for subsequent years.