Tips for maintaining your commercial vehicles, including the CVRT

All commercial vehicles in Ireland have to be safe and in good working order to be on our roads. This is a legal requirement and not something you have any choice about. If you have trucks, heavy goods vehicles or buses with more than 8 seats, they can cause a lot of damage if they are involved in an accident, which is why the laws are so strict relating to them. Roadside checks are carried out at random, and if you do not want to be caught out, you need to maintain your commercial vehicle and make sure it has a current CVRT. Here are a few tips to make sure you do not fall foul of the laws regarding commercial vehicles.

Items you can deal with

There are some things the roadside check inspectors will be looking for that are simple things you can do yourself, such as:

  • Make sure your registration plates have the letters and numbers in the correct format. They should be secure, clean and easily visible.
  • Keep your windscreen clean and make sure the washers and wipers are working and have enough fluid.
  • All the required mirrors should be in place. They should be secure and clean.
  • Check your lights are all working and visible.
  • Make sure your horn is operational or you could receive a penalty.
  • Seat belts need checking to ensure they are in good condition and work properly. If not, you need to get them replaced or repaired.
  • The doors should all close safely and securely and if any do not get them looked at to find out why.

Regardless of whether you are stopped or not, these things can be vitally important to your well-being on the roads.

Items mechanics need to check

There are some items an inspector will consider on a roadside check that are harder to ensure yourself, and only a vehicle properly maintained by professionals will guarantee they are all compliant. These include:

  • The steering and suspension should be in good working order. Although you may know if it does not feel right, it needs a mechanic to be certain any faults are corrected.
  • Your fuel system will need checking to see if there are any leaks and that it is correctly sealed. A professional commercial vehicle mechanic will also ensure the fuel cap fastens correctly, which will mean you will not be losing any fuel.
  • There is much said in the motor media about emissions because of the publicity being given to the damage they are causing to the planet. The right equipment is needed to test them properly and to ensure they are below legal limits.
  • You should not be driving a vehicle on the roads if the structure is compromised in any way. Any excessive corrosion, sharp edges or other damage needs the experts to put it right or you could fail a roadside check.
  • All drivers know how important good brakes are and the inspectors carrying out the roadside check will be testing yours. They will test the condition, operation and performance by a physical and visual inspection. If you start to feel they are not as efficient as they should be, do not wait till an accident happens, take your vehicle to the largest CVRT testing centre in Ireland and get them put right.
  • You can usually tell by a visual inspection if your tyres need replacing, but to be certain, it’s best to get a professional to take a look.

 Other items that will be checked

All of the above relate to the condition of your commercial vehicles, but there are other items the inspectors will also want to check.

  • They will want to check the weight of the vehicle to make sure it is compliant with legal weight limits.
  • The driver’s hours will be looked at to ensure they are compliant with EU and Irish driving rules.
  • A current CVRT test certificate will need to be produced, and the penalties for not having this are quite high.

If your vehicle fails a roadside check on any of the above, the inspector can issue a notice giving you a set amount of time to put matters right or they can take your vehicle off the road immediately. It depends on the severity of the faults they find.

It may seem a lot of hassle to keep things in order, but it’s for the safety of you and everyone else on the roads of Ireland. 149 people lost their lives on roads in Ireland in 2018. Although that is an improved figure from earlier years, there is still much that needs to be done to bring it down even further. It’s estimated that one in five of those deaths was caused in an accident involving a commercial vehicle of some type.

Ensuring your commercial vehicles are compliant

By ensuring your commercial vehicles are compliant, you are lessening the risk of one of your drivers, or other road users, being hurt or killed in an accident. The answer could be much simpler than you think.

Get in touch with us at Rathcoole Commercial and we can arrange regular maintenance and your CVRT certificates as and when they are needed. We are specialists in all types of vans and trucks, and whether you have one commercial vehicle or a fleet of them we are here to help. We are also a dealer alternative garage which means we can fix or service your vehicle and your warranty will not be compromised.

We realise that every hour your vehicle is off the road is costing you money, and with this in mind, from Monday to Friday we are open from 7am till 11pm, to make the care of your vehicle more convenient.

Give us a call and have a chat, we do not charge for talking to you and it could be the best call you make for your business. The number is 01 969 5217. Or you can email us any queries on