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“A motor vehicle, every trailer drawn thereby and all parts and accessories of such vehicle and trailer shall at all times be in such condition at all times be such, that no danger is caused or is likely to be caused to any person in or on the vehicle or trailer or on a road. Also no motor vehicle or trailer shall be used for any purpose for which it is so unsuitable as to cause or be likely to cause danger or nuisance to any person in or on the vehicle or trailer or on a road.”
From The Road Vehicles Construction & Use regulations:
Recovery Truck Check List
To ensure your vehicle remains legal it is best practice to perform a walk around check before each trip. This is even more applicable in bad weather or when the vehicle you drive may change based on shift patterns should you be working for a large recovery company with a fleet of recovery pickups. For a complete comprehensive guide with advise and tips please refer to this government complied document for drivers of recovery trucks.
Check The Steering Mechanism
Check for any oil leaks and when driving knocking noises are normally a precursor to something more serious and should be investigated without any delay before it turns into an expensive fix.
Check Air Brakes
Keep a constant check for any air or oil leaks and be prepared to drain the air tank system if necessary.
Headlamps , Beacons and Lamps
Check for damage to the glass and discoloration of the casing and check mounting so they are angled to avoid blinding oncoming drivers.
If your recovery vehicle is fitted with this device ensure calibration is correctly set with appropriate plaque and seals.
Check the fuel lines for leaks or damaged seals, start it up and check exhaust, any black fumes is a danger sign and should be further checked by the mechanic before taking to the road.
Check for missing or damaged reflectors, both sides and rear of your recovery vehicle.
Check the recovery vehicle sits squarely and listen for any knocking noises from this region whilst driving. if lopsided something is wrong and needs further checking by your truck mechanic.