Dealers are being urged to swat up on Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) after it was discovered there is widespread confusion about how often equipment should be checked.
LOLER regulations require that vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes with electronic and hydraulic equipment are serviced at least six-monthly and tested annually.
But a survey by leasing company ING found most fleets thought that LOLER requirements were automatically taken care of by dealers at routine servicing time.
Dave Freeman, head of LCVs at ING, said: “Responsibility for the testing of lifting equipment lies with the vehicle operator.
"What’s more we are finding many, particularly smaller dealerships, are not set up to perform tests on lifting equipment.
“Our research has been vital in highlighting that at least 50% of drivers could be putting themselves at risk of prosecution.
"And, this figure could be higher as there is a tendency for people to say they are doing the right thing when questioned, so the reality could be a lot bleaker.”