Get Your Commercial Vehicle Ready for Winter
Van Drivers Winter Driving Tips
Well, what little of Summer we had is now over and the winter months will be with us sooner than we’d all like. We all hate getting out of bed and venturing outside during the winter months. However, the cold and icy conditions are just as tough on our vans as they are on us. Temperatures seem to be dropping daily at the moment and are forecast to continue on the downward trend over the next few weeks. Its always a good idea to be prepared for winter and we’re here at VanInsured.co.uk to help you with our guide on how to get your commercial vehicle ready for the cold months ahead.
Check The State of Your Tyres
Tyres are one of the most crucial components of any commercial vehicle all year round and this is especially so during winter. They are the only thing that directly connects you to the road, and if they are worn the consequences could be dire, here’s what you need to look at.
Check the condition of all your van tyres in detail, check the treads and if they look worn down its advisable to get them replaced before the roads get too slippery. Also have a look for nails or screws in the tyre which you may have picked up during the summer on visits to builders merchants and building sites especially. If you find any, get them sorted ASAP. Vans and LCV’s are subject to the same tyre law as cars so they must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference.
For a more detailed guide to tyre safety for commercial vehicles, check out the in depth guide at TyreSafe.org
Windscreen and Wipers Take a Battering
Windscreens and wipers have a rough time throughout winter, and ice on the windscreen is a regular morning occurrence. Make sure you don’t drive off until your vision is clear as the chance of accidents will significantly increase and you will likely be held accountable for any damage caused.
Be sure that your windscreen wipers are in good conditions and under no circumstances run them to try and shift the snow qand ice that may have collected on the screen overnight! If your wipers are frozen don’t force them to work, it could cause more damage and burn out the wiper motors.
If the blades are torn, then this is a sign of damage which indicates that a replacement is needed. Windscreen wash should be topped up regularly, as this will prove to be essential in ensuring maximum visibility during the winter month. Check for any cracks or chips to your windscreen, the cold temperatures can make these worse if they are ignored.
Batterys Suffer In the Cold
It’s no coincidence that your car battery always dies on the coldest winter day. Low temperatures increase electrical resistance and thicken engine oil, making the battery work harder, coupled with load increases – lights, blowers, wipers, heated seats, rear-screen heater etc are all used more. Cold temperatures affecting the battery are one of the most common causes for breakdown recovery call outs in winter, here are a few pointers to make sure your battery is in tip top health:
Check the battery is running efficiently by looking at the lights, listening to the engine pitch and checking the ignition. If these three parts of the van are struggling it could indicate the battery is in need of a replacement. Visit your local garage and ask them to test the battery for you they often do this for free and it can give you reassurance that you aren’t going to be left stuck out in the cold.
If the battery is more than five years old and there’s any sign of it struggling to start the van, get it changed. Some will struggle on for a bit but many won’t. It’s much better done at your convenience than as a roadside emergency.
Accidents are common in winter, van insurance is essential!
Ensure you’re protected by the correct level of commercial vehicle insurance in case an accident occurs during the next few months – hopefully by reading through our handy guide you and your commercial vehicle will be fully prepared for the cold months ahead!
Read more winter driving tips here at the AA