Ringing sleigh bells and flying reindeer are all well and good, but we all know who really puts the leg work in when it comes to delivering Christmas presents – the HGV driver of course! The run up to Christmas is the busiest time of year in the logistics industry; with demand increased between suppliers, retailers and consumers the shopping season is a relentless sprint to keep up with expectations in the run up to December 25th.
With the pressure on, a broken down truck or a written off HGV can spell disaster for your fleet, and can mean that little Molly doesn’t get her Cabbage Patch Doll on time. The team at UK-based Mobile Fleet Support believe defence is the best offence, which is why we’vecompiled our definitive list of vehicle maintenance tips to keep your entire fleet healthy during the festive season and beyond!
Check The Fluid Pressure
We can all be a bit lax when it comes to checking fluid pressure, but if your job requires you to frequently drive your vehicle over long distances it is a vital component in keeping on top of its condition. Christmas or no Christmas, it is recommended that you check your oil and coolant levels at least once a week so you can drive the snowy streets with confidence.
Change Your Oil
Changing the oil in your personal car every 3000 miles is slightly excessive, but it’s strongly recommended for your commercial vehicle. Trucks and HGVs may require their oil changing as frequently as every 2,000 miles if they’re spending excessive amounts of time stuck in stop/start motorway traffic.
Replace Worn Out Parts
It’s a common trap that too many of us fall into, putting off replacing parts for the sake of saving money and time in the short team. The reality is, if you put off maintenance as and when it’s needed you risk your vehicle breaking down, costing you down time as well as the price of new parts. Don’t take the risk; make sure you replace any worn parts before they cause excessive damage to your vehicle.
Use Your Ears
The more you drive your trusted vehicle, the more you build up a relationship with it and develop a sixth sense about when problems are afoot. If you pay close attention and keep your wits about you can spot potential problems before they take you off the road when you’re needed most. Keep an ear out for squeaky or grinding breaks, the sound of metal on metal, growling noises, whining or squealing from tyres, screeching from under the hood, engine popping, transmission buzzing, knocking, clinking or clunking. Small fixes cost a lot less than big ones so take care of them quick to save yourself cash.
Make A Schedule
When the Christmas rush is done and dusted it’s time to make those New Year’s resolutions; if you usually leave your vehicle maintenance until the very last minute then 2014 could be the year to promise to stick to a schedule. Keeping up with a maintenance schedule costs you less money and hassle than shelling out for big repairs, so make it a priority for a smooth 2014.
Consult your owner’s manual to ensure you’re complying with their guidelines and make a list of everything that should be checked weekly, monthly and annually. This will ensure your vehicle always performs up to the optimum standard and is significantly less likely to break down and cost you work.
Drive And Deliver!
With your vehicle checked and up to standard there’s nothing standing between you and spreading Christmas joy! There are few career paths as rewarding as logistics at this time of year, and there are few industries with quite so many vacancies and opportunities.
If you’re interested in joining the ranks of HGV and truck drivers in the coming year then it’s time to think about HGV driver training. The HGV Training Centre offers fantastic courses and second to none support to everyone looking to branch out into a lucrative new career, so make them your first point of call when it comes taking the first steps on your new path.
This post was written by Emma Smith on behalf of Mobile Fleet Support. If you need help getting your vehicles up to scratch at any time of year their fantastic team have years of experience fixing all manner of problems on your site, for your convenience.