If you are the proud owner of a car or know somebody that owns a car you probably understand that preparing cars for the winter takes much work at Easy as HGV. Instead of undertaking winter maintenance on their cars, many people choose to continue as usual and handle any problems as they arise. For regular cars, this is a perfectly fine situation although not recommended but for HGVs, it is just not an option. To keep an HGV running smoothly in the winter, it requires both regular maintenance and for the driver to be extra cautious under the murky, slippery conditions.
While a good number of haulage companies do perform winter check, it is always a good idea to know what to watch out for as well as how to fix problems if and when they arise while on the road. For instance, if you drive a diesel powered lorry, it is important to ensure that you have plugged in the engine block heater every night even when the temperatures feel warm. The longer the lorry sits still, the more critical plugging it in becomes. In the colder months, it is important for you to monitor closely the temperature of your vehicle to ensure that it runs properly always and neither underheats or overheats.
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Avoid cold soaks (when the engine block and engine fluids drop to surrounding temperatures after sitting for some time since this can affect the engine’s starting and charge systems). Ensure that you have stocked up on anti-freeze, de-icer, along with other materials critical to engine maintenance and that you are using ‘winter weight’ fuel. Check the tyres regularly since the freezing temperature can result in slippery driving conditions. Making sure that you have properly inflated tyres with sufficient depth of tread helps you avoid sliding and slipping on the road.
Obviously, it is not just vehicles that are affected by the winter conditions. Operators and drivers should also make adjustments to how they work and drive to ensure that they stay safe. Additional checks should always be undertaken prior to setting out on any journey and this requires drivers to factor this into their timings. It will also be important to adjust the speeds and distances you drive or even consider a change of routes to avoid bad ice, flooding, or even being snowed in. If you feel sincerely uncomfortable with the driving conditions at any given time, you should simply cease driving. Letting your customers or employer down might not be something you look forward to but your safety, as well as the safety of those around you, is of greatest importance and they will understand.
Having A Winter Survival Kit
In addition to preparing your vehicle and yourself mentally, you also need to have a winter survival kit before embarking on all your journeys. If the weather conditions get particularly bad, which is, unfortunately, a possibility in Scotland and England, you risk getting stranded or stuck. In such a situation, your can will be a survival capsule and you need to ensure that you have everything that you require. Essential equipment you should have in your cabin winter may include:
Some strong sacking for placing under the wheels to provide additional traction if you ever get stuck:
• Warm clothing
• A shovel
• A torch and some batteries
• A hazard triangle
• A First Aid kit
• A mobile phone and charger
• Sunglasses for counteracting the glare you sometimes get if the ground is covered with lots of snow
• A flask of hot coffee or tea as well as some food
• A thick blanket
Driving in ice or snow can be a bit daunting for all motorists, but for HGV drivers, it is even more important for them to be prepared and confident.