Wintry and snowy conditions have arrived across the country increasing the changes of problems on the roads. Break downs and accidents in cold, dull, drizzly weather are more likely during the winter months and it’s vital to ensure that the vehicles you use in your business are prepared for the coldest season of the year in order to keep your business running efficiently and your employees as safe as possible.
A check-up for your fleet
Most fleets are kept in generally good condition all year round, however in to winter it’s worth taking extra precautions to ensure none of your vehicles get stuck on the roads. You should be routinely checking:
- Vehicle batteries. These should be checked regularly for defects and if you have one that’s over five years old then it’s a good idea to replace it.
- Fuel. You should always keep a minimum of a quarter of a tank in all your vehicles for unexpected circumstances.
- Antifreeze. Check the coolant levels regularly and make sure that you have the optimum concentration to protect your fleet.
- Lights. It’s particularly important to keep these clean and in good condition as you rely on them heavily for safety in dark, wet conditions. Ideally, all your drivers should carry spare bulbs in case they get caught out. Driving without lights on can be a criminal offence.
- Windscreen. Again, this should be clean both inside and out and this is an ideal time to replace worn wiper blades if necessary. Keep windscreens clean and clear to reduce any glare or dazzling sunlight and also have good levels of high quality screen wash.
- Tyres. The minimum tyre tread is 3mm and in certain situations it might be a good idea to have winter tyres fitted. Check the tyre pressure at least once every two weeks and ensure that all tyre checks include spare tyres.
- Tools. Make sure that all your vehicles are carrying the necessary tools to replace a tyre with the spare and to change any bulbs that have blown.
- Drivers and their passengers
No one wants to break down, or become caught up in a traffic jam that’s twenty miles long, but unfortunately these things do happen sometimes. Make sure all your vehicles carry a winter kit just in case.
A winter kit should include:
- A torch and spare batteries
- Sleeping bags or thick blankets
- Bottles of water and snacks (e.g. chocolate, cereal bars, nuts, crisps; anything that will keep energy levels up during a long, cold wait)
- A shovel
- De-icer and an ice scraper
- Extra warm clothes, gloves, hats, footwear and waterproofs