Fleets – avoid vehicle breakdowns

While many van fleets have been operating at increased capacity with the boom in home ordering during lockdown, those businesses that have been closed or operating at much lower levels will be keen to get back to work as the restrictions begin to lift.

Non-essential retail will be starting to open up soon and this will mean the resumption of deliveries – both in terms of stock to the premises, and goods out to customers.

It appears that the hospitality sector still has a little longer to wait but support businesses in this space have now been effectively mothballed for many months. Food and drink suppliers, equipment engineers, industrial laundry, building maintenance, entertainment providers, hygiene services, etc have all had vehicles mothballed and drivers furloughed.

Whether you’re working flat out to keep up with demand, or itching to get your business back on the road, it has never been more important to be on top of vehicle maintenance to ensure your fleet is fully roadworthy. The last thing your business needs, as it returns to normal, is to be disrupted again due to vehicles breaking down.

Returning mothballed vehicles to the road

If you are looking to return mothballed vehicles to the road in the near future, make sure they are checked thoroughly first, paying particular attention to:

Tyres could have well have lost a significant amount of pressure, with possible sidewall damage if they’ve been stood in the same place for a while.

Brakes may have seized and so will need gently testing a couple of times.

Battery charge could have dropped so make sure the engine turns over strongly.

Fluid levels need to be checked thoroughly. A small leak could easily have drained the lot if the vehicle hasn’t moved for months. Check under the vehicle for suspicious puddles and make sure everything is topped up.

Small animals or birds may have nested under the bonnet and rodents may have chewed through wiring. Take a closer look before setting off.

Highways England has today launched their 2021 Breakdown campaign which aims to improve road users’ awareness and confidence around what to do in the event of a breakdown on a motorway, including those without a hard shoulder.

For more information & resources to share with your drivers visit:

highways england breakdowns

Simon Turner

Simon Turner
Campaign Manager
Driving for Better Business

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