How to prepare your HGV for winter

Having been in the haulage industry for such a long time, we like to think we know the ins and outs of driving in winter. There is a lot that goes into preparing your vehicle for the winter months, so here we’re going to highlight how you can do exactly that.

Monitor your vehicles temperature 

You can never be too prepared when it comes to looking after your vehicle, as the unpredictability of the weather always has potential to create issues. Also, as obvious as it may sound, the temperature of your vehicle can massively fluctuate in winter which is why it’s important to know what to look out for and how to fix potential problems. Always remember to plug in your engine block heater each night, to make sure that your vehicle is not under or overheating. 

Be prepared for every eventuality 

When it comes to driving in winter, you can never be too prepared. Therefore, before any journey you should make sure that you have all the equipment required just in case any problems arise. Here are some things you should have with you at all times:

  • De-icer
  • At least half a tank of fuel at all times 
  • A thick blanket
  • A mobile phone and charger (never use your mobile when driving)
  • A first aid kit
  • A high visibility jacket
  • A flash light 

Always drive carefully

It’s no coincidence that 17% of all road accidents occur during wintery conditions. As the temperature becomes colder, ice will form on the roads (especially in the morning) making it more difficult to drive like you normally would. To help avoid a potential accident make sure you slow down to a sensible speed, allowing you enough time to accustom yourself to the road and react in case of emergency. It’s also worth noting that stopping distances typically times by 10 during the Winter months, so always be alert and note that you have to slow down much earlier than normal. 

Check your tyres

As mentioned above, stopping distances dramatically increase in winter so it’s important to make sure your tyres are up to the job before travelling anywhere. Before any journey they should always be checked for their wear, pressure and balance. Choosing the right tyres can mean the difference between stopping safely and having an accident. The tread on summer tyres begins to harden when the temperature drops below 7°C, which reduces the tyre’s ability to grip the road. 

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