How to prepare your HGV lorry for Winter
It's easy to forget that it can be really dangerous driving in the winter. By using our tips, you can make sure you or your fleet's drivers reach their destination safely.
1) Be prepared for anything
It's better to be over prepared than under prepared. It's important to check you have all the equipment you may need before you start your journey. Make sure you're ready for any situation. Some things to consider include:
• De-icer/ice scraper
•A shovel and a bag of salt or sand
•A flash light
•A high visibility jacket
•A warm blanket and warm clothing
•Food and water
•At least a half tank full of fuel at all times
2) Inspect your lorry
It may be worth slightly altering your regular checks during the winter months. Importantly you should check your:
• Tyres for wear, pressure and balance
•Battery power and charging system
•Window wipers are working correctly
•Fluid levels are topped up
•Lights are fully functional
•Make sure your exhaust is clear of ice and snow
3) Always check your weather conditions
It's important that before you set off on your journey that you are up to date with changing conditions and closed routes. You can do this by using GPS systems, listening to the radio, or checking on a weather app.
4) Drive carefully
It's a fact that 17% of all vehicle crashes occur during the winter months. With this is mind, you and your drivers should:
• Slow down – Most accidents occur because drivers are travelling too fast. This is especially dangerous for HGV drivers, so when you get behind the wheel, take time to become accustomed to how the vehicle handles on the road – it’s harder to control or stop on a road that is covered in snow or ice. Remember that the speed signs are intended for dry roads!
•Allow extra space – Increase your stopping distance to allow time to react to the vehicles in front of you. During snowy and icy conditions, allow ten times the normal stopping distance.
5) Write a winter policy
If you're a fleet or HR manager, you should already be implementing a range of winter policies and procedures, including preventative measures such as regular driver training and a special winter vehicle check.
Use these tips to stay safe on the roads this winter.