Are you prepared for the Christmas Rush?

winter driving No matter who you ask, everyone seems to be agreeing that 2012 is disappearing as fast as the wind. You might not want to believe it, but Christmas is only 80 days away and parcels will start winging their way across the country in ever increasing numbers long before those 80 days are up; if you haven’t already started, now is the time to get your courier business ready for the rush.

The last thing you want are for your company vehicles to break down, drastically decreasing the number of packages you can realistically deliver. Take the time to give all your vehicles a quick once over and organise services for any that have yet to be looked at. This is especially important for anyone operating a ‘man with a van’ type service, independent couriers often have no back-up vehicles to rely on, so making sure your van runs smoothly during the colder months could be vital to your business.

Check your tyres, with colder weather meaning icy roads and, potentially, snow, now is the time to make sure that your tyres have the correct pressure and grip needed to see you safely to each of your destinations. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre too; the last thing you need is to be stranded due to a flat!

Make sure your anti-freeze is topped up and at the correct strength, it will stop your engine from freezing as the temperature drops. Check your screen wash and wiper blades, winter doesn’t always mean a dry cold and with the UK’s reputation for rain you can be sure you’ll need to clear your windscreen of mud and rain throughout the busy Christmas period. Test your heating system; make sure you can maintain a warm enough temperature inside the vehicle, particularly if you’re going to be driving long distances.

Your vehicle’s lights can mean the difference between a safe journey and a disaster, especially as the nights begin to draw in. Take the time to perform a visual check of all the lights on your van, ensure your visibility and swap out any dead bulbs.

Have the brake fluid and brakes of your vehicle double checked, even check the exhaust system, underside and suspension. Make sure your van can brake suddenly, cope with lumps and bumps and won’t lose pieces of the underside on the road that could cause an accident behind you, as well as cause problems for your journey.

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