Getting your van winter-ready

While normal motorists try to cut down on the number of journeys they make in winter, for busy couriers that simply isn’t an option. In fact, with more people staying at home and ordering all manner of things online, couriers are arguably more in demand in winter than at any other time of the year.

The Christmas rush means more journeys for couriers just when the weather is at its most unkind, so before you set off, you need to make sure your van us up the job.

Here are some tips tops for getting your van ready for winter

Be safe, be seen

This may have been a well-worn slogan in a campaign aimed at pedestrians back in the day, but it is equally apt when driving your van in winter.

Before setting off you should check that all your bulbs are in working order, especially your fog lamps. With so little daylight about during winter, your lights are more important than ever.

Fog can also descend quite quickly, making visibility extremely difficult, therefore all your lights must be working. Not only will this help you navigate the winter roads, but it will also make you visible to other vehicles.

Be prepared

Make sure to stock up on winter essentials for every journey you make during the season. Many auto suppliers will stock winter packs that contain an ice scraper, demister cloths and anti-freeze.

An ice-scrapper will help to remove hard ice that has gathered on your van’s windscreen overnight. You may be tempted to boil up the kettle and pour over the hot water to clear the ice, but this runs the risk of cracking the glass.

Windows can steam up pretty quickly in cold weather and having a demister cloth handy is good to be able to wipe the windows to increase visibility.

Another winter essential is sunglasses. You may not be hitting the beach any time soon, but sunglasses will help you see properly when the sun is particularly low in the sky, which can be at this time of year.

You should also have some emergency supplies packed too such as a warm blanket, torch and bottle of clean water in case you get stranded in severe weather. Make sure your mobile is fully charged too before you set off.

Guard against the elements

Severely cold weather can lead to parts of your engine seizing up. That’s why it is essential to put anti-freeze in your engine before setting off.

Winter is also a time when your windscreen attracts more dirt than usual, so make sure your screenwash levels are topped up. It may be a good idea to buy a bottle of concentrated screen wash as this is the most effective at removing the thick dirt which can accumulate on your windscreen.

Don’t get ‘tyred’ out

Tyre tread is important all year round, but especially so in winter. You are more likely to have to contend with slippery surfaces, so you must check the tread on your tyres and have them replaced if necessary. The minimum tread requirement in the UK is 1.6 mm, however, it is advisable to change tyres when the tread goes below 3mm. You may get away with it on firmer, dry roads in the summer, but reduced tread in winter can be very dangerous.

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