At Rygor, we are specialists at keeping your business moving. During the winter period it can be particularly difficult to keep vehicles on the road due to changeable weather, slippery roads and salt and other debris affecting driving conditions.
Stopping distances can double in the wet and increase ten-fold in ice and snow, and if you can’t see clearly, you can’t react to hazards adequately. It is safe to say, winter throws up many challenges which even experienced drivers may struggle to cope with and keep their vehicles on the road.
Aside from booking a free vehicle health check to ensure your vehicle is working at optimum efficiency and safety, we’ve come up with 5 top tips to help keep you on the road and your business moving.
- Maximise your visibility
During winter, the low angle of the sun can often mean that your sun visor doesn't actually protect your eyes – a hazard that is made worse when the sun reflects off a wet road surface underneath the visor, creating a strong, bright glare.
There are, however, a few simple steps you could take to minimise the impact and improve visibility.
Keep a pair of sunglasses close at hand. Although it seems strange wearing sunglasses in winter time and not on the beach in Spain, sunglasses would improve your visibility when facing a glare. Also, keep your windscreen clean as dirt, mud and salt scatter sunlight and lower visibility further, whilst a dusty inside windscreen can further reduce visibility.
- Increase your distance by more than you might think
Although it seems obvious, driving in the winter is completely different to driving in any other season and should not be taken lightly. The main culprit to this is the road conditions. Slippery roads, salty roads and spray from other vehicles can cause havoc with judging stopping distances as you approach an obstacle in the road which could lead to accidents.
In wet conditions, stopping distances double. Whilst in icy conditions they are up to 10 times as long as in normal conditions. Meanwhile, not being able to see the obstacle until it is too late exacerbates the problem as spray from cars in front reduces visibility. This reduces the time you have to make decisions and apply brakes so as to avoid a serious accident. Keep a safe gap between you and the vehicle in front to ensure you can react to any situations as they arise.
Salt in the spray causes a clean windscreen to quickly turn to a mucky, smeary mess reducing visibility further. Keep your windscreen clean inside and out to maximise your vehicle’s visibility and stay on the straight and narrow.
- Complete daily vehicle inspections
Although it’s good practice to routinely check your vehicle for maintenance – and in the case of trucks, it’s mandatory – it is never more important during winter.
During winter; salt, mud, leaves and other materials found on the road can increase the maintenance required for your vehicle(s). Rust caused by trapped water, dirt that clogs up filters and much more can stop a van or truck in its tracks, causing it to run less efficiently or potentially making it unroadworthy.
Daily vehicle inspections are a great way to carry out proactive maintenance, ensuring minor repairs don’t become major issues and potentially avoiding costly repairs and lost revenues for your business. Our highly skilled technicians can keep your business moving, and with extended opening hours at most of our branches; they can do it at a time that’s convenient for you. Book your vehicle’s repair and we’ll get you back on the road sooner.
- Test your brakes frequently
Salt, dirt and debris can have a damaging effect on brakes resulting in poor performance and longer stopping distances. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, and carry out manoeuvres very slowly and with extra care to avoid skidding.
Make sure your brakes are working at peak performance, book a free brake test at one of our sites.
- Plan routes effectively to maximise time
With increased traffic and blocked roads the norm not the exception during winter, planning routes and jobs is essential to maximise profits, efficiency and uptime. It is a good idea to plan routes that favour main roads as they are more likely to be cleared and gritted, whilst country lanes that might look like they offer a cut through, instead throw up more problems with tight passing places and blockages.
Fleetboard allows for effective planning of routes including a full logistics solution seamlessly integrated into your existing TMS/Routing & Scheduling tool. Drivers can be provided with information from simple delivery points to full delivery and load details, fully supported with 'Truck Friendly’ navigation. Speak to our experienced team today to find out more.
With 11 branches throughout Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, West London, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, Rygor are a multi award winning specialist Mercedes-Benz van and truck Dealership.