We typically think of vehicle maintenance in the colder winter months, but the warmer summer months can pose their own challenges if you operate a fleet of vehicles.
Fleet vehicle maintenance should be a priority year-round to ensure the safety of your drivers and to minimise fleet downtime, but here we look specifically at fleet vehicle summer maintenance checks you should carry out. We’ll also explore some other areas which could pose a hazard to driver safety in the summer and how you can manage these risks.
Fleet Vehicle Summer Maintenance Checks
Carrying out maintenance checks should be part of your routine if you run a fleet of vehicles. And daily checks will be a responsibility for your drivers if you are an HGV operator.
Some areas to focus on during the hotter summer months include;
In the summer months, tyre temperatures can increase. And the air inside can expand. So, if they are at the incorrect pressure, this can increase the potential for a tyre blowout.
It will be important to regularly check your tyre pressure over the summer and make sure that they are inflated to the correct pressure as stated by your tyre manufacturer.
If your tyres are damaged this can mean an increased potential for a tyre blowout in the summer. So, make sure you do regular sight checks of the condition of your tyres and replace any damaged tyres immediately,
In the warmer weather there is also the possibility for vehicles to overheat. Make sure you have enough engine coolant and keep this topped up.
Vehicles should be sent for maintenance if any issues are identified.
Check air conditioning systems are working properly
It can also be uncomfortable to drive in hot weather conditions. So, for your drivers’ safety, it may be worth having the air conditioning systems in your vehicles checked to ensure that everything is working as expected.
Managing other summer driving hazards
The suns glare
With the (hopefully) sunny days during the summer, there is the risk of the suns glare making it difficult for drivers to see or identify hazards.
One way to overcome this is to make sure that you keep your windscreen clean and smear free. Make sure you have your windscreen washer full. And make sure that wiper blades are fully functional and changed if needed.
You may also want to advise drivers to keep sunglasses to hand – but make sure you pick a pair of sunglasses which are suitable for driving in.
Hay fever medication
If you are a hay fever sufferer, then the summer months can be tricky with increased pollen counts etc. And you may reach for your hay fever medication to keep your symptoms at bay.
But do be mindful of driving after you have taken hay fever medication. Some hay fever medications can cause drowsiness and other side effects. It will be important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your hay fever medication and the possible side effects. Some hay fever medications are stronger than others. Some may recommend you do not drive after taking them – and you must follow the advice.
Do keep in mind that it is illegal to drive in England and Wales with legal drugs in your body if they impair your driving.
Being caught drug driving can carry significant penalties – if caught you could face a minimum one year driving ban, an unlimited fine, up to 6 months in prison, a criminal record. A drug driving conviction will also show on your licence for 11 years.
The summer months are also a time to meet up with friends and have dinner or drinks after work. But again, your drivers must be aware of the dangers of drink driving and the laws surrounding this. This will apply to driving immediately after having a drink and to the following day as it takes your body a certain amount of time to process alcohol out of your body. You can still be over limit the following day after drinking alcohol.
As the summer approaches it may be a good idea to re-educate your drivers on your drink driving policy and reiterate the consequences and penalties of being caught drink driving.
As a fleet operator, it is right that you should manage risks linked to driving for work all year round. And one of these areas is ensuring that you have the right fleet insurance in place to protect your vehicles and drivers. Chat to Anthony Jones today if you are reviewing your fleet insurance – we have a team of experts who will be more than happy to help. Call us on 020 8290 9099 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.