Keeping Construction Company Vehicles on the Road in the Summer

Keeping Construction Company Vehicles on the Road in the Summer

24th July 2018

If you’re a construction company owner, whether your business is large or small, chances are that you use a works van for transport of tools, equipment and machinery to get to the jobs you do.  The recent heatwave has caused all manner of problems for workers in the UK, especially those who work outdoors in the glaring heat of the sun, as do so many of us in the construction industry. We’ve already given you some information on how to protect yourself and your employees from the soaring temperatures and harsh sunshine, but did you know that you need to make sure your van and any other vehicles are safe from the heat too?

Road conditions change in the summer months, with journeys often taking longer so drivers should be aware of potential problems that can occur when the temperatures rise.  Any business owner who relies on a vehicle as part of their business operations will know just how costly and inconvenient it can be if a vehicle breaks down and is off the road for a while being repaired.  Avoid downtime for your vehicles by paying attention to the following summer problems.

  • TYRE PRESSURE – while summer tyres are available, standard tyres are perfectly fine during the summer months in the UK as long as they are checked correctly and are in good condition.  Correct tyre care will also help to reduce fuel costs because if tyres are underinflated, the rolling resistance results in more fuel consumption. For tradespeople with heavier loads, extra precautions should be taken as these vehicles may need higher tyre pressures than normal.  Check the wear and tear of tyres on a regular basis too in order to avoid having a flat which can delay arrivals at the job.

  • OVERHEATING – with temperatures predicted to continue to soar over the summer here in the UK, overheating is one of the most common problems to look out for.  Check that your coolant is topped up but avoid using water. Coolant has additives that will prevent rust and corrosion, so make sure that each of your vehicles has a spare bottle to save long term damage to the engine.

  • OVERCROWDED ROADS – the roads are usually quite a bit busier during the summer, especially when the schools are out.  The warm weather also results in more people driving to head out for a day outdoors which means more congestion too.  To avoid travelling during busier times, use a route planner before setting off and look at some alternative routes when the roads are particularly busy if possible.

  • ESSENTIAL KIT – make sure your works vehicles are kitted out with essentials for long journeys or potential breakdowns.  A first aid kit, a warning triangle, additional engine oil, water and windscreen wash can help to prevent situations from becoming worse than they already are.

With a little common sense and some forward planning, keeping your works vehicles in good condition and on the road shouldn’t be too much of a challenge over the warm summer months.  We often complain about how awful our summers are here in the UK, so let’s all try to be sensible and really enjoy this one.