The humble van is the backbone of any nation’s logistical system and can be seen traversing the tarmac arteries of the land, day in, day out. The workhorse of the modern-day, vans are used for all kinds of tasks such as moving furniture, transporting skilled workers and their tools or simply delivering goods.
Since vans are constantly moving, they can quickly rack up the mile count and need to be serviced more than the average vehicle. All kinds of problems can befall a poorly maintained van from simple rusting to gearbox failures and drive train breakages.
Because of their susceptibility to more issues than the family car, it is best not to simply wait for the legally required inspections of a van but to be proactive in caring for it instead as in most cases, the business would be impossible without it.
Some of the most essential things you can do are:
- Check the drivetrain
- Check the tyres
- Keep it clean
The vast distances covered by vans make them more susceptible to drive train failure which can be catastrophic while simply checking the tyres help avoid any unfortunate and costly interruptions. Cleaning your vehicle will reduce rust, prevent bodywork and maintain lights.
All Moving Parts
The drivetrain of a vehicle is what actually gets it to move as it connects all the separate parts to each other via a shaft. Because these parts move the most and put a strain on the shaft, this makes them vulnerable to breakage.
While a drivetrain component such as a Mercedes Vito prop shaft is easy for a mechanic to replace and isn’t too expensive, they can take time and away from your business, so taking care of it can pay off.
Things to look out for are clicking or knocking sounds while driving, strong vibrations or shaking under the vehicle and acceleration shudders. If your van does any of these things then you should get it to a trained mechanic ASAP.
A lot of people don’t pay much attention to the tyres of their vehicle but this is one of the most important parts for good vehicle maintenance. Tyres are constantly losing pressure slowly and should a tyre underinflate sufficiently it will begin to require more fuel to be used properly, lose grip or even blow out, which can be deadly.
It is essential to perform a tyre check at least once per month and look for signs of a bad tyre such as balding, cracks or a flattening where the tread meets the surface. To check that the tread is good enough, measure the main tread of the tyre to see if it is greater than 1.6mm which is the legally allowed minimum tread thickness.
A good rule of thumb though is that any tyre older than 10 years should be automatically and immediately replaced.
Cleaning a car or van isn’t just to make it look good. While that might be the initially desired outcome, keeping a van clean has major benefits and is essential when it comes to the van’s maintenance and road safety.
The obvious and immediate advantage of a clean van is your brand image. People might be put off by a dirty van and might also not be able to see your contact information but the main reason for keeping your can clean, apart from the obvious reputation issues is that you need your lights to be as bright as possible.
Care should be taken when cleaning your van to clean all lights as much as possible so as to maximize visibility when on the road. Being a van driver means you are on the road more than most which increases the risk of a road traffic incident, and you don’t want to be held liable which could have significant and disastrous consequences.