As a commercial van service, you know there are many factors you must take into consideration to keep costs down and efficiency up. You have to keep up on maintenance, find the most cost-friendly prices for fuel, have a plan to keep your commercial van operation running smoothly. All of this requires good planning and an approach that is not that hard to achieve.
Make Sure Your Van Is Loaded Properly
Before heading out, you must ensure your van is stable, safe, excellent handling of the van and loaded properly. As you probably know, your load must be lower and toward the centre of the van. This will ensure the centre of gravity is low so your van will remain stable and balanced.
Loose items can easily be thrown around, therefore, tying down items prevent damage to the items or to other items. Once everything is loaded properly, the drivers must double-check to make sure the cargo door is properly locked.
Regular Maintenance Checks Is A Must
As a van operation business, you know how important it is to have regular checks that are essential for your heavy-duty vehicles. You can run into many safety risks if your maintenance services are low and irregular. Heavy-duty commercial vans need a great deal more maintenance than other vehicles.
You should encourage your drivers to perform maintenance checks on a weekly or even daily basis. If done properly, they should be able to discover problems that can lead to a van breaking down or could cause an accident. On a daily basis, they should notice if there is any body damage or the paint has been damaged. Not only will this prevent problems in operation but also give an appearance that you run a quality service when your vans have good paint, not chipped and damaged. Make sure they check to ensure tyre pressure is set correctly and the lights are operating properly. The level of oil in the vans should be checked at least every 2 weeks.
Always Plan Your Trips Ahead Of Time
Always plan your trips ahead of time to reduce the mileage and save valuable time. Every mile you travel will add to your costs. You might want to consider combining trips to reduce fuel costs while not affecting your quality of service. Always check out the condition of the roads you will be travelling and what traffic will be like. In many cases, travelling a few extra miles to avoid heavy traffic or poor road conditions will save time and fuel.
To Conserve Fuel, A Steady Speed Is Recommended
Heavy vans take longer to slow down and accelerate. If your drivers are continually braking or accelerating, they are either in heavy traffic or driving too fast. Encourage your drivers to go at a steady and comfortable speed for safety and to reduce the use of fuel.
Another important factor, if your drivers are travelling too fast, it can upset your cargo when handling curving roads or road conditions so, again, ensure they understand why keeping the speed down will ensure all goes well.
The Importance Of Driving Safely
If one of your drivers is in an accident, it really doesn’t matter how much experience they have. If they are driving at an unsafe speed, they are going to lose control which will lead to downtime, the cost for repairs and endangering others on the road.
Keep in mind, unlike your standard vehicle, vans are going to weigh a great deal more due to cargo. Drivers must understand that cargo will dictate stopping distances on wet or icy roads. Even relatively small vans have a different set of stopping distances. It’s up to you to ensure your drivers are properly trained to understand the difference between driving a van vs a standard vehicle.
Drivers must know and understand how to adjust their braking distances according to the load and road conditions. You must encourage your drivers to slow down when approaching junctions and roundabouts. It will give them ample time to stop if something happens in front of them. If a driver is in the process of changing from cars to vans, ensure they are familiar with the requirements for driving a van.
On top of all these factors, cars have different control placements and the layout of the dashboards. Your drivers might need time to adjust to the differences. Some vans have 6 gears to reduce the cost of fuel, not to increase the costs.
Obviously, vans are higher up than cars which means you need more overhead clearance such as bridges, underground parking facilities, etc. Also, vans take more time to park than cars and are more difficult to park.
You’ve probably noticed, posted speed limits are different between cars and vans. Keep in mind, a van does not have a centre rear-view mirror. The driver must rely on what they can see through the side mirrors and windows.
Do Not Put Off A Regular Van Service
Having periodic services is critical for good van maintenance. Make sure your vans are serviced by specialists working at a van centre. They know the schedule recommendations by the manufacturer. Regular service will guarantee good performance, fuel efficiency and safety. This will also cut down on breakdowns and other mechanical or driving conditions.
For your regular Van service, don’t look too far. At Van Service Centre, our technicians specialise in van servicing, repair and problem diagnosis. Our experience ensures diagnosis is accurate and the repair is carried out efficiently. Though no work will be carried out until you the customer has been fully informed of the problem and we get your approval to complete the necessary work to get your van back on the road. You can make a booking now by completing the short form below or give us a call now – 0161 628 5270.