Ever wondered how a commercial vehicle maintenance guide can save your business time and money? Or want to find out from the experts how to pass your CVRT? How about a list of quick and easy everyday checks you can carry out? Then look no further than Rathcoole Commercial’s commercial vehicle maintenance guide.
This comprehensive commercial vehicle maintenance guide will demonstrate how regular commercial vehicle maintenance – like annual servicing – can ultimately save your business time and money. We’ll give you some helpful, everyday checks you can carry out on your commercial vehicles to ensure they’re operating at maximum efficiency. As well as some tips to ensure you pass your CVRT first time around.
Why Your Business Needs a Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Guide
Regular vehicle servicing and maintenance is proven to reduce operating costs of commercial vehicles. Not only does commercial vehicle maintenance prevent excessive and unplanned vehicle maintenance jobs, it also minimises unscheduled disruptions to your operations when vehicles are off the road for periods of time. So, vehicle maintenance is good not only for your bottom line, but for your customers too.
Before you make a commitment to regular vehicle maintenance it’s important to understand how it’s going to benefit your business. So, here’s 5 reasons why commercial vehicle maintenance should be at the heart of your business strategy.
1. Reduces Vehicle Breakdowns
The first, most obvious, way commercial vehicle maintenance can benefit your business is by reducing the frequency of vehicle breakdowns. Compared to poorly maintained vehicles, regularly serviced vehicles spend less time off the roads getting repair work done or at roadside checks.
2. Fewer Accidents
Well-maintained commercial vehicles get into fewer accidents – it’s that simple. Take your brakes, for example. Most drivers don’t pay attention to their brakes until they start squeaking, grinding, or even worse. Sometimes, the difference between a collision and a close call is just a few feet. So, it’s important that your brakes are operating at their best.
3. Lowers Operating Costs
Well maintained vehicles have lower operating costs than those that are not adequately maintained and that’s not just not in terms of repairs. Commercial vehicles that are regularly repaired and maintained can save your business money on fuel expenses and insurance costs, not to mention extend the life of your vehicle.
4. Improves Customer Satisfaction
As a business, being able to deliver consistent, on-time deliveries to your customers is vital. Poorly maintained vehicles can be unpredictable and that’s not good for business. Breakdown costs are only the tip of the iceberg if the result in an unhappy customer.
5. It’s the law
This means that these commercial vehicles are not being checked sufficiently to ensure they meet the proper standards of roadworthiness. This is dangerous not only for your drivers but other road users, so be sure to keep on top of your Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Tests (CVRT).
Encouraging drivers to carry our daily vehicle inspections, is a great way to catch any commercial vehicle maintenance problems before they develop into bigger, more costly and time-consuming ones.
Here’s a couple of easy and daily checks drivers can carry out before they start driving. Setting aside a couple of minutes every day for vehicle inspections, can save you a lot of time and money in the long-run.
Check that your vehicle isn’t leaning to one side. When viewed from the outside it should be sitting even and square.
Your tires should be in good condition, meaning that they should be inflated correctly and that the thread wear should be minimal and even.
Systematically check that each of your lights is in working condition and that they are visible and clear.
Make sure your exhaust runs with no excessive smoke or noise and that it is connected firmly to your commercial vehicle.
Check that each of your vehicle access steps, catwalks and drawbar coupling are in reasonably good condition.
Confirm that your connectors are fitted correctly (inc. ABS / EBS cable).
Similarly, your vehicle bodyguards, wings, curtains, doors and should be in good shape.
Ensure that your fifth wheel is locked. Also, make sure that the landing legs and handle are correctly positioned.
Confirm that air suspension is set correctly.
Ensure that the fuel cap seal is in place and that it is not leaking.
Check engine oil, water, fuel levels and windscreen washer reservoir. Since they will all be used during your CVRT test, they should all be included on your commercial vehicle safety checklist. Otherwise, you will incur a fail.
Top Tips for Passing Your CVRT
No commercial vehicle maintenance guide would be complete without some tips about how to pass the CVRT. Not everyone passes their CVRT first time around and often it can be very simple mistakes that cause you to fail. At Rathcoole Commercial, we recommend that you do some basic preparations to ensure you pass first time around.
1. Lighting and electrics
Confirm that none of your lights are broken. Side Lights, Main Beams, Brake Lights, Indicators, Reversing Lights, Number Plate Lights and Rear Fog Lights should be checked systematically.
If any of your lights are not working, either a bulb or fuse is defective. Your vehicle manual will show you the location of any fuse that needs to be replaced before you come to our CVRT test centre.
2. Engine and coolant levels
One of the first things our Dublin CVRT test centre will perform on your vehicle is to measure its CO2 emissions. If your vehicle is low on oil or coolant then we will not be able to run the test. This is because it may damage the engine, so you should ensure that these are topped up.
3. Tyre condition
Threads should be at least 1.6mm and evenly worn. Your tyres will be checked for impact damage, bulges and cracks, and should be replaced prior to the test if they are not in good condition. Tyre pressure should be kept in the recommended range, this information can be found on the tyre, or on a sticker on the driver’s door frame.
In general, to keep the wear of your tyres at a minimum, it is recommended that you rotate them on a regular basis. This involves switching your rear and front tyres, something that you can ask our staff to do when you get your vehicle serviced.
4. Suspension and brakes
While you cannot examine your brakes to the extent that our CVRT test centre can, we recommend that you be conscious of their condition while driving. If they seem to be unreactive or stiff, they probably need to be examined and you should make sure to have your vehicle serviced before having it tested.
So, if your commercial vehicle is in need of a service, our experienced team are here to help. Our extensive facilitates can accommodate both light and heavy commercial vehicles. So, don’t delay with your commercial vehicle maintenance. Get in touch with us today.