Winter in Ireland can be a challenging time for commercial vehicle drivers, whether you’re behind the wheel of an LGV (Light Goods Vehicle) or an HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle). With unpredictable weather conditions, it’s crucial to ensure your vehicle is prepared for the cold season. The safety of not only the driver but also other road users depends on it. Here are some winter readiness tips from the team at Rathcoole Commercial.
Check and Maintain the Essentials
Before winter arrives, it’s essential to conduct a thorough check of your truck’s essential components:
- Tyres: Ensure your tyres have sufficient tread depth and are in good condition. In Ireland, the legal minimum tread depth for both LGVs and HGVs is 1.6mm. However, it’s advisable to have at least 3mm for better winter performance.
- Lights: Make sure all your lights are working correctly. Clean the lenses and replace any burnt-out bulbs. Proper lighting is essential for visibility during the darker days of winter.
- Brakes: Check the condition of your brakes and make sure they are in excellent working order. Adequate stopping power is crucial, especially on slippery roads.
- Wipers and Defrosters: Inspect your wiper blades and ensure they clear your windshield effectively. Check your defrosters to ensure they can keep your windows clear in cold weather.
Prepare for Cold Weather
As winter approaches, take these steps to prepare for the colder temperatures:
- Anti-Freeze: Ensure your truck’s cooling system has the correct mixture of antifreeze and water. This will prevent freezing and protect your engine from damage.
- Battery: Cold weather can put extra strain on your battery. Make sure it’s in good condition and properly charged. Consider investing in a winter-grade battery for added reliability.
- Heating System: Test your truck’s heating system to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Being warm and comfortable in the cabin is vital for long winter journeys.
- Winter Fluids: Use winter-grade engine oil and fuel to prevent gelling in low temperatures. Also, keep an extra supply of windshield washer fluid with antifreeze.
Load Securely and Efficiently
Properly securing your load is essential during winter:
- Weight Distribution: Ensure your load is distributed evenly to maintain proper balance and traction, especially on slippery roads.
- Secure the Load: Double-check that your load is securely tied down. During winter, sudden stops and icy conditions can cause cargo to shift if not properly restrained.
- As always make sure that your CVRT Test is up to date, book you CVRT test online here.
- Maintain Vehicle Records: Keep accurate records of maintenance and inspections, as these can be requested during the DOE test. Regular maintenance is essential to passing the test and ensuring your truck is safe for winter driving.
Winter driving in Ireland can be challenging, but with proper preparation and attention to detail, you can ensure your truck, whether it’s an LGV or an HGV, is ready to tackle the colder months. Don’t forget to prioritize safety, and remember that compliance with the LGV and HGV tests, along with the DOE test, is essential. By following these steps and being proactive, you can reduce the risks associated with winter driving and keep both yourself and other road users safe.
For more about winter driving safety, see these tips from the Road Services Authority. At Rathcoole Commercial we would be happy to assist with winter safety checks of DOE tests. Give us a call today 01 401 6840.