February: the month of love. But put down those flowers and chocolates because here at Barnes we think it’s time to show your truck some love! Not only will taking some time out of your day to ensure your truck’s at its best help with driving efficiency, but it will also hugely increase safety for yourself and other road users.
Firstly, always ensure that you have time for a walk around inspection of the vehicle – the best time to do this is just before it’s about to be driven; and is even more important when the vehicle hasn’t been driven for some time. If anything looks out of place, do not take any risks and report it.
Brakes are one of the most important safety measures, so check their efficiency with a brake test. Your vehicle should be loaded to ensure that a higher brake force before wheel lock can be tested (you should aim to apply at least 65% of the design axle weight on each axle), and brakes can be tested on a clean and well-gritted roller-brake tester (or RBT). The number of wheels which lock will differ from vehicle to vehicle – but remember that a locked wheel does not always mean a good brake.
Refresh your truck and give it an oil change – but might it be time to look at a new oil? There are so many choices out there from the commonly used E7, but consider switching to an oil which can be more fuel efficient such as E4 as E6. Even though many manufacturers have specific oil types, E6 oils meet many E4 and E7 requirements. Whichever oil you choose to use, why not take the time to check and top up or replace your oil to revitalise your HGV.
Finally, when was the last time you had a look at your headlights? The days may be getting very marginally brighter, but headlights are still a necessity not only for night time driving but also for driving in adverse weather conditions. But remember, when replacing a headlamp one of the most important factors is aim. Since April 2015, the Government changed that way headlamp aim is measured on MOT tests, aimed at making them more simple to understand and pass.
We hope that these top Barnes tips will persuade you to take just a little time out of your day to show your truck some love this February, and will help make your driving safer and more efficient.