Predicting the usage demands on a commercial vehicle before the pandemic had challenges, but few people could have foreseen how those challenges would change during the course of 2020. Sealey discusses the implications.
Lockdown made things difficult for many people to get the items they required. Delivery companies were reporting massive increases in demands from supermarket chains to re-stock. Sales for all businesses have had varying changes in demand to cope with, and that directly affects the supply and delivery chain.
Whilst some markets have seen sales reduce dramatically, others are having record sales. One thing that is a constant is that all of these goods need to be transported to their point of sale or home customer. Shopping habits have also changed significantly. Click and collect shopping is one area that has increased, with home deliveries having seen record increases in demand (for obvious reasons).
The run up to Christmas and the new year sales also mean commercial vehicle usage will be at its maximum possible level for many vehicle operators. Sadly, due to COVID-19, sickness levels may increase which will place additional demands on many businesses.
Importance of maintenance
All of these demands, seasonal or otherwise, mean vehicle downtime has to be kept to a minimum – this is where a wellmaintained vehicle will pay dividends. All workshops are likely to have come across a poorly maintained vehicle at some point. When such a vehicle does eventually force its owner into a repair, this can often unearth a multitude of other issues which can take the vehicle out of use for some time.
Whilst regular driver checks and defect reporting are a regular part of haulier’s life, a well-stocked parts department is one of the key considerations to keeping vehicles moving when defects need to be rectified quickly. Consumable items are one of the many part department tools that can save lots of time and money when vehicles are being repaired. The correct rivet, split pin, or repair washer being instantly available can save a huge amount of time and frustration for the technician when carrying out a repair. Faster repair times also mean the vehicle is returned to the road quickly, this leads to a more efficient workshop too.
All bases covered
For winter reliability, the engine antifreeze has to be at the correct strength, whilst the battery fluid also has to be at the correct level and strength. The Sealey VS0052 Refractometer is capable of testing not only antifreeze but also battery fluid, screen wash strengths, and AdBlue. It is a very useful addition to any professional commercial vehicle technician’s tool box.
Tyre inspection and maintenance is vital for safety and reliability. An underinflated tyre is much more prone to overheating and failure, and it is a major inconvenience if a problem does occur. This safety critical component needs good quality equipment to ensure it is correctly inflated.
The Sealey SA37/95 Professional Tyre Inflator is manufactured to comply with EN 12645. The pressure scale is dual calibrated in psi and bar, and can inflate to 140psi. It is supplied with a serial numbered calibration certificate and a two-year guarantee for peace of mind. Rarely in our recent history has vehicle servicing and repairs been so critical in maintaining our supply chains.