By law, employers are required to ensure that all company vehicles are fit to drive. For most this means simply giving their vehicles an annual MOT and service. However, many would argue that this is not enough to ensure driver safety. Vehicle maintenance plays a vital role too. If we stop and think about what an MOT actually is, we find it’s simply ensuring the vehicle meets the minimum road safety standards.
And if a vehicle passes in November, what’s to say it’s still fit to drive in January…
Many employers are now going above this minimum standard by checking their vehicles regularly. These checks can be based on time or mileage and should be carried out by the driver or a vehicle inspector. However, it is recommended that the driver is always present at this time as they should be assured that the car they are driving is safe, especially when drivers are swapping
We have listed some simple vehicle maintenance techniques to help you maintain the health of your vehicle.
The only thing connecting your vehicle to the road are four pieces of rubber. Looking after and monitoring the health of your tyres is a fairly simple process. However, many motorists will leave it too late to check their tyres.
Not only is it very dangerous for a vehicle to be driven with worn or defective tyres but it is also illegal. The minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre and around the full circumference. However, it is recommended that tyres are replaced when the tread depth reaches 2mm in order to maintain optimum braking performance.
Tread depth is not the only part of the tyre that needs to be checked in order to ensure your tyres are healthy and safe. Tyre pressure, wheel alignment and external damage should also be checked regularly.
A simple and easy way of checking your tyre depth is by placing a twenty pence piece in between your tread. If you can see the top of the outer rim then your tyres are approaching the minimum legal limit and will probably need to be replaced in the not too distant future.
With an ever-growing range of cars out on the road, each with their own tyre specification, garages and even tyre specialist garages are unable to stock every
make and model of tyre to cover all eventualities.
Some tyres may have to be ordered in which will mean that you will be unable to change your tyres the same day. It is important to regularly check the health of your tyres in order to leave enough time for them to be replaced.