All across the UK, thousands of refrigerated vans are rushing back and forth, making deliveries, picking up stock and keeping a variety of different industries, including the food and drink sector, operating efficiently.
Unlike private vehicles, vans and trucks of all makes tend to travel over longer distances and have more strain put on them. The bad news is that breaking down isn’t an option. If a normal van has a maintenance problem it’s simply a question of putting it right.
When you have a breakdown in a fully loaded refrigerated van, however, you have the added challenge of what to do with your stock. If the refrigerator unit is still working, all well and good. If not, you could end up losing some expensive stock. With many businesses working to tight margins at the moment, reducing the risk of breakdown is essential.
Any temperature-controlled vehicle requires a more thoughtful maintenance routine to keep it on the road. To help, the team at FridgeXpress have put together a few important tips.
1. Carry Out Basic Maintenance
It can be difficult to find time to get maintenance done if you are busy transporting goods from A to B all the time. It’s essential to do this regularly, however, and to fit it into your daily routine. Simple maintenance task could include:
- Checking the oil and coolant and topping up, if needed.
- Making sure the tyre tread on your wheels is safe.
- Checking lights are working and your cooler is operating efficiently.
If your refrigerated van is a little older, this is even more important, especially at busy times and during the winter.
2. Keep Cooler Areas Clean
The refrigeration unit needs just as much attention as the rest of your vehicle. Dirt, dust and condensation can all affect efficiency so it’s important to keep this part of your van clean at all times.
If you are busy and transporting a lot of goods, you can quickly end up with contaminants which can adversely affect your next load. Older units may have other issues that you need to keep on top of so checking temperatures and ensuring everything is working properly is important.
3. Regular Servicing
You should also schedule in regular inspections with a qualified mechanic for your refrigerated van. That includes not just the van itself but the refrigeration unit. How often you do this will depend on the age of your van and what condition it is in. Newer models aren’t so much of a worry. Older ones should probably go for a full service and check over at least every 25,000 miles.
4. Have a Pre-Journey Checklist
It can be difficult if you are managing a larger fleet of refrigerated vans to keep track of every little thing. Making sure that drivers undertake the same pre-trip checks for each journey and formally note these down is important. This could include, for example, ensuring the inside of the refrigerator is clean, checking for any cracks or damage, and looking at the seals.
5. Don’t Ignore Problems
With the pressure to get deliveries out and protect that bottom line, it can be tempting to ignore little niggles and problems. These can soon build-up, however, and create bigger problems and be more expensive for businesses.
Take the Hassle Out of Maintaining Your Refrigerated Van: Lease or Rent
Maintaining one or two refrigerated vans or a whole fleet can mean huge maintenance issues for businesses. Leasing is one option where that side of things is often handled for you. While you don’t own the van, you do have several advantages over buying one outright for your business:
- For a start, you pay a fixed fee each month which means you can manage your business finances effectively. There’s breakdown cover with most packages and you are not dealing with a depreciating asset as you would if you bought your van.
- Building a relationship with a leasing and rental company is also a good idea if you currently own your vehicles. If one breaks down, getting a replacement on-site and goods transferred is a lot easier if you have a supporting business like this. Your driver simply has to make a call and get a replacement van delivered.
Why Build a Partnership with FridgeXpress
FridgeXpress are specialists in leasing, renting and buying refrigerated vans. It’s actually all we do!
If your business regularly transports goods that require temperature control, contact our expert team to see how we can help.