The first three months of 2015 have seen new van sales hit a record high, but figures have shown that half the vans on our roads are unsafe to drive.
Over 108,000 new vans were registered in the UK between January and March 2015, and sales are set to continue over the next few months as businesses – particularly home delivery services – gain momentum.
But recent studies have found that half the vans on our roads would fail their MOT test due to safety defects.
With the amount of miles vans rack up, it’s unsurprising that many of these vehicles develop faults. But by taking a few precautions van drivers can ensure that their vehicles stay roadworthy for longer.
It was found that 9 out of 10 vans are overloaded, which can put excess pressure on the vehicle. It is important that the van can cope with the load it carries, and one of the things to keep an eye on is tyre pressure. Tyre pressure should be altered depending on the weight the van is carrying, and not inflating tyres properly can reduce their life by 20%. Incorrect pressure can also affect steering, potentially causing an accident.
Other basic maintenance checks include checking the oil, coolant, brake fluid levels and tyre tread. Commercial van drivers should carry out daily “walkaround” checks to ensure the vehicle doesn’t have any obvious damage – but often time constraints of the job mean this isn't possible.
Mark Bower-Dyke, Chairman of Be Wiser Insurance, comments: “When vans are needed for carrying out work, it is essential that they are well maintained, or they could cost a lot of money in the long run – not just due to paying for repairs, but also due to loss of earnings.”