A professional driver understands the need to get deliveries on the road promptly, especially at the start of the day. But ensuring that your delivery vehicle is in good working order on a daily basis will ensure that the day goes smoothly, and that any maintenance can be planned.
This is particularly important if there are multiple drivers using the same vehicle.
Each morning, make a deliberate effort to go through a checklist:
Check for any obvious areas of damage, such as broken lights or markers, damaged or soft tires, or broken wipers. Even parked vehicles can end up sustaining damage overnight, especially when the winter weather hits hard and service vehicles may be out to clear parking areas.
Before you head out, make sure that the brake pedal feels normal and doesn’t have any excessive travel. Ensure that the hand brake/parking brake is functioning properly too.
Give the steering wheel a deliberate back and forth to make sure it feels right and doesn’t have excessive play or make any “new noises.”
Lights, signals and warning indicators
When you start the vehicle, take a moment to ensure that headlights, turn signals, and brake lights are functioning properly.
Check the instrument panel for any warning symbols, such as external warning systems, the check-engine light, or ABS warning systems.
Exterior sensors may be blocked by snow or dirt, inactivating those systems. A simple cleaning or brushing off can often clear this warning indicator.
Fluids and fuel
Ensure that windshield washer fluid is topped up and that you know how much fuel is in the tank. You don’t want to run low on either when you’re in the middle of a long stint to your farthest customer.
Knowing the status of your delivery vehicle at the start of a day can help every day go more smoothly, and help you and your organization better manage maintenance with a minimal impact on delivery performance.