Over the last few years, Black Friday has become one of the most important dates in the retail calendar. In 2017 alone, £1.4bn of online sales were recorded over this period in the UK; an impressive figure, but one that was itself an increase of 11.7% on 2016’s result.
With the sales just a few days away, retailers will be bracing themselves for the incoming barrage of orders, but they aren’t the only ones. It’s sure to be one of the busiest periods of the year for delivery drivers, too.
While fleet managers will be scrambling to ensure that they have enough drivers and vehicles available to meet the demand for deliveries, they must also make sure that those vehicles are adequately prepared to put in the time and mileage to ensure a successful Black Friday for both businesses and their customers.
An area which may be overlooked by many, but which has the potential to seriously impact a delivery driver’s job, is tyre maintenance. The last thing fleet managers would want is for a driver to be broken down at the side of the road with a tyre issue and a full days’ worth of deliveries in the back.
Here are our top tips to ensure your tyres will keep your vehicles (and cargo) moving this Black Friday.
Make sure your drivers regularly check their tyre pressures and tread depths. Not only is it a legal requirement for a tyre’s tread depth to be above 1.6mm, but regular maintenance has the potential to improve a vehicles’ fuel economy. With multiple drivers each making in excess of a hundred deliveries per day, any fuel efficiencies have the potential to noticeably impact the fleet’s expenditure.
Wrap up warm
Temperatures are dropping rapidly, noticeably impacting the conditions of the road. Once temperatures start to drop below 7 degrees, fleet manager should consider fitting their vehicles with winter or all-season tyres. Made with a rubber compound that doesn’t harden in colder temperatures, they’ll provide your drivers with the grip that they need on snowy, ice and wet roads
Look for anything out of the ordinary
Instruct your drivers to do a quick check of their car before setting off, looking specifically for anything out of the ordinary. Bulges on your tyres or items lodged in the tread have the potential to cause problems further down the line, make sure to remedy any issues before setting out for a full day of driving. If in doubt, consider having a garage look over the tyre.
An event as large as Black Friday requires a huge amount of organisation, but with the right preparation, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a resounding success. Make sure your drivers spend just a few minutes checking their tyres before setting off, and it’s one less thing to worry about.
If you need help working out what to look for, the following chart from our Donut Ignore The Signs campaign will hopefully offer some guidance:
David Morris, National Account Manager – Fleet, Leasing & Public Sector, Goodyear Tyres