Vans are hard-working partners, and many can tackle poor conditions with ease, but all the same, it's always wise to minimise the chances of becoming stranded in poor weather. Here's what you should have in your winter vehicle safety kit:
Ice scraper or deicing spray: This is a must for winter mornings when your van has had chance to frost over. If you run out of deicer, you can make your own using water and a teaspoon of salt, or one part water to three parts vinegar, or one part water to two parts alcohol. Spray your solution of choice onto the windscreen and any windows, and use the scraper to get excess ice and snow off your vehicle.
Shovel: At the top of the list when it comes to sorting out what to keep in your vehicle in winter is a shovel. This is vital, especially if you work somewhere where snow is heavy or tends to drift. A shovel can also be useful for popping grit down if needed.
Winter tyres: Another of our winter vehicle essentials is winter tyres. These use a different type of rubber and have a different tread pattern from normal tyres, which makes them better at handling snow and ice. You can also get fabric covers which you put over your wheels to help them grip in the snow, called snow socks.
Brighter headlamps: Xenon or LED headlamps provide brighter light than halogen bulbs, allowing you to see the road ahead better; they may also last longer. Changing your headlamps may even be a job you can do yourself.
Screen wash: It's a good idea to have a higher concentration of screenwash in winter to stop it freezing.
Torch: You should carry a torch all year round really, along with spare batteries – if you break down, get lost or spring a puncture in the dark, you'll be glad.
Portable phone charger: Because even the best of us sometimes forget to charge our phones before we go out.
Snow brush: If snow falls on your roof, you must clean it off, or it can blow onto the windscreen of the car behind and cause an accident – especially if you're driving at higher speeds. A snow brush with an extendable handle can help you get it all off before setting out.
High visibility jacket: You may well have one as part of your work anyway, but if you don't, it's certainly a sensible thing to carry – it could avert an accident by helping you to be seen.
Blanket: An essential in the event you break down in the cold. It’ll help stave off the chill if you have to wait for breakdown recovery.
From winter tyres to Xenon headlamps, if you'd like advice on any of the above, Vanwise Group isn't just the place to go to buy used vans – our in-house technicians carry out servicing and repairs too, so can help with anything you'd like to ask us about. Just give us a call at our Maidstone andHarlow dealership.