Adverse Weather and Delivery Work: Effects and Solutions
Bad weather is one of the main factors that can affect or disrupt delivery work. Find out some solutions to the problem here.
In modern Western society, being a delivery driver can be a most profitable and fulfilling profession. With steady volumes of business throughout the year and certain extraordinary or peak periods (the Christmas holidays, for example), haulage is one of the most reliable ways for a service professional to earn a living.
However, unlike office jobs, this type of business is subject to a number of unaccountable variables, which most of the time are beyond the haulier's control. These can range from mechanical faults in the lorry itself, to a sudden dip in business volumes or instances of bad weather, making delivery work more difficult to carry out successfully.
This is why haulage professionals, particularly those not under contract to a large company, should be careful to take a number of precautions against extreme weather conditions. Be it a scorching hot summer or a particularly icy and sleety winter, the modern haulier needs to be prepared to brave the wrath of the elements at any given time of the year. A few good ways to do so are detailed in the lines below.
As noted above, one of the main 'boom' periods for delivery work each year are the Christmas holidays. The need for extra stock on the part of retailers, along with the increasingly high number of purchases made online, guarantee hauliers a nice pay-cheque every November and December. However, to earn that pay-cheque, delivery professionals – particularly those in colder places – often have to deal with slippery roads, either from downpours or due to ice. Similarly, fog is a threat to take into account when performing haulage work during the colder months of the year, and something hauliers need to anticipate and brace against.
A good way to do so is to ensure the lorry itself is equipped for every eventuality. Fleet trucks are more likely to be decked out with the correct type of tyres, lights, snow chains and other weather-centric accessories, but freelance or self-employed drivers should remember to acquire these bits and pieces ahead of wintertime delivery work. Having the vehicle looked at by a mechanic is also highly recommended, as it reduces the chances of a mechanical fault occurring at a crucial time. This type of mishap is common during the cold season, and a trip to the 'shop' ahead of time could safeguard a driver against it.
However, as well-documented an issue as extremely cold or rainy weather is in the context of delivery work, hauliers should be careful not to overlook the dangers of overly hot weather, either. Particularly hot summers are infamous for causing engine breakdowns, overheating and other problems that could affect or disrupt a haulier's schedule. Again, a trip to the mechanic is probably the best way to ensure the risk of these problems is kept to a minimum, while carrying an extra gallon of water under the seat will also help in case the engine begins to overheat while on the road.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry in the UK and Europe. It provides services for matching delivery work and to buy and sell road transport in the domestic and international markets. Over 3,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.