How To: Stay Safe Behind the Wheel in Poor Weather Conditions

When we experience poor weather conditions it’s important to adapt your driving style. This type of weather brings poor visibility and reduced grip which can make your job extremely challenging. Good manoeuvring skills and skid control skills are essential. Here are some of our tips to stay safe behind the wheel in poor weather conditions.

Inspect the vehicle

Ensure that you have prepared your vehicle according to the weather to prevent any major problems. You should check the tire pressure, engine oil, wiper blades, fluids and lights before you set off for your journey.

Slow down

By driving at a slower speed, you have more time to react in the event that something happens. There is often risk of hydroplaning when driving at a higher speed. This can be due to loosing control of the vehicle due to slush in the road.

Keep a safe distance

Ensure that you keep a safe distance between you and the cars around you when possible. In the event of any unpredictable situations it’s always good to have extra room so you can move out of harm’s way. When driving in snowy and icy conditions more stop time is required.  This is due to reduced grip, visibility and the unpredictability of what could happen from the other drivers on the road.

FACT: The stopping distance on a wet road is twice the normal stopping distance. On an icy road it’s almost 10 times as much!

Turn on your headlights

Not only do you need to keep a safe distance from the other drivers, they need to keep a safe distance from you. Ensure that you have your headlights switched on so they can see you and maintain a safe distance.

Keep an eye out for black ice

Black ice is a thin transparent layer of ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing. Black ice will make the road look slightly wet. How to spot black ice:

  • There might be a build-up of ice on the mirror arms, top corners of the windshield or antenna
  • There will be no spray back coming from the tyres of the vehicle in front of you

Pull over

If the weather condition become too severe and you’re nervous about driving, ensure you either stay parked at your location or pull over if you are driving. However, if you’re driving on a motorway do not pull over into the hard shoulder as other drivers may mistake you for a moving vehicle. Instead continue onto the next exit or services and come off safely there. Ensure that you listen to the weather reports and warnings so that you can react appropriately.

Be Prepared

Make sure you pack your essential bag and include a little bit extra! Ensure you have warm clothing and blankets with you. If you are going on a longer journey you might want to take other items such as a torch, windshield scraper, a bag of sand/salt and shovel.


A Guide: Automotive Job Roles

There are a variety of job roles that make up the Automotive sector. These roles give the right candidates an excellent opportunity to work within a busy, modern and well equipped automotive Bodyshop. This includes but is not limited to:

Panel Beater

Panel beaters will be undertaking all aspects of panel repairs from light filler repairs through to reshaping panels ensuring the repairs are finished in a way that matches the rest of the vehicle’s bodywork. There is potential that you will need your own tools including dollies and hammers for this role.

Technician/Mechanic

As a technician you will be working on but not limited to servicing vehicles, clutch changes, checking cam belts, gear boxes, oil changes, break fluids, changing break discs, strip and fit, tyre changes and diagnostics. Occasionally, you will need your own tools however, this is not always the case.

Qualifications are often a requirement of the job role however, some companies will happily take you on if you are time served.

Click here to read our article on How To: Become a Mechanic

Prepper

A prepper will need to prepare the vehicle body for repair work and/or painting. Some of the responsibilities may involve removing all dirt from the surface and the parts due for paining, fine line filler work, sanding and masking. Aspects of this position involve being able to pay attention to detail whilst adhering to health and safety regulations. Depending on your experience you may also be required to undertake small filler repairs and prime the vehicles ready for paint.

Becoming a prepper is a great way to get your foot in the door for your Bodyshop carer as you can choose to become a painter, technician estimator, etc…

Painter

Vehicle Painters are also known as paint technicians or motor vehicle finishers.

As an automotive painter you will need to prepare your equipment and the body of the car. Vehicle Paint Sprayers are required to carry out the preparation on the vehicles by buffing, polishing and priming surfaces before spray painting. You might need to mix paints to get the right colour and consistency. You could be using water-based paints to spray the different body parts specified. You’ll also need to ensure there is no damage to the vehicle.

Polisher

A Vehicle Polisher will be responsible for the final polish of freshly painted vehicle panels on a range of vehicles. You will be rectifying any paint defects, such as runs in the paint. You will be polishing vehicle panels using a handheld polisher.

Masker

Maskers will be responsible for the masking and outlining vehicle panels as well as completing final preparation work on the vehicles prior to them being painted.

Trimmer

Vehicle trimmers will be responsible for ensuring any parts or panels that need to be removed as part of the repair process are removed correctly with all fixings being labelled and stored ready for when they are needed to be refitted to the vehicles. You will be removing interior and exterior parts from vehicles.

 

Before being able to do one of these roles you need to ensure that you have a great CV with all of the relevant details included.

Click here for our tips on how to improve your CV

Click here for tips on how to prepare for an interview


How To: Become a Mechanic

Are you looking for a career change? Interested in becoming a mechanic? Keep reading!

As a mechanic you will be working on vehicle mechanics and electricals. You will need to be able to repair and maintain different types of vehicles. You might also be working on but not limited to cameras, parking sensors, checking oil, water, break fluids, changing brake pads and discs, removing and replacing tyres, diagnostics and stripping and refitting the vehicle.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a good way to get started as you’ll get great hand on experience of being in a working environment as well as getting the education. You earn whilst you learn!

To be accepted onto a course you will most likely need GCSE Maths, English and Science however, circumstances are different for every course so this may vary.

The courses might be as seen below: (Course titles may vary depending on the course you choose)

  • Level 1 certificate in vehicle maintenance
  • Level 2 certificate in light vehicle maintenance and repair
  • Level 3 diploma in vehicle technology

College Courses

There are a few different types of courses that you can complete. These types of courses can be found on the City and Guilds website or on any other providers websites.

Volunteering

You might be able to get the chance to volunteer servicing cars and equipment at a local garage. You’ll get great experience from this however, you will only be time served. This might be a slight issue when trying to apply for any jobs where it’s a requirement for you to have a specific qualification.

What skills would I need?

  • Strong communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good attention to detail

After completing my course, what are my next steps?

Update your CV!

Ensure that you have updated your CV and include your new qualifications. To see our tips on how to write a good CV please CLICK HERE.

Landed your first interview? For our interview tips CLICK HERE.