The Commercial Vehicle Podcast
By Totalkare | Workshop Equipment Experts
Short, easy listens to keep you in the loop with everything important and emerging within the industry.
totalkare.co.uk | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0121 585 2724
The Commercial Vehicle PodcastJun 19, 2023
2.14 MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AIDER & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR - A CONVERSATION WITH JESSICA PORTER
Jess Porter talks about being Totalkare's appointed contact for mental health first aid, the importance of looking after mental wellbeing in the workplace and her journey to becoming a director.
2.13 THE BENEFITS OF HAVING AN IN-HOUSE WASH BAY
Every vehicle business needs access to a wash bay – and it’s not just about looking good when you’re out on the road.
It’s about protecting your vehicles, keeping your repair costs down, and staying compliant for annual inspections.
But if you’re running a fleet that outsources its vehicle washing — especially if you’re in the construction, agriculture, or refuse industries, you might start to wonder if it’s worth it in the long term.
2.12 WHEEL BALANCING AND WHEEL ALIGNMENT - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
We all know the problems that come with neglected vehicle wheels:
Excessive wear and tear, sideways drift, and the potential for damage to your suspension and wheel systems.
But it’s not always clear what’s causing these problems (and what kind of equipment you need to diagnose them).
Here’s what you need to know about wheel balancing and alignment — and why you shouldn’t have to choose between them.
2.11 WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO USE A VEHICLE AXLE STAND?
In case you hadn’t noticed, we love Mobile Column Lifts.
They’re flexible and customisable – and they’re perfect for smaller workshops where space is at a premium.
But there’s one question we’re always asked about column lifts: what happens when you need to get access to the wheels?
That’s where a Totalkare Axle Stand comes in.
By securing a support stand under the chassis of the lifted vehicle, you’re free to remove the relevant column lift and work directly on the vehicle’s wheelbase.
But when you’re dealing with heavy vehicles, you need to be sure you’re doing it right.
2.10 WHY A TWO POST LIFT COULD BE THE BEST FIT FOR YOUR WORKSHOP?
If you’re in the market for a new lift for your workshop, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the options.
But when it comes to flexibility and ease of use, sometimes the more compact option makes the most sense.
2.9 GET TO KNOW DAN HAIRE - A CONVERSATION WITH A TOTALKARE INSTALL ENGINEER
Dan Haire is an install engineer for Totalkare.
Come along for a chat with Dan to find out what a day in his life looks like and why he enjoys working for Totalkare.
2.8 FIVE COMMON MYTHS ABOUT MOBILE COLUMN LIFTS
We’ve sold a lot of mobile column lifts over the decades. And in that time, we’ve spoken to thousands of workshops and fleet owners all over the country.
But no matter where we go, we hear the same misconceptions about mobile column lifts popping up — about how they work, what they’re good for, and what their limits are.
2.7 DOES YOUR WORKSHOP REALLY NEED A FULL SIZE PIT?
Should you use lifts or pits for your vehicles?
We all know deep down that there’s a time and place for both, and they’re each fantastic solutions to the problem of getting under vehicles. Today, we’re going to throw a spanner in the works. We’re going to add a new option to the discussion – should you use a full-size pit or a compact one?
2.6 HOW THE RIGHT WORKSHOP FURNITURE CAN MAKE YOUR TEAMS MORE PRODUCTIVE
When we’re talking workshops, there’s a lot of focus on the vehicles.
It’s all about lifts, pits, tyre changers, and brake testers – the big-ticket equipment that does the heavy-duty work and gets all the attention on the shop floor.
But in practice, there’s so much more going on in the workshop. And if the layout of your workspace isn’t efficient – with optimised storage and easy access to tools and PPE – your teams could be wasting time every day.
2.5 CAN AN IN-GROUND LIFT BOOST YOUR PRODUCTIVITY?
If you’re running a workshop that’s looking to upgrade, the choice of different lifts can be overwhelming.
You need to think about the vehicles you’re servicing, the floor space you have, and the amount you’re willing to invest in a long-term piece of kit.
And for some workshop owners, that can make an in-ground lift seem like a big commitment.
2.4 GET TO KNOW JAMES ATKINS - A CONVERSATION WITH A TOTALKARE SALESMAN
We sit down with James Atkins, Key Account Manager for Totalkare to get to know his background and answer some quickfire questions.
Need to speak to an expert? Visit https://totalkare.co.uk/
2.3 DOES YOUR WORKSHOP NEED ITS OWN TYRE CHANGER?
Let’s be honest: changing tyres isn’t an everyday job.
In most cases, it takes years on the road (or tens of thousands of miles) before your vans and coaches need a new set of treads.
But when we’re talking about scale – fleets with dozens of commercial vehicles, or busy workshops with high demand – things start to get serious.
And that’s when a dedicated tyre changer can save your business some serious time and money.
Here’s how investing in an in-house tyre changer can help:
2.2 HOW ONLINE TRAINING IN MOBILE COLUMN LIFTS CAN SAVE TIME AND MONEY
We’re in the business of building the safest workshop equipment around. But even the best equipment out there can be dangerous in the wrong hands. And if your teams aren’t properly trained, you could be putting them at risk. Here’s how Online Mobile Column Lift Training can save you time and money:
2.1 GETTING STARTED WITH A CLASS 7 MOT BAY
There’s a lot of red tape when it comes to MOT testing.
From the layout of your site to the equipment you use, you need to be sure you’ve got all the right parts in place before you commit to investing your cash.
So to help you get started – and so you know what’s ahead – we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to setting up shop as a Class 7 MOT test centre.
1.19 FIVE CRITICAL SAFETY CHECKS FOR USING MOBILE COLUMN LIFTS
No matter how you go about it, lifting a 10-tonne (or heavier) vehicle is serious business.
And despite all the rigorous testing and meticulous design that comes with 40 years of supplying our flagship Mobile Column Lifts, there’s one universal truth that applies to every workplace in the country: A tool is only as safe as the person using it.
1.18 TIGHT ON SPACE? HOW MOBILE EQUIPMENT CAN HELP UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL
When you’re working with vehicles, space is at a premium.
And unless you’re running a workshop in an expansive warehouse premises, you need to squeeze the most value out of every precious square metre you have.
So how can you make sure that every inch of your workshop is being put to good use on a daily basis?
With the kind of equipment that’s flexible, mobile, and adaptable to different spaces and different levels of demand.
Here’s how mobile equipment can help to give you higher capacity, greater productivity, and the versatility you need to match a wider range of jobs and contracts:
1.17 SUMMER IS COMING – IS YOUR FLEET AIR CON-READY?
Although the UK isn’t known for its blinding hot summers, your air con system is usually used more often than think! Whether it’s cold in the morning and you need warming up, or it’s a hot summers day and you need cooling down.
The unpredictability of the weather means you need certainty in your air con – you never know when your drivers will need it, and you never know how much use it’s going to get.
In fact, long periods without use can actually be detrimental to the functioning of air conditioning systems, with damage to seals and leakage being a particular problem.
But here’s the good news:
Servicing your fleet’s air conditioning has never been easier.
We’ve just launched a full range of brand-new tools from Waeco to help you service your fleet’s A/C systems – from fully automatic service units to the analysis kits you need to keep your vehicles and your drivers safe.
Here’s what you need to know:
1.16 QUESTIONS YOU NEED TO ASK BEFORE INVESTING IN A BRAKE TESTER
When your workshop was young and your fleet was small, it probably made sense to outsource your brake testing to a test centre with its own brake tester.
Equipment can be costly, with an up-front investment that takes time to recover – and it’s not always clear how long you’ll have to wait to start seeing savings.
But as your company grows (and your fleet grows with it), the long-term costs of outsourced tests can start to outweigh the short-term costs of buying your own brake testers.
For every business with a fleet, there’s a point in their journey where the investment makes sense – and we’re here to help you find it.
1.15 IS IT TIME TO PART EXCHANGE YOUR OLD MOBILE COLUMN LIFTS?
We’ve been in the mobile column lift game for a long time. (41 years, if you’re counting!)
We’re proud of our exceptional quality and the robust safety features we put into every lift we build. But we’ve seen first-hand just how far and fast the technology has progressed in that time.
Our latest mobile column lifts (like the T8DC and T8AC) are built on that progression – taking those same robust features and high-quality builds, and improving on them in almost every way.
And if you’re currently running a workshop with our RG, MVL, SVL or Series IV lifts, you could save some serious money by upgrading through our part exchange scheme.
Here’s everything you need to know:
1.14 THE WASTE OIL EQUIPMENT USED BY WINNING WORKSHOPS
When you’re running a vehicle workshop, it’s all too easy to focus on the big-ticket machinery – the lifts, the pits, and the high-tech testing equipment.
But if you want to run the tightest ship you can (with efficiency and safety as a top priority) you need to take care of the everyday tasks, too.
And when you’re servicing vehicles on a daily basis, oils and fluids can become a serious hassle without the right equipment.
So to help you get to grips with the finer points of oil and waste oil management, we’ve put together the top 5 pieces of oil-management kit that every vehicle workshop needs.
EARTH DAY: HOW TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT THROUGH IN-HOUSE TESTING
Explore how you can reduce your carbon footprint through in-house testing with our latest podcast celebrating Earth Day.
EARTH DAY: HOW TO COMBAT YOUR EMISSION TARGETS
Our latest 2-part podcast special discusses how our industry can help save the planet. We cover hot topics such as emission standards, how you can analyse your emissions and how to cut your emissions.
1.13 HOW DOES A DIESEL SMOKE METER WORK?
Testing for emissions isn’t just about hitting environmental targets – it’s an essential health check of your vehicles’ engines that can help your business to save money on fuel and maintenance.
But while the smoke meters themselves are built to be user-friendly, understanding the readings isn’t as simple as it seems.
Here’s everything you need to know about how a Diesel Smoke Meter works – and how to make sure your vehicles are compliant:
1.12 HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CALIBRATE YOUR TORQUE TOOLS?
Fastening nuts and bolts might seem like a simple task.
But when we’re talking about trucks and coaches – vehicles weighing multiple tonnes that are out on the road under huge forces – there’s really no room for error with fittings that are too loose or too tight.
So if you’re running a fleet or a vehicle workshop, the safety of your drivers and your vehicles should be top priority – and that means taking your torque wrenches and fasteners seriously.
Our latest podcast discusses everything you need to know about calibrating your torque tools:
1.11 THE RISKS OF UNDER-CHASSIS WASHING WITH REGULAR COLUMN LIFTS
When you’re lifting heavy vehicles, safety is the top priority.
But when it comes to wet work (like under-chassis washing), there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.
We’re all aware of the risks involved with weight, balance, and stability. But working with water has its own hidden dangers – and using the wrong equipment could lead to higher repair costs, unnecessary maintenance, or even serious danger to the people working on your vehicles.
Our latest podcast discusses what you need to know about using mobile column lifts in wet environments like wash bays:
1.10 WHY A HEADLAMP TESTER COULD PREVENT MOT FAILURE
What’s the most common defect that leads to vehicle MOT failure?
The steering? The tyres? The suspension?
They all sound believable. But they’re not even close.
When we think about vehicles failing their MOTs, it’s natural to think about the high-profile risks – the physical mechanics of how the vehicle moves on the road.
But here’s the truth:
The number-one reason for a vehicle failing its MOT has nothing to do with the engine, the wheels, or the structure and strength of the vehicle itself:
It’s about the headlamps.
1.9 HOW TO MAKE YOUR INSPECTION PITS SAFE FOR YOUR WORKERS
There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about inspection pits over the years.
Despite the huge strides forward in technology and safety measures, some people are still stuck with the same out-dated image of what working in a pit is like:
They think of a dark underground space with crumbling walls and a leaking floor – a place with poor ventilation that catches a few clumsy workers in its jaws every month.
But here’s the truth, the industry has come a long way in the last few decades.
Find out how to make your inspection pits safe by listening to our podcast:
1.8 WHICH WORKS BEST – MOBILE COLUMN LIFTS, FIXED LIFTS, OR PITS?
It’s an age-old debate: lifts or pits?
But when you’re setting up shop to service vehicles, there usually isn’t a quick and easy answer.
They’re all safe and effective. They’re all wise investments. They’re all robust and reliable pieces of kit, equipped with the latest innovations in modern technology.
But they all have their own specific uses. And the right choice for your business depends on exactly how and where you want to use them – and what you need to use them for.
So to help you get a better understanding of your options, we’ve put together a direct comparison of the three most popular solutions: Mobile Column Lifts, Fixed Lifts, and Vehicle Inspection Pits.
1.7 THE FIVE WAYS POOR WHEEL ALIGNMENT IS COSTING YOU MONEY
There’s a lot that goes into keeping your vehicles in good shape.
With so much attention placed on the high-profile elements (like the brakes, the tyres, and the emissions) it’s easy to overlook the smaller details that can have a huge impact.
But there’s one part of vehicle servicing that should never be ignored – and it could be costing you a lot more money than you think.
1.6 WHAT IS ‘SUPER DEDUCTION’ – AND HOW MUCH COULD YOU SAVE?
No company wants a huge tax bill – especially when it’s the hefty flat rate of Corporation Tax. But this year’s Government Budget was met with a warm welcome from every company that pays corporation tax – and it’s all to do with the new rules around ‘Super Deduction’.
So what does that mean? Let’s get into it:
1.5 THE SIX ESSENTIAL LIFTING TOOLS THAT EVERY WORKSHOP NEEDS
Every workshop knows it needs a strong and reliable vehicle lift.
But with so much focus on the heavy-duty equipment, it’s easy to forget about all the essential extras – the invaluable supporting tools that make working on vehicles safer and faster.
So we’ve put together this essential list of the most important secondary lifting tools that no workshop should be without.
1.4 SHAKER PLATES – WHAT ARE THEY, AND WHY ARE THEY USEFUL?
Anyone who works with vehicles knows that serious damage isn’t always visible. And often, it’s the smallest components that suffer the worst wear and tear.
We all know the importance of regular safety checks – from brake testers and emissions testers to headlamps and tyre pressure.
But not every workshop has their own dedicated equipment for testing their suspension and steering.
Here’s everything you need to know about Shaker Plates – and how investing in them could save your business money in the long run!
1.3 BETTER OIL MANAGEMENT CAN SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY – HERE’S HOW
Any tycoon will tell you that oil is pricey. But there’s a lot more to saving money than just how and where you buy it. At every stage of the journey your oil takes, good oil management can help your workshop save money – and the right equipment can help you make sure that every drop counts.
Tune in to today's podcast to learn how managing your oil can make a difference to your business.
1.2 SHOULD I BUY A 2-POST OR 4-POST LIFT?
So you’re in the market for a new vehicle lift for your commercial workshop. You’ve seen all the options and boiled it down to two (a 2-post or 4-post lift) – but you’re still not sure which is the best fit for your business.
If that sounds like you, we’ve got a little secret for you... tune in for our expert advice!
1.1 IN-GROUND OR MOBILE? CHOOSING THE RIGHT BRAKE TESTER
When you’re investing in heavy-duty workshop equipment, it pays to be fully informed before you part with your cash.
So to help you be sure you’re making the right decision, we’ve put together some important tips and questions you need to ask before choosing your brand-new brake tester.