Checking The Simple Stuff

October 3rd 2016 Written by Mark Masters

There are times when people perhaps look at the worst scenarios when it comes to problems with their vehicle. Sometimes it is easier to check the simple things first.

Thinking and looking for the worst in anything is a far deeper place then starting with the route of a problem.

Simplicity is key here at ETS Trucks. We have skilled technicians and a knowledgeable office team, but everything comes down to making sure there is clarity and not making anyone’s world complicated.

We’re all human, but many go beyond what is in front of them and to search and probe far deeper than they need to go.

Here are some examples that the team have had to deal with over the years, when simplicity is sometimes put to one side. Commercial vehicle maintenance in the hands of those who don’t know can sometimes be a laboured experience.


_DSC4048Steve Jones (Contract & Warranty Controller) “ I can remember a customer had a problem with his truck veering to the left and they could hear a thumping noise.

He carried on regardless and thought there was an issue with his steering. He was left confused, as the truck would not continue straight. It wasn’t until he brought the truck in that it was clear that he had a flat tyre.

My tip: check your tyre pressure on a consistent basis. It only takes a matter of seconds.



_DSC4009Richard Jess (Technician) “ We had a call from a driver who needed roadside help as his lights on one side had blown. The problem he explained was that he had fitted the new bulbs only a matter of hours before he was back on the road. Something wasn’t right.

After receiving the call, within 15 minutes, I headed towards where he had parked and noticed that he had replaced with the wrong bulbs. He had replaced with higher voltage bulbs.

My tip: always look at the bulb voltage you are taking out and check it’s the same as the bulb you are about to put in.


RK-3688Les Buxton (Tachograph Specialist & Technician) “ On the tachograph front, people have had problems where no readings are printed. This may sound obvious, but the answer is as simple as making sure the paper rolls is inserted correctly.

My tip: Eject the printer door where the paper fits, remove and discard the old roll. Add the new roll into the drawer, be sure to leave a small amount over the lid and push back into place (this prevents your next printout from jamming).



_RZK4927-scaledJordan Branch (Technician & Shift Leader) “ I have noticed on more than one occasion when someone brings in their truck and there is a very loud squeaking. One of the first things that I notice is the break pads. These have either been fitted the wrong way round or just a very cheap purchase.

My tip: always check that brake pads are fitted the right way and just because you bought the cheapest, certainly doesn’t mean you are going to get value for money.


_RZK4770Darren Gale (Director) “ the first sign of an amber warning light on a dashboard does not necessarily mean that something is wrong and needs urgent attention from a technical team. What they represent is information to the driver that something needs to be addressed.

My tip: it is important for you to know what the car dashboard warning lights mean. They can help you pre-empt a truck/bus/lorry breakdown or full on failure. By keeping on top of what your vehicle is telling you can mean the saving of an expensive repair bill.



_DSC3958Jim Lalor-Ricketts (Technician & Shift Leader) “ it may seem blindingly obvious but drivers have put the wrong fuel in their truck, drove a certain amount of miles down the road and only then noticed the error they have made.

My tip: Do not drive the truck. By running the engine, or driving your vehicle, the wrong fuel penetrates further into the fuel delivery system causing further damage. Always check that you are filling using the correct fuel.



We all make mistakes and they all come in different scenarios to tackle and address.

If there is one thing to stop continual confusion and frustration is to remember that it may not be the most complicated aspect that is causing you a headache. We sometimes underestimate the influence of the little things.

That doesn’t mean to say that you have to suffer in silence. If you are having any frustrations with your vehicle and something isn’t right, don’t carry on regardless, the team at ETS Trucks are all here to help. No matter how small the problem, we have the commercial vehicle maintenance team. Call us on 01202 669339 or email