Mark Barclay tells us the most essential pieces of equipment you should be carrying in your taxi.
As a taxi driver, your work can be demanding. Unpredictable weather and the possibility of something breaking can put a halt to your livelihood. And, when your work relies on delivering a fast service, you’ll need to equip yourself with safety equipment so you can be fully prepared for any condition. This means you’ll need to carry spare car parts and extra accessories to help you provide the best service to your customers, as well as keep yourself safe while driving. Below, I’ll be going through some of the most essential items you should keep in your taxi.
When out on the roads, you can never quite guarantee what’s going to happen. And, if you end up breaking down, you could be stuck at the side of the road — which can be unsafe. So, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared with a torch and a high-vis jacket to improve your visibility and alert breakdown services and other drivers to your location. You may also benefit from carrying a blanket in case you’re left waiting out in the cold for a while before the recovery services arrive.
Even the best drivers are at risk of an accident, so you should also have a few extra pieces of safety equipment — like a life hammer and seatbelt cutter — which will allow you to break your window and get out of your taxi in an emergency. It’s also wise to carry a first aid kit with you so you can be prepared for even very minor injuries.
Spare Car Parts
Some parts of your car have a relatively short lifespan and, occasionally, these parts can break and put a halt to your work. This means you should have a few spares to hand so that you can make a quick swap in between journeys if you need to.
Usually, your light bulbs will last a while, but if one goes out, you could be pulled over by the police. So, you should carry around a spare headlight, brake light, indicator light and fog light, if you can. You should also equip yourself with extra wiper blades, wiper blade rubber and air filters just in case you need to replace these while out on the roads.
Carrying a spare tyre can take up a lot of room in your taxi and, when you’re in the middle of a job, you don’t want to be spending a long time at the side of the road changing your wheel. A tyre repair kit or an emergency tyre repair aerosol are a much better option as they take up a lot less room. They’ll also allow you to inflate your tyre and seal the puncture in minutes, so you can get back on the road and finish your job.
Things like broken mirrors and lenses can’t be fixed with a spare part at the side of the road, and they should be mended as soon as possible by a mechanic. Mirror or lens repair tapes are great as a temporary solution to keep passengers safe before you can reach a garage.
If your taxi runs out of fuel, you’re not going to get very far. If this is likely to happen, take along an empty fuel can so you can get a lift to a petrol station to fill up. But, try not to travel around with a full can of petrol or diesel, as this can be a fire hazard. If it’s an old or worn battery that’s causing a problem, you might benefit from carrying a set of jump leads, too. These will allow you to use the power from another car’s battery to jump-start your vehicle and get the engine going again.
As a taxi driver, your smartphone is how you receive and manage the jobs from your taxi company, and you also use it to navigate to your bookings. But what do you do if you’re driving out in the countryside and suddenly lose signal? As an extra precaution, you should be carrying a paper map in your glovebox so you can pull over and find your way around even without technology.
You might also want to take along a spare pair of clothes. Not only will they be great if you get dirt or oil on your clothes if you’re replacing any parts of your car, but you’ve also got an extra layer if you get cold in the winter.
When out on the roads, you need to be prepared for any event that might happen. By taking along spare car parts, emergency supplies and extra accessories, you can make sure that you’re prepared for whatever your job throws at you.
Mark Barclay is from GSF Car Parts, a company that supplies accessories and spare parts for a wide range of vehicles.