The winter season can be an incredibly difficult time. Dealing with extreme weather conditions can be challenging, and not just for humans—the health of vehicles and equipment may also be compromised. Preventative maintenance is remarkably essential, especially for your fleet and truck drivers. Maneuvering vehicles during winter can be incredibly dangerous, especially if your trucks and crew aren’t adequately prepared for severe road conditions.
Winter preparation is crucial to avoid any bad accidents. That means stocking up on necessary equipment and ensuring a steady supply of essentials on hand. It also means training your drivers to safely and carefully operate their vehicles according to the weather conditions to avoid collisions.
Here are four ways to keep your drivers and fleet safe and warm during winter:
Staying organized and prepared is key for your fleet to survive harsh weather conditions. Before diving into shopping for essentials, consider the needs of your trucks. If they’re of various models and makes, they’ll likely require different types of equipment.
While prepping your fleet for the winter, you’ll need the following:
These supplies will ensure that you’re well-equipped to tackle any situation on the road while keeping your driver warm and safe. As a fleet supervisor, you’ll have to properly arrange what your fleet needs. Doing this will help you reduce downtime while staying productive.
Driving on snow requires a specific kind of tires, which means you’ll have to stock up well before the winter season arrives. Your fleet will need an exceptional grip to safely stay on snowy roads without slipping off. It’s best to go for tires specifically designed for winter, as all-weather tires may not be good enough for winter conditions.
Aside from choosing the correct tires, ensure that they’re correctly inflated. Otherwise, you risk your tires failing and wearing out faster, which will compromise your truck's safety.
Jump-starting your truck in the middle of an icy road isn’t an ideal situation. Doing this with smaller vehicles are easier to manage, but having a dead battery in a truck may leave you stranded in the middle of a snowy highway. Cold weather tends to wear down battery life much faster, so it will save tons of time and headache to replace dying batteries before winter comes.
Swapping out dying batteries is especially crucial for diesel engines, as they need more robust batteries. Such machines also undertake a high starting load in the winter. You’ll know it’s time to change your battery once your truck’s headlights start to dim or if you get a slow engine crank from the starter motor.
To ensure your fleet is prepared to endure rough environments, remember to replace your windshield wiper blades once a year. You’ll have to replace them even more often if you operate in inhospitable conditions. If you’d like to extend your wipers’ life, opt for heavy-duty ones. They work wonderfully against dense ice build-up, which will help your truck drivers see clearly as they’re driving.
You also need to inspect your truck windshields for any cracks or damage. Sharp decreases in temperature can stress glass, so examining your windshield for any problems will prevent stressful situations down the line.
As the season changes, so do the requirements of your fleet and your drivers. Preparing the necessary materials will ensure that your drivers are safe and warm while operating your vehicles, and your trucks are equipped to withstand sub zero temperatures. Planning for the winter weather is a necessary step in maintaining your fleet, and these four ways are a fantastic starting point.
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