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:

Stock Up on Essentials

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.

Choose the Correct Tires

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.

Replace Dying Batteries

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.

Install Heavy-Duty Windshield Wipers

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.

Conclusion

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.

Looking for mobile climate control for your fleet? Simplicity Air can install and service mobile HVAC units for both on and off-road vehicles. We are the industry leader in providing climate-based solutions for fleets. Whether you’re in agriculture, construction, or mining, we have the equipment you need to keep your drivers comfortable. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

When was the last time you updated the air heaters in your commercial fleet?

Air heaters are one of the most important climate control systems in the trucking industry, especially in Canada. Whether you need to maintain products or livestock in a truck’s rear cargo, or your drivers are complaining of poor heating in their sleeper cab, you must invest in the best air heating for semi trucks on the market.

Ensuring Operator Comfort in Cold Climates

With your drivers living in their trucks for days - or weeks - at a time, it’s vital that you keep them comfortable throughout their journey. After all, some parts of Canada can reach up to -30 degrees celsius in the winter, and even the most modern sleeper cabs don’t always provide enough insulation to counter this.

Even if your drivers only cover short distances, and aren’t in their trucks overnight, keeping them comfortable ensures that their attention is solely on the road so they stay safe.

Modern air heaters can run on a variety of power sources, with some able to keep the cabin warm without needing engine power. With truck idling costing more than $3 billion a year in the US alone, these independent heaters will help you to greatly reduce fuel costs on both long and short-haul trucking.

Also, heating systems that don’t require the driver to leave the engine idling means they can focus more on resting, safe in the knowledge that their keys aren’t in the ignition.

Air Heaters for Cargo Climate Control

No matter what cargo you ship, there comes a time in every commercial fleet’s life where they have to handle products that require climate control.

Cargo like flowers, food, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals all need to be kept at certain temperatures to avoid spoilage. In addition, while some products don’t specifically require cargo heating, they also degrade in quality quickly if they’re allowed to freeze.

Modern air heaters not only are more reliable while your drivers are on the road, but also can be programmed to operate at a certain temperature or within a certain range so you don’t have to worry about costly waste.

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Air Heaters for Directional Drilling

If you operate within the directional drilling industry, then you’ll know how costly it can be if the water you use for drilling freezes. With Canada’s winter temperatures regularly dropping below freezing, air heaters are an essential tool that can save you a potential $20,000/hour in lost revenue and employee wages while you have to source a refill.

Air Heaters for Personnel Transport

Whether you’re operating an ambulance fleet or transport prisoners, you’ll need to ensure that your rear cargo facility is adequately heated to ensure passenger health and comfort. Ambulances, in particular, will need to ensure that their medical equipment is stored at the correct temperature and their crew and patient are comfortable. With a modern air heater that draws heat from the vehicle’s engine, you can ensure that your employees are taken care of and their passengers are comfortable. What’s more, because you’re using engine heat, it’s more energy efficient as it avoids the need for an additional energy source for your air heater.

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Air Heaters for Animal Transportation

When you’re transporting animals, you need to be aware that many species and breeds have different tolerances for the cold. For example, if you’re running a dog rescue, you’d have to heat the rear cargo facility less for a mountain dog or Akita-type breed than you would for a Western breed. As most modern air heaters come with flexible programming that lets you set a temperature range, you can make sure that every animal you transport is safe from frostbite and hypothermia by keeping the rear cargo cabin at a comfortable temperature.

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Looking for a new Air Heater for your Commercial Fleet?

At Simplicity Air, we have over 20 years of experience in keeping your drivers warm and your cargo safe. We believe that every commercial fleet problem has a viable solution, and we’d love to work with you to help you find the best solution for your fleet. With our industry-leading passion for innovation, we’re proud to be the go-to provider for hundreds of commercial fleets and businesses across Canada. So, if you’re looking for a solution to your air heating problems, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Your truck’s heating system consists of various heavy-duty HVAC parts that blow hot air through your vents and heat your cabin. This works by heating the coolant, circulating the cooling system through the radiator to bring down the temperature, and having the coolant pass through the heater core inside your dashboard.

A defective heater in your truck caused by a single damaged part can make even a short trip a nightmare. The key to fixing your heavy-duty vehicle heating system and keeping yourself comfortable throughout your ride is to first figure out the root cause of the issue.

To help you diagnose the problem, here are some of the most common reasons for a truck heater to malfunction:

A stuck or malfunctioning thermostat

The thermostat of your truck’s heater is responsible for controlling the coolant flow through the radiator. When it gets stuck or malfunctions, your coolant will keep circulating through the radiator and stay cold. You can identify if your defective heater’s issue is your thermostat if it is stuck in the same place all the time regardless of the amount of time your engine has been running. Fortunately, the issue is easily fixed with the installation of a new thermostat or the assistance of a reliable service provider specializing in heavy-vehicle problems of all sorts.

Low coolant level

Cold air blowing out of your vents for the first few minutes after you turn on your heater is considered normal. If it fails to warm up, though, then you might have an insufficient amount of engine coolant. To fix this, fill up your engine coolant right away. Remember—your engine might overheat when you have a coolant leak that can cause costly repairs, so make sure to pay proper attention to your coolant levels every time you open the hood.

A leak

A leak from any part of your engine where the coolant travels through can cause your coolant levels to get too low and hinder your heating system from working as it should. Fix this by looking for a leak in your water pump and hoses. You can also count on a reliable mechanic to have your radiator repaired or replaced in no time.

Deteriorated coolant hoses

Your truck is subject to wear and tear and ageing over time, and this can cause your coolant hoses to get worn-out. As a result, they can get clogged or have loose clamps. As soon as you notice any signs of wear or leaks, make sure to replace your old coolant hoses right away.

Clogged heater core

The heater core of your truck absorbs the heat and sends it through the vents as the coolant travels through the passageways. These paths can rust or get clogged when they become filled with dirt, dust, and debris, preventing warm coolant from passing through. You can flush them to clear out the passages or have your heater core replaced altogether.

Conclusion

Your truck’s heater is essential to your comfort, safety, and productivity, which is why it needs proper care, attention, and maintenance. When it gets broken, don’t forget the common causes listed above and reach out to a mobile servicing and support company for professional help.

At Simplicity Air, we install and service heavy-duty equipment heating for on-road and off-road vehicle owners in Southern Ontario, Windsor, Ottawa, Niagara, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to request service!