Winter is coming, but it’s impossible to know what it’s bringing with it. Some winters are harsher, with blustering winds, freezing cold temperatures, and regular snowstorms. Some winters are milder, with some snow, cold, and wind, but nothing to write home about.
We never know what kind of winter we’ll get – whether it will start off with a bang or take a slower approach, easing us in. All we know is that it’s best to be prepared for any and all contingencies, and that’s something that is vitally important when it comes to your fleet.
Winter vehicle maintenance and driving safety are essential for anyone who gets behind the wheel, but especially so when it comes to trucks. Trucks have their own unique challenges in winter, and these should be understood and prepared for adequately.
Fleets cost money to start, build and grow. They also cost money to maintain. If your fleet needs maintenance or repairs, but you don’t have the cash on hand or don’t want to sink all your cash flow into costly repairs, look into options for commercial truck loans. They can be used to purchase vehicles, but they can also be used for maintenance and repairs.
Read on to learn our tips for keeping your drivers healthy and your fleet in good condition throughout winter.
Winterize Your Fleet
Winter takes its toll on vehicles, and that includes trucks as well. Batteries drain faster in cold weather. Diesel fuel can turn to slush. And the things that can go wrong at any other time of year are a concern in winter too. Make sure to check the following:
- Check and charge batteries
- Inspect brakes
- Rotate and monitor tires
- Check all systems – electrical, cooling, and compressed air
- Diesel system maintenance
- Change oils and lubricants
- Drain and replace fuel filters
Proactively maintain your fleet by conducting a checklist on all vehicles to ensure they are in good condition and winter road ready.
Promoting a safe driving culture is always important, but if there’s a time to reinforce it, it’s winter. Ensure drivers know that safety is the number one priority.
Additionally, driver fatigue plays an even more significant role in winter. The increased dangerous driving conditions paired with driver fatigue are a deadly combination. Go over warning signs and practical strategies to combat driver fatigue, including taking a nap, going for a refreshing walk, or getting off the road.
As with any job, regular training is helpful in reinforcing previous knowledge and learning new skills. Drivers should have behind-the-wheel training when new to the job. However, training isn’t just a one-time thing. Training videos or online modules are helpful to keep lessons top of mind. Refresh your drivers’ knowledge by reviewing the common mistakes made when driving in the winter, as well as actions to take in serious winter driving conditions.
These tips will pay off in spades when the snow starts to melt, and your fleet and drivers have made it safely to the other side of winter.