Fall is in full swing across the country, which means winter isn’t far behind. If you live in a state that experiences severe winter weather or have drivers that will deal with these conditions, now is the time to prepare.
Winter weather is often predictable, so the earlier you get things in order, the better. In this blog, you’ll find tips to help prepare your drivers, vehicles, and overall fleet for the upcoming season.
5 ways to prepare your fleet for the winter
1. Resolve any vehicle issues
Many parts of your vehicles can be affected by winter conditions. Preventative maintenance minimizes the chances of experiencing any of these problems. Batteries should be charged with tight connections and clean terminals. If you’re concerned about batteries draining too quickly, consider replacing them with new batteries that are equipped with thermal insulation.
Check tires for any problems and make sure they are rotated, balanced, and fully inflated. You should also get brake checks for all of your vehicles. On icy or snowy roads, the ability to stop quickly is a must.
Before winter settles in, consider getting tune-ups for all of your vehicles. Now is the time to catch and fix problems before they’re worsened by the cold.
2. Evaluate your routes
The speed and safety of some of your routes may change during this time of year. Before snow and ice affect the roads, take a look at your routing options. You may find alternate routes that are safer and more reliable, helping you meet customer expectations. These options will also increase driver safety as they travel across the country.
3. Address driving concerns
Safe driving behaviors are even more important during the colder months. Remind drivers to brake early, keep plenty of space between cars, and maintain a safe speed. Issues such as harsh braking may be deadly if vehicles encounter ice, especially at high speeds.
Hold a training session to highlight the importance of safe driving during the winter. Help drivers understand the dangers they face. Equip them with the knowledge they need to travel safely along any route.
4. Create emergency plans
Now is a great time to review or create procedures regarding driver emergencies. Drivers should know who to contact after an accident, breakdown, or major delay. Give your dispatch staff the steps they need to follow to best support drivers in the field. When you need to respond quickly, make sure you have a plan in place to ensure an efficient process.
How are you prepping your fleet for the winter?