As the folks at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade can testify, winter is on its way and it’s coming fast.
Snow, ice, and low temperatures are moving across the nation, giving new importance to driver and vehicle safety. Whether you have a fleet of heavy trucks, passenger buses, or cars, winter road conditions can present challenges to even the most experienced driver. Safety is always a top fleet concern, so now is the time to prepare your drivers and fleet for the upcoming struggles.
From maintenance needs to new driving concerns, use these tips to get your fleet winter-ready over the coming weeks.
If you’re used to getting cold weather during the winter season, you likely have procedures for preparing your fleet vehicles for the harsh conditions. Though your maintenance needs may change depending on your location, the most common parts to check include:
- Windshield wipers
- Fluids, including fuel, oil, and antifreeze
- Spark plugs
- Belts and hoses
You should aim to keep your vehicles in their best shape, especially during the winter. To avoid a mechanical issue that leaves your driver stranded in the cold or causes a brake failure on icy roads, emphasize accurate Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs). No one wants to be out in the cold longer than they have to be, but these reports may save lives. Remind your drivers to be thorough with every inspection. Most importantly, make sure your managers are following up on every report and repair, no matter how small.
The winter months introduce new dangers – and they’re not limited to the road. As the temperatures get colder, remind your drivers to remain constantly aware of potentially dangerous situations. Encourage everyone, from drivers to administration, to maintain three points of contact when entering and exiting vehicles. Slips and falls are common, but they are still a potentially dangerous possibility for anyone.
If you haven’t already, consider telematics and GPS installations for your fleet vehicles. As road conditions deteriorate, these devices can direct your drivers to the safest and fastest routes. They can also alert you when your vehicles have issues and instantly give an exact location for driver assistance. With this additional peace of mind and decreased stress on your drivers, they can focus on the road and their own safety.
How do you prepare your fleet for the cold?