The harsh, unforgiving conditions of winter can take their toll on your business fleet. Performing routine maintenance on your vehicles and preparing your drivers for unexpected situations will help you cut down on emergency repairs and costly downtime. Preparing for winter is a major challenge, but with enough diligence, you can make sure your fleet is prepared for the long months ahead. Here are some quick, simple ways to prepare your fleet for winter.
Use Winterized Fuel
Two of the most common, cold weather complaints include a reduced fuel economy and a truck that’s struggling or refusing to start. Both problems can be mitigated, if not eliminated, with winterized fuel. Seasonally enhanced fuel will keep your fleet running in temperatures well below zero degrees. On top of winterized fuel, you can use special additives to reduce the risk of fuel gelling and increase your fleet’s horsepower and fuel economy.
Check Your Fluids
Another way to prepare your fleet for winter is to inspect and replace their fluids as needed. Apart from topping off your fleet’s coolant, power steering, brake and windshield washer fluids, you should consider swapping out the type of oil they use. Heavy oil is too viscous to achieve the right level of lubrication at lower temperatures. By switching to a full-synthetic oil with a lower cold temperature viscosity, you can help your fleet crank, start and operate easier.
Perform Proactive Maintenance
The components of your fleet’s engines are impacted by the cold, too. Make sure to have your fleet inspected and perform any necessary maintenance before the cold season starts. To avoid having them break mid-drive, you should replace worn belts, hoses, and brake pads. Don’t forget to check the batteries and glow plugs on your fleet, too. If they fail, your vehicles could completely break down and refuse to start.
Don’t Forget About Your Drivers
During a long, cold winter, you want your drivers to be safe, warm, and comfortable. Make sure to check the heater and defroster and equip each vehicle with an emergency kit. These kits should include water, road flares, a fire extinguisher, reflective triangles, a solar blanket, jumper cables, and anything else your drivers might need in case of sudden engine failure.