Fleet managers always have their work cut out for them. The bigger your operation, the more vehicles and issues you need to keep track of every day. However, you can reduce your headaches over the winter by focusing on preventative fleet management this fall.
Here are the key management issues you should address now to help prepare your team and equipment for the cooler seasons ahead.
Does it make sense to put winter tires on your fleet? You get better performance and safety when you invest in winter tires, but they can also be a significant cost. It’s best to start looking into your winter tire options and deciding which price-points you can handle ahead of time. Winter tires tend to get more expensive as snow approaches, so get your tire situation sorted sooner than later in the fall.
Salt & De-icing
Depending on your operation, salting and de-icing may be your responsibility. Even if it’s not, you need to have salt or de-icer stored in each vehicle to help the driver get their vehicle moving again if it gets stuck.
Additionally, each vehicle should be outfitted with other safety equipment, like emergency blankets, flashlights, jumper cables, etc.
Perhaps you run mining or agricultural equipment or operate somewhere where the city doesn’t de-ice? If so, you have to decide if and how much salt to use. Salt does wear on vehicles, but also prevents accidents. Again, your salt policy will depend on what’s best for your fleet, but it’s certainly something to think about before the snow arrives rather than scrambling for supplies at the last minute.
Starting the engine is harder for vehicles in cold temperatures. To prevent starting troubles and keep your fleet on time, it’s wise to take a look at your vehicle starters and be sure they’re working properly.
Next, you may want to invest in ways to manage the temperature of your vehicles. Storing your fleet in a warehouse, even if it’s not temperature controlled, can help your vehicles start up easier in the winter. While storing your fleet all winter simply in preparation for the few coldest days of the year may not make sense for you, it’s something to keep in mind.
Do all of your drivers have the experience and knowledge to safely operate your equipment in the winter? In fall, it’s wise to offer extra training or a refresher course to help your operators prepare for the upcoming winter conditions.
Need New Equipment?
You’ll rely heavily on your fleet’s motors, starters, and alternators during the winter. If you have broken, faulty, or worn equipment, now is the best time to replace it. Talk to a representative at Elreg Distributors to find the right components for your fleet before the snow arrives.