If you wait for the first cold snap to winterize your fleet, you’re going to be too late.
Be prepared! That may be the Boy Scouts motto, but it’s a motto that all businesses should live by. There are always instances that are unknowable, of course, but one thing those of us in the trucking industry can rely on is that winter will show up, sooner or later. So don’t get left out in the cold when it comes to winterizing your fleet.
The key to making sure your fleet doesn’t get caught unawares is to prepare your vehicles for winter when the weather is still warm. Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease, conveyed this message in her IdeaXchange blog in August of this year, when the sun was still shining and temperatures on the way up rather than on the way down.
The 7 areas that need extra attention
Every aspect of your vehicles needs to be given the attention they deserve during PMIs. But to be prepared for winter, these areas need a little extra TLC:
- Cooling system: Check coolant levels which should be at optimum freeze point. Ensure pipes and hoses are secure and clamps are tight.
- Batteries: Test the strength of vehicle’s batteries and check other parts of the electrical system, including alternator and starter.
- Windshield wipers: Make sure blades are at optimum performance and that washer fluid reservoir is full with winter blend fluid.
- Tires: Tires should always get extra attention year round; however, since ice and snow covered roads can be slippery, make sure to check tire pressure and tread depth to ensure
- Lighting/wiring: Check all lighting connections and ensure integrity of wires. Make sure to replace any lights that appear dim after checking illumination levels.
- Brakes: Check your brake performance as always and, in this case, make sure the air dryer is working properly.
- Drivers: Review safe winter driving tips with all of your drivers, recommending extra caution when necessary and attention to what could be an ever-changing environment.