Meteorologists may differ about whether this winter will be as bad as the last, but why take chances.
Every year begins as a guessing game. Will we have more or less snow than the last couple of winters? Will it be bitter cold or pleasantly mild? If your fleet only travels through the most temperate zones exclusively, this may not be a major issue for you. But if your company is located in areas that experience tough or uncertain winters, or if you ship to those areas, you don’t want to wait for the answers to the questions above to take care of your fleet, because it will be too late at that point. It may just be September…and it may seem as though winter is a long way off…but you should winterize your fleet now. Here are some reminders to take the following steps for your vehicles’ systems:
Cooling System checklist:
- Make sure your vehicle has the proper antifreeze concentrations and additives
- Check all hoses for cracks and signs of wear and/or leaking
- Check belts for cracks or frays
- Check to ensure proper windshield washer fluid levels
Fuel System checklist:
- Service water separator
- Add proper diesel fuel treatment to help reduce water and waxing
Starting/Cranking System checklist:
- Clean batteries and battery area
- Load test batteries to ensure there are no issues or weak batteries
- Clean all cable ends and connections, and coat with anti-corrosion spray or grease
In addition to the reminders above, ensure that you’ve been conducting standard PM throughout the year and that your vehicles are DOT-compliant. Even though you’re undoubtedly aware of these needs, some people will still procrastinate and that can create unwanted problems.
You also should make sure you’re signed up with a good roadside breakdown service provider. There’s little worse for drivers (or for carriers) then finding themselves broken down on a lonely road in the middle of nowhere at 3AM…and it’s snowing! When you talk to a service provider, make sure that help will be available 24/7/365, and that the company has highly-qualified service providers, coast-to-coast, that can service your trucks wherever and whenever they need that assistance…and get them back on the road as quickly as possible.