A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to ensuring the safe operation of your vehicle fleet. Here are some tips to help prepare your fleet for the winter season:
- Get vehicles ready for winter in the fall as repair shop wait times can significantly increase when the white stuff starts to fall.
- Check tires for proper inflation and wear patterns and consider installing a set of winter tires. Check provincial requirements as certain jurisdictions require the use of winter tires.
- Pack an emergency safety kit. Some items you should include in a safety kit are first aid supplies, a snow brush/scraper, small shovel, battery jumper cables, flashlights, and a blanket.
- Plan trips ahead, and remember to check road and weather conditions prior to starting a trip.
- Remove all snow from vehicles before each trip.
- Account for extra travel time for trips in bad weather, including allocating extra road time for route based fleets.
- Avoid using cruise control on slippery roads.
- If embarking on a road trip, ensure you start with a full tank of fuel.
- If vehicles come equipped with a block heater, plugging it in can help increase fuel economy by ensuring the vehicle gets to proper operating temperature quicker. Most block heater systems will also help heat up the cabin quicker so the vehicle does not have to idle for long to warm up the cabin.
- Travel with a fully charged cell phone.
- Implement a “vehicle walk around” safety program before drivers start their trip.
- Consider implementing a fleet telematics program. Most modern telematics programs capture valuable real-time operating data such as speeding, excessive idling, and hard braking that can help maintain a safe and efficient fleet. Some telematics programs can also provide important alerts such as accident notifications.
For more information on how to prepare your fleet for winter or any other fleet management needs, don’t hesitate to contact us!