As the weather gets cooler, it’s time to start considering the effect the cold will have on your vehicles. Truck fleet maintenance is more critical than ever in the wintertime. Not only does the harsh weather do more damage to your vehicles, but it’s also a dangerous time to have a mechanical malfunction or get stranded. You should take a few steps to ensure driver safety and vehicle health through the winter, and we will go over those here.
How to Prepare Your Fleet for Winter
Use winterized fuel: When trying to keep your fleet productive, the last thing you want is to have your vehicles not start. This can happen if you’re not using the right fuel in the winter. It’s also possible to see your fuel economy drop significantly during the colder months. Using a seasonally enhanced fuel will keep your vehicles operating even in the coldest temperature and reduce your fuel economy up to five percent!
Perform preventative maintenance: Of course, you should always be performing preventative maintenance on your vehicles. However, cold weather makes this all the more important. We will get more specifically into what to look for later, but putting in the time for preventative maintenance during the winter is critical.
Support your drivers. Your drivers are the lifeblood of your operation, and winter is also a hard time for them. Make sure they have everything they need to succeed. They should have a heater and defroster in the cab, along with an emergency kit that has what they require in the event of an emergency.
Maintenance Areas to Focus On
Your vehicles’ tires should always be properly inflated and have enough tread. On icy or snowy roads, you need to be able to maintain traction. Never delay in getting new tires if you need them! Tires are one of the most critical areas on a truck in winter.
Your battery will be working harder than ever when it’s colder out. Make sure it’s in good condition by checking the terminals and cleaning them if necessary. If it’s extremely cold where your fleet operates, you can also invest in a battery blanket to keep your battery warm.
Checking your oil is always a critical part of fleet maintenance. You need to ensure that you use the correct oil for your truck and change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You can also add a fuel additive that keeps your engine clean and running smoothly. The engine is the heart of your truck; don’t neglect it!
There are a lot of storms in the winter, and you need to ensure that your drivers can safely navigate through them. Having wipers in good condition and enough windshield washer fluid are vital in keeping your drivers safe. It’s easier to change them proactively than to worry about finding new wipers once a storm is on the way.
Fluid levels are critical during winter. If your truck uses an antifreeze system, check the antifreeze level and ensure the system is working correctly. You can also check the brake fluid level and ensure it is in check.
Brakes are always a crucial part of the vehicle, and this is especially true in winter weather. You should always have enough brake fluid. If you notice that your brakes are squealing, it is time to get them checked.
Keep Up with Maintenance Year Round with Maintenance Alerts
Keeping up with maintenance on all of your fleet vehicles can be challenging if you’re doing it manually. That’s why Azuga’s fleet management software has a maintenance alert feature that tells you when your vehicles need maintenance. Automate the responsibility and ensure your drivers are safe not only during the winter, but year round! Try a demo with one of our experts to see how it works.