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A Winter Survival Guide: Preparing Your Fleet
Posted on 01/31/2017 by Wyn Partington |
Like it or not, winter is here—well, at least that’s what the calendar says, and the recent cold weather across most of the country seems to agree. How prepared is your small business for colder temperatures, snow, ice, and all of the other winter goodies Mother Nature throws our way?
Your vehicles need some extra TLC during the winter so they can function at their best. Remember, vehicle downtime can have a serious impact on your business, so removing that worry—and keeping your drivers safe—during the winter should be a top priority. Our friends at How Stuff Works put together a terrific list of vehicle winterizing tips to ensure your drivers are prepared and your fleet of vehicles is ready for anything winter has in store:
- Check your tire pressure frequently and consider snow tires if your business is located in an area where it snows frequently. Properly inflated tires also help improve gas mileage—an added bonus!
- Check your battery strength—winter months put more pressure on the vehicle’s battery.
- Check your oil and oil viscosity—oil gets thicker in cold weather, making it harder for the engine to spin.
- Check antifreeze levels—there’s nothing worse than an overheated vehicle in the dead of winter.
- Refuel frequently, and make it a practice not to let the tank go below half—Running out of gas in the freezing cold is no fun, and lines at gas stations can get long when stormy weather is approaching.
- Check your defrosting and heating units—Safe driving demands a clear windshield and the defrosting unit can also help prevent ice buildup on the outside. Heaters, well, you know what they do! It’s also a great time to remind your drivers about excessive idling—it’s a gas guzzler!
- Replace windshield wipers and wiper fluid—Wipers get quite a workout in the winter when snow, sand and salt get kicked up from the road and onto your car. And the sound of old wipers on the windshield—it’s like nails on a chalkboard.
- Check belts and hoses—Make sure connections are tight.
- Make sure your 4-wheel drive works—losing your traction on snow and ice only looks fun in the movies.
- Keep an emergency kit inside your vehicles—include a flashlight, flare or battery-operated beacon, a bright cloth for signaling, a florescent vest, emergency tire inflator, hand warmers, rope, duct tape, a utility tool, a first aid kit and other items suitable for your climate. Don’t forget ice scrapers and a collapsing shovel if you’re in an area where it freezes or snows.
Some areas of the country have already received several inches of snow—and winter is just getting started. Keep your vehicles and your drivers safer by winterizing your fleet. Don’t forget about personal vehicles, too!