How To Prepare Your Fleet for Winter With The Help Of Fleet Management Software?
Preparing your fleet for winter is not only crucial but inevitable. The winter is unpredictable and thus can have a negative impact on your fleet unless you are ready. By being ready, you need to get ahead of any issues that you may find yourself with this winter.
Acting proactively for maintenance is very essential. This is among the parts to manage your fleet efficiently. Fleet diagnostic software can provide you with a crystal-clear picture of where you stand.
When you plan ahead, you will be able to realize a great return on your investments. In order to help your fleet in these harsh winters, we are going to compile a list for you to stay ahead of this season.
The Winter Is Almost Here: –
You must have heard this phrase a lot many times by now. Let us not discuss where it is not our concern but why it is applicable to the trucking industry.
The winter can cause many issues to your fleet. The batteries might get cold, and they are going to struggle to deliver as much current as is needed for the vehicle to start. They might even die if you stay in the cold for too long.
Some fluids such as engine oil, brake oil, and power steering fluid might not be as efficient in the winter. Due to frost, the windshield wipers might get damaged or fully compromised.
You might witness your tires getting deflated to lower tire pressure. The salt on the road can damage the undercarriage of the car and cause it to rust.
Benefits of maintenance of your fleet in winter: Well, the benefits of winter maintenance can enable the fleet with fewer breakdowns, costly repairs, downtimes, and any immediate repair maintenance. After the maintenance, you will be able to rely on your fleet even in the winter months and carry out your business activities easily.
The frigid temperatures are hard on many vehicles. This is especially true if the fleet vehicles are performing on the road for at least 10-12 hours a day. The moment you are performing your routine maintenance, then the fleet managers will avoid any emergency repairs and costly downtime in the winter months of the year.
Tips for preparing your Fleet for Snowy Winter: –
Keep a strict check on your tires: It is imperative to set a reminder to correctly know your tire rotations. This is going to start preparing your winter fleet for the winter.
You must ensure changing the rib tread tires to ensure better handling of the vehicle and uniform stability in tough road conditions.
Well, the tire pressure can also get affected in cold temperatures. This can cause them to deflate. The deflated tires are going to affect the life of the tires. They will also have an impact on the overall safety, and fuel economy and that is why monitoring it is going to minimize the risk.
To perform regular checkups, you are sure that your drivers are checking the tire pressure for inspection before the trip.
Brakes need constant protection: The one thing that cannot be ignored is the brakes. They are vital for the safety of the driver on the highway. Well, this is even more true when you are driving in winter and the weather condition is not in your favor. This is the case with ice, snow, and slush.
Thus, it is imperative to ensure that your brakes are in top-notch shape in the months of winter. Make sure to check the air brake chamber housings to look for any kind of damage or corrosion. You must ensure that the dust plugs are seated and installed properly.
There must not be any cuts or tears on the boots of the air disc brake wheels. Also, ensure that the air dryers and the filters are working to prevent the water from freezing in the brake lines.
Also, provide lubrication to your vehicle’s automatic brake adjusters to get rid of any water, or grease from the system. This will prevent corrosion and will also provide more stopping power.
Keep the batteries Recharged: The cold weather will put stress on the batteries and will make them drain more quickly. Above that, the colder the engine is going to get, the more energy is going to be needed by the batteries to start the truck.
In order to prevent the dead batteries in your fleet, you need to measure and keep track of the volts when the battery is fully charged. Make sure that the battery connections are tight and that all the terminals are clean.
With the help of fleet diagnostic software, it can help you identify if the battery power is running low. Well, normally the vehicle is below 9 volts.
There is an alert that will help in identifying if there are any battery issues or remind the drivers to turn off the lights of their vehicles.
This software will also make sure to protect your batteries from any excess drainage in the winter months by covering the batteries with thermal insulation.
Inspection of electrical systems of the vehicle: In winter, the drivers will be using the cab heating system, lights, defrosters, and many other features due to short daytime lighting and colder temperatures. Make sure that you are testing and reading the requirements of the systems.
Also, testing the drops in voltage between the alternator and the battery is important to ensure that a good amount of current is running through the alternator. That will enable the battery to supply the power at maximum.
Check your cooling systems: Well, firstly, you must check your vehicle heater and the water hoses for any wear or tear, after you turn on the heater valves and when you realize that the engine has cooled down, then pressure test the coolant. It will help you in determining if it is at the manufacturer’s suggested PSI.
Also, the pressure test of the radiator cap in order to get the right PSI specifications. You need to ensure that the anti-freeze sachets are provided to every driver in your fleet. Water in the engine is harmful as it can cause the inside of the engine to freeze and crack. It can also push the plugs to get out of the blocks.
Timely replacements of your compressed air systems: Replacement of the air dryer cartridge every year is not just beneficial for your braking systems, it will also ensure the smooth functioning of the automated functions. If you wish to avoid any oil deterioration on the cartridge seals, make sure that you use a new oil cartridge.
Make sure that you are draining your vehicle air tanks in a schedule where thereof there is any water, salts, chemicals, or sand building up. It will keep your fleet in top-notch shape.
Make sure to maintain your diesel systems: Diesel fuel has the tendency to turn itself into wax gel in winter. In order to stop this from happening, make sure that you use the anti-gel solution and fill your tank with it.
Make sure to keep the anti-gel additives available with your drivers in case the temperatures are dropping suddenly when they are on the road.
The diesel-powered vehicle must also consider investing in the engine block heater. The engine block heater will provide you with the diesel engine to the required cylinder temperature. This makes it very easy to start it in cold weather.
Replace the fuel filters: When the temperature is below zero, then the water that will enter the fuel system can easily turn into ice and will damage the injectors and the fuel pumps. Make sure that you regularly drain your water and then replace the water-absorbing filters in order to prevent this from taking place.
Lubricants and oils must be changed regularly: You need to ensure to inspect the structure of the oil filters, especially during the winter. When you start your engine, it will create an instant pressure surge that can easily compromise the oil filters when they are at their weakest.
Well, changing the filters and the oils may sound like a small step but it can save your engine.
Install a fleet tracking system: In winter, you need to have the exact location of your driver and the vehicles. You just cannot process by guesswork. You need some solid tools that can help you provide a layer of safety to your operations.
The truck fleet management software will provide you with visibility when the divers are caught up in harsh weather or need any kind of help.
This also helps with customer management as you can see why the drivers are experiencing the delays and then transfer that information to the customers who might be waiting.
Prioritizing the safety of your vehicles and drivers this winter is very crucial. Winter is a major challenge for many drivers and fleet managers and thus taking these small steps to prepare will keep your fleet running smoothly all winter long.
Also, starting to prepare early will provide you with a jump start on your operations when the winter hits full force and you won’t miss a beat.