Winter weather can wreak havoc on trucking companies as they attempt to stick to delivery schedules despite snowy or icy conditions. Wintry environments worsen existing risks while adding new ones into the mix so fleets need to take every precaution they can to improve driver safety. Winterizing fleet vehicles in the following ways can help achieve that goal:

  • Implement winter windshield wipers
  • Keep an ice scraper in the cab
  • Remove all snow and ice from the truck before driving
  • Upgrade to winter tires
  • Check tire pressure more often
  • Keep up with preventative maintenance
  • Keep a winter emergency kit in the cab
  • Confirm that insurance plans include roadside assist

Digging deeper into the above, fleets should focus their winterizing efforts in the following ways:

  1. Make visibility the top priority. Using windshield wipers built to handle ice and snow, having an ice scraper at the ready, and removing all winter debris from the truck can ensure no blind spots occur while truckers operate the vehicle. For example, ice can tear up lower grade windshield wipers, making them useless when it comes to clearing the windshield. Paying a little money upfront can prevent costly accidents later.
  2. Don’t skimp on tires. Tires built for withstanding winter weather will offer much more peace of mind when snow or ice starts to build up on the streets. These specialty tires offer better grip and traction in slippery conditions. Fluctuating temperatures have a significant effect on tire pressure, so drivers should check that more often as well to avoid premature wear and the risk of a tire blowout.
  3. Keep an eye on the battery. Batteries can lose their charge if left sitting for too long or when temperatures drop too low. If batteries are running low on power, dropping temperatures can sap the last of the juice. This can leave drivers stranded in less than ideal conditions.
  4. Check on the coolant. Many people think of coolant as something that’s only important to worry about in the summer. However, if the coolant freezes, fleets can have an expensive problem on their hands. When the coolant freezes, the system will seize. In addition, like all liquids, coolant expands when it freezes. This can crack the system lines and require costly repairs.
  5. Service the truck regularly. Cold weather can wear out certain components faster than usual, meaning regular maintenance schedules may not be enough to keep a fleet in good working order. Using telematics, fleet managers can have up-to-the-minute data regarding the fitness of their vehicles for operating on highways.

Even with best-laid plans and precautions, truck drivers can find themselves stranded. This is why an emergency preparedness kit and having roadside assist are vital to keeping truck drivers safe during winter months. To learn more about improving your fleet’s safety, contact the experts at DriverCheck.