How To Prepare Your Truck Fleet For Harsh Winter Weather
Keep your fleet winter ready!
In the winter, road conditions may rapidly deteriorate due to weather changes. More than 1,300 people are killed and 116,800 are wounded annually in incidents involving snow, slush, or ice, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation.
Similar to the effects of bad weather and dangerous roads, the absence of sunlight also plays a role in these accidents. It’s no surprise that accidents spike in the winter, when daylight hours are shorter. According to research by the National Safety Council, the risk of being killed in a car accident increases by as much as 300% after sundown.
Due to the increased difficulty of driving in the winter, it is essential that safety managers evaluate and reinforce winter driving safety reminders well in advance of the onset of rain, snow, and ice.
Keep the gas tank at least half full
Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times, especially in the winter. This is mostly due to the fact that if your tank is less than half full, water vapour might settle to the bottom. In the winter, water vapour pulled into the fuel line of your engine might freeze and render it inoperable. You may use the water in your gas tank as fuel by adding a bottle of gas-line antifreeze to the tank.
Examine belts for wear
Vehicle belts are susceptible to wear and tear in both hot and cold temperatures, just as they are in hot and normal driving conditions. Vehicle failure due to a worn timing or v-belt should be avoided at all costs to keep downtime to a minimum and to ensure the safety of workers who may be travelling to and from work in isolated places. Belts should be inspected regularly for symptoms of fraying or cracking as part of your vehicle’s normal maintenance. Belts should be changed whenever they begin to show signs of wear.
Use Winter Tires
For better traction and stopping power on slippery roads, put on a set of winter tyres. Make sure there’s adequate air in the tires for maximum performance. Before you inflate your tires, be sure you have the correct PSI by consulting the owner’s handbook. Maintaining a tread depth of around 5/32 inches is ideal for the colder months. In really harsh conditions and remote areas, you may require an additional pair of tire chains.
Use Engine Coolants and Coolant Heaters
Fleets can keep their engines running smoothly even in very cold conditions by employing engine coolants and coolant heaters. Engine coolants’ primary function is to keep the engine from overheating, but they also have to stop the engine from rusting and the fluid from freezing. As a result, the system needs a 50/50 blend of water and antifreeze to function properly at -34 degrees Fahrenheit.
And rather than keeping the engine running to keep warm, you may use a bunk heater instead. You may save money on gas and extend the life of your engine by reducing idle time. If you want to keep the driver happy, have them turn on the warmth for at least 20 minutes once every 30 days.
Use Proper Motor Oil
It becomes more crucial to use motor oil of the appropriate viscosity when the temperature outside lowers. The viscosity scale quantifies the frictional resistance of an oil. When temperatures drop, oil thickens, leading to greater viscosity. Even oil with a viscosity of 10W-30 might be too thick in very cold areas. Make sure you are using the viscosity advised for cold weather by checking the owner’s manuals for each vehicle.
Check Electrical system of vehicles
Ensure that all electrical connections, including the trailer cable plug, are free of rust and corrosion. The signals, anti lock devices, and lights are all controlled by the plug, so be sure to keep it clean. Salt, magnesium chloride, and other substances will make your winter commute more difficult. Corrosion, power outages, and burned-out bulbs are all possible outcomes of prolonged contact with these compounds. Plug and wire systems that have been exposed to moisture might also need expensive repairs.
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