Unfortunately, with the Winter comes bad weather and dangerous driving conditions. Despite, these unfavourable circumstances there’s no rest for the wicked and the show most go on for most sectors. Fleets must keep moving even when the weather is bad. Winter roads can do damage to the fleets which travel on them daily and this slows down operations and costs management time and money. With winter quickly rolling in, all is not lost, here are some key tips and tricks to prepare your fleet for Winter from insuremyvan.ie.
1.Keep up with regular fleet maintenance.
We give this advice regularly, having a regular maintenance schedule doesn’t just protect your fleet for Winter but it can help maintain productivity all year round. A regular maintenance check should include a variety of measures from tyre and oil checks to under carriage checks.
Under carriage checks are particularly important in Winter because of the use of chemicals on the roads. In Ireland during the winter local council authorities use salt and de-icers to grit the roads. While this measure is valued because it prevents harsh skidding and protects drivers it also accelerates the production of rust.
Rust is caused when electrons in iron bond to oxygen molecules and is otherwise known as oxidation. This is very common in vans that travel long miles in all weather conditions, however, it is a process that is grossly sped up by salt and other chemicals on the roads for de-icing purposes.
By checking the undercarriage regularly in the winter months, you can stay ahead of any rust issues and can implement the necessary repairs early on. This will save time and money and will have the fleet in question operational in no time.
2.Consider an investment in undercarriage coatings.
Based on the previous point you might have expected this one was coming. One way to prevent the chore of heavy maintenance on under carriages is by investing in under carriage coatings. In case you are unfamiliar with an undercoating, it’s an element which is sprayed on the chassis and helps to protect the car against rust and other environmental related damage by blocking corrosion. While undercarriage coatings are widely known as being an expensive investment, they do prolong the lifespan of the vehicle. Undercarriage coatings are known to last for up ten years or more. When you think in the long term, an undercarriage coating is going to cost you less than having to replace many components of the van due to rust.
In another bonus pro, undercarriage coatings add an extra layer of insulation which actually reduces the noise level penetrating the van. Hence the driving experience will be a lot quieter for your drivers if this method is installed.
There are a couple of different methods available for applying the undercoats, these include a regular spray, an electronic method, a drip oil spray, or a dripless spray, learn more about that here.
3. Ensure every van in your fleet has an emergency kit.
Sometimes no matter how much maintenance you aim to do in the lead up to winter, breakdowns still happen. While it’s frustrating for both management and the driver in question, it’s important to be prepared and make the driver as comfortable as possible. It’s an essential step to prepare emergency kits which include first aid kits, reflective triangles, a jump start cable, a flashlight, a blanket, a fire extinguisher and anything else that a driver might need while temporarily broken down.
4. Drain water from fuel systems.
All engine oils are not the same and running the wrong oil in Winter can be harsh on the engine and cause unnecessary issues. Heavier oils are often too viscous to provide lubrication at lower temperatures. When the winter is coming it’s often a much better idea to switch to a fully synthetic oil with a lower cold temperature that’s formulated to operate in a wide range of temperatures. If you are unsure of which oil will suit your fleet of vans best, then refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer cold weather viscosity recommendations.
5.Clean and check the exterior of fleets regularly.
You want to maintain a professional image for your fleet of vans both in Summer and in Winter. It’s important to protect the exterior of your fleet from snow, ice and salt.
In order to do so, you should give your fleet a regular and thorough cleaning in addition to a strong coat of wax before hail starts falling. Don’t forget to wash the undercarriage to remove lodged corrosive salts if you don’t have an undercarriage coating in place.
6.Keep your drivers in mind.
Driving conditions in Winter can be stressful even for the best of drivers. During the damp winter months, you want your fleet drivers to be as safe and as comfortable as possible. That’s why it’s crucial to regularly check the heater and defroster operations. Check the tyre pressure of the tyres in the fleet, replace worn belts and brake pads. This will improve the safety conditions for your drivers, but it will also simultaneously save you from expensive repairs down the road. Finally, carry out battery testing and clean all connections. Don’t forget to run a quick test on the windscreen wipers too.
Winter can be a major challenge for drivers and for fleet management, but effective organisation and regular fleet check-ups can aid the process and make winter a little less daunting. Follow the steps above and keep researching on the best preventative measures for your fleet ahead of the upcoming Winter season.
At insuremyvan.ie we believe in the maintenance of fleets because it protects drivers and minimises risks. When it comes to protecting your fleet, we will be here to provide the best cover at the best price. Why not reach out to us at www.insuremyvan.ie today?