Trucking fleets must operate in rain or shine. This means that truckers are still responsible for delivering packages during the winter. Since drivers have to complete cross-country routes occasionally, supervisors must prepare their staff for driving in hazardous weather conditions. Read this resourceful guide on how to prepare your fleet for winter driving if you want to keep everyone safe when the temperatures drop.
Tell Truck Drivers About Common Winter Issues
It’s an employer’s responsibility to tell their staff about common issues that trucks have in the winter. Unlike gasoline engines, diesel engines don’t have spark plugs. This means the machines need an extreme amount of heat to start properly. That’s why a lot of mechanisms have trouble starting when it gets cold outside. Managers should tell their drivers that this issue isn’t uncommon. Moreover, you should also tell your staff to let you know if they have trouble starting the engine so that repairmen can fix things quickly.
Luckily, there are a few things that folks can do if they experience engine problems in the winter. For starters, fleet managers can replace a vehicle’s glow plugs to get them the heat they need. Since diesel engines don’t have spark plugs, glow plugs can provide the additional heat required for combustion to occur. Another thing you can do to help drivers start their trucks is clean out the automobile’s filters. Diesel is much thicker than gasoline. For this reason, ice or debris can get stuck in there, making the start more challenging. Managers ought to have a mechanic clean out the filters to ensure that each truck drives smoothly all winter long. After all, people are relying on truckers to get them their holiday packages on time.
Heating System and Windshield Wipers
Employers should also have mechanics check on their fleets’ heating systems and windshield wipers before they hit the road. Those in the trucking industry typically drive long distances to make deliveries, so their heating system must work to ensure comfort. Drivers may not be as productive completing their routes if the truck is too cold. Additionally, exposure to incredibly chilly temperatures comes with a variety of health risks. So, as a manager, you have to make sure the heating system is in working order. The warmer employees are, the more deliveries they’ll complete.
Repairmen ought to look at the windshield wipers so that drivers have a clear view, as well. Truckers must be able to see the road in front of them to remain safe behind the wheel. It’s nearly impossible to see anything during a snowstorm, so people need all the help they can get. For these reasons, you should always make sure that there’s enough windshield wiper fluid in the truck so that nothing goes wrong while someone’s completing a route.
Those in the trucking industry may also experience tire problems during the winter. Even though most trucks have four-wheel drive, the tires are still suspectable to hazardous weather conditions. Accordingly, supervisors must let their drivers know to prioritize their tire health in the wintertime. People ought to pull over the minute they realize that tire pressure is low. The sooner they can get to a rest stop, the better.
Replacing the tires of a diesel truck can be expensive because they’re incredibly large. So, it’s better to fix issues the minute they appear so that costly repairs can be avoided.
Over the past few years, some manufacturers have recognized that diesel fuel was too thick. Accordingly, a few companies have tried to develop a winterized diesel that prevents too much clogging. If you’re wondering how to prepare your fleet for winter driving, you should stock up on this seasonal diesel. Drivers may still experience other problems on the road. Yet, the likelihood of ice or snow making their way into the filters will be minimized. Buying thinner diesel fuel is a wise investment for when the temperatures drop.
Prioritize Driver Safety
Besides making sure that trucks are in working condition, you must prioritize drivers’ safety more during the winter. Even if a truck is running smoothly, it’s still dangerous to drive in the snow. As a result, supervisors should let their employees know that they can pull over if they feel unsafe. Yes, every company wants to see steady profits. Yet, no delivery is worth putting drivers at risk. So, if weather conditions are horrible, drivers should have the option to put their vehicle in park and wait for things to subside.
Sleep deprivation is also more common in the winter because it’s darker for longer periods of time. Accordingly, as a manager, you ought to focus on creating efficient routes that won’t push anyone over their limits. In fact, many people look for extra work during the holiday season. Perhaps you can hire more staff during this time to give their team a break when needed. This way, productivity will remain consistent, and the likelihood of sleep deprivation will decrease. Moreover, the team can spend more time with their families.
Vehicle breakdowns are much more common in the winter because of hazardous weather conditions. Luckily, supervisors can perform preventative maintenance to try and minimize the likelihood of an accident. What’s more, prioritizing driver safety will increase employee satisfaction, and it’s a great opportunity to hire folks that are out of work.
Managers who don’t do regular checkups on their trucks needn’t worry. ATL Diesel has top-of-the-line international Navistar parts for any heavy-duty truck that needs a replacement. Our team understands that automobile problems are detrimental to a company’s efficiency. That’s why our team works relentlessly to get drivers back on the road as quickly as possible. This mission is even more important during the winter because temperatures drop, and no employer wants their drivers to be stuck outside for too long. Give us a call if you need engine parts that’ll ensure your vehicles drive smoothly all winter long.