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How to winterproof your fleet

By Holly Dempster December 20, 2022

The winter is officially upon us, and with the Met Office predicting similar cold spells long into January, it’s unlikely to leave us any time soon.

That means we’re in for dark nights, icy roads and sub-zero temperatures for a little while longer – all of which make running a fleet an even greater challenge.

While we can control the temperature inside our vehicles and office, there’s little we can do to change the weather outside. However, we can take steps to ensure our teams are as warm, safe and productive as can be, no matter how hard winter bites.

With that in mind, below are a few tips to keep your fleet moving until Spring has sprung.

Keep an eye on the fuel gauge

We all want to get the most out of every last drop of fuel, but that doesn’t mean letting the needle slip past the red. Running out of fuel on the road is a big problem at any time of the year. But with sub-zero temperatures and the potential for snow, it poses a significant danger during the winter months.

Not only can low fuel leave your drivers stranded, but any water vapour pulled into the fuel line could freeze, potentially leaving your vehicle by the side of the road for a lot longer.

Make sure drivers are prepared

Even a topped up fuel tank is no match for a mechanical breakdown. And should that occur, your drivers will need to be prepared to wait with their vehicle until help arrives.

To make sure they are safe and warm in the interim, every vehicle should be equipped with a winter kit. As well as blankets, torches and hi-vis clothing, kits should include food and water, towropes, gloves and anything else that may come in handy.

Check your tyres

When it comes to safety, tyres are one of the most important parts of the vehicle. As the only part in contact with the road, a blowout can have major consequences.

During the winter months, tyres demand even more attention. In wet and icy conditions, issues such as low pressure and tread depth can very easily lead to accidents, vehicle downtime and hefty repair bills.

If your region is likely to experience prolonged winter conditions, consider switching to winter tyres for a while. The thicker compound and specialist tread pattern help to increase grip on the road and shorten braking distances.

Inspect the essentials

Tyres are just one important vehicle component that need a little extra attention at this time of year. Drivers should also be encouraged to keep a close eye on lights, fluids, belts and hoses, too.

Cold and wet conditions can impede performance and add to wear and tear, so consider giving drivers a checklist to make sure all is in order. Your winter checklist should include the following:

  • Check headlights before every journey
  • Check all fluids and top up if necessary
  • Check wiper blades
  • Clean excess snow and ice from vehicle exterior before setting off
  • Check tyre pressure and tread depth
  • Check for and replace worn belts and hoses

Remind drivers of their responsibility

Driver errors and reckless and distracted driving are a factor in many road accidents, especially when they occur in low light and adverse weather. So, be sure to give your drivers a regular reminder to stick to speed limits and always drive in accordance with road conditions.

To help keep this task top of mind, use your fleet tracking solution to monitor unsafe driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, hard braking and harsh cornering. This information can be used to score and rank drivers in order of safety.

By making these rankings public, you can encourage competition, reward top performers, incentivise others to improve and drive safety throughout your fleet.

Stay warm, stay safe, stay moving

With the right tools and some extra prep, you can help your drivers stay safe, comfortable and productive this winter.

Verizon Connect gives you eyes on your mobile operation so you can quickly spot anomalies, locate vehicles and take steps to keep your fleet moving. Proactive maintenance alerts can also help you keep a close eye on vehicle health, while live maps and intelligent dispatch can help identify congestion, mitigate delays and keep customers informed.

Want to see how our suite of applications could help your fleet this winter and beyond? Arrange a free demo to find out.

Holly Dempster

Holly is the Marketing Specialist for UK & Ireland, Verizon Connect. With 5 years' experience in the IT Sector and a Journalism degree, her passion lies in the power of content. Holly's focus areas to date include, Digital, Channel and Consultative Marketing.

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