Ryder System released a best practices checklist to help truck fleets prepare for what some forecasters say will be a winter of below-average temperatures and heavy snowstorms. The list is based on the premise that planning around fleet maintenance, proper fueling, driver training and driver safety can help maintain fleet uptime and prevent unexpected breakdowns and accidents in such conditions.
“Last year’s polar vortex wreaked havoc on businesses that were not prepared for the impacts of extreme cold weather on their fleets,” said Mel Kirk, vice president, maintenance and quality operations for Ryder.
The following tips are essentials on the preparedness list:
- Fleet maintenance proactive planning: Doing things like replacing wiper blades with winter wiper blades and checking for proper tire inflation are examples of proper maintenance that are key for running an efficient fleet.
- Proper fueling: Making sure that fuel has been blended correctly for the seasonal temperature and that a cloud point additive is included prevents fuel filter waxing that causes breakdowns.
- Driver training: Drivers should be trained and well-informed about how to act in response to different situations. For example, in the event that a warning light turns on, such as the engine regeneration light, it is crucial that a driver know how to respond in order to ensure safety and maintain fleet uptime.
- Driver safety: Extra caution, alertness, and preparation can reduce the risk of possible collisions and/or mechanical failures. Simply increasing following distance or slowing down can ensure a safer trip.