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The winter is here. Wondering how to prepare the fleet for the winter season?  Fleet maintenance is an integral part of fleet management across seasons. Proper fleet maintenance during winter is essential to prevent unforeseen situations and improve the fleet’s performance when it goes down to freezing. As per the data gathered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, bad weather is the top reason for over 21% of vehicle crashes in the country.

This calls for integrating technology and training drivers to analyze fleet performance in a way that’ll help in the safety of the vehicles and prevent accidents.

How to prepare your fleet during the winter season

  1. Consider Replacing Fleet Tires With Snow Tires
  2. Test and Keep Track of Batteries of Your Fleet in Winter
  3. Check Your Fleet Brakes in Winter To Ensure Driver and Highway Safety
  4. Inspect Fleet Vehicle’s heater and water hoses
  5. Remember To Drain Air Tanks and Fuel Water Separators
  6. Choose Lower-viscosity Motor Oil & Lubricants
  7. Prepare To Reduce Fleet’s Fuel Cost in Winter
  8. Check Fleet Vehicles Sensor Health
  9. A Fleet Management Software Ensures Vehicle Safety and Protects Driver Safety

Read more below

1. Consider Replacing Fleet Tires With Snow Tires

Fleet tires must be replaced with snow tires during the winter season. Winters are unpredictable and are known for harsh weather conditions that make use of roads difficult. Moreover, tire pressures are negatively affected during cold weather, which causes them to deflate, making it vital to change rib tread tires with lug tires to stabilize road conditions.

Furthermore, installing a valve cap on each tire’s tip helps prevent moisture and build-up ice on the valve cores, improving fleet health.

2. Test and Keep Track of Batteries of Your Fleet in Winter

Cold weather puts much stress on batteries causing them to drain faster. One way to prevent dead batteries is to monitor the batteries continuously. Ensure to maintain the batteries and keep them fully charged. Use a 2,000 CCA tester to check if all the connections are tight.

Some of the ways to keep the fleet batteries safe during winter are:

  • Use thermal insulation during summer to ensure the batteries are heat protected throughout the year
  • Utilize connect fleet data to get alerts for battery drain when it is low
  • Continuously clean the batteries to free them from corrosion.
  • Ease range anxiety by using live DTE updates

3. Check Your Fleet Brakes in Winter To Ensure Driver and Highway Safety

Brakes are crucial for any vehicle, especially when the driver is driving on a highway. It becomes even more important during winter when road conditions decline due to ice, snow, and poor visibility. It is essential to check brake chambers for any corrosion or damage regularly. Additionally, check if any dust is stuck to the plugs and if they are correctly installed.

Analyze the tears for any cuts or tears

  • Check if the protective boots and the air disc wheel ends are intact.
  • Clear the fleet’s air dryers and filters, ensuring water doesn’t freeze underneath.
  • Keep an eye on live DTE to check the brake conditions and send alerts to drivers.

4. Inspect Fleet Vehicle’s heater and water hoses

Inspecting the vehicle’s water hoses and heater is extremely important to check for any damages. Herein, turn on the heater control valves, and once the engine has cooled down, test the pressure to check if it is as per the recommended PSI by the manufacturer. Also, it is imperative to test the radiator cap to get the correct PSI and to analyze if there is enough antifreeze area to prevent the blocking of water inside the engine.

5. Remember To Drain Air Tanks and Fuel Water Separators

When the temperature tends to fall during winter, the fuel system’s water often freezes and turns into ice. The ice tends to damage the fuel pumps as well as injectors. On the other hand, it is also imperative to check the oil filters, which can strain them during cold weather. Thus, remember to drain out the fuel water separators and air tanks to save the engine and ensure the smooth running of the fleet.

6. Choose Lower-viscosity Motor Oil & Lubricants

Freezing temperature calls for a lower viscosity motor oil that optimizes the engine. It is recommended to check the vehicle’s ambient temperature by checking the owner’s manual. CerebrumX’s connected data services help get constant alerts displaying the suggested viscosity requirement per different temperature ranges.

7. Prepare To Reduce Fleet’s Fuel Cost in Winter

Managing a fleet can get a lot tedious. A drop in the temperature, damaged oxygen sensors, and slow driving can drain the fuel. Accurate fuel fleet management assists in maintaining fleets and managing fuel costs.

There are numerous ways to reduce the fleet’s fuel cost. These include:

  • Use the shortest routes
  • Track fleet idling by using connected data services
  • Set up speed restrictions
  • Perform preventative maintenance to reduce fuel costs
  • Replace or repair oxygen sensors

8. Check Fleet Vehicles Sensor Health

Fleet sensors play an essential role in understanding road conditions. It becomes more important during winter, allowing drivers to know about the current road situation. Checking the fleet’s sensor health will help catch road issues accurately. Hence, cleaning the fleet’s sensor for any dust or frozen snow and cleaning it in time will allow for safeguarding your vehicle’s health.

9. A Fleet Management Software Ensures Vehicle Safety and Protects Driver Safety

Fleet management software calculates all the attributes using sensors and mechanisms such as telematics systems. Then, it provides a range of services, from proactive maintenance to optimizing routes and speed restrictions to protect the driver from harsh driving as well as difficult road conditions.

CerebrumX’s fleet management software utilizes AI and connected Vehicle data services to enhance fleet performance during winter, and prevent breakdowns employing advanced data analytics.

Conclusion

Winters can be tough on vehicles considering the challenges of dropping temperatures. Thus, taking proper precautions and proactive maintenance is a way to ensure the vehicle operates smoothly. Herein, installing fleet management software to track the vehicle condition, and get live updates through DTE services promises efficient management of fleets. Visit CerebrumX to learn more about our fleet management services.