Keeping Your Crew Safe: 5 Tips to Winterizing Your Fleet
We recently wrote a post about OSHA’s report that released the Top 10 Safety Violations of 2017. Staying on the topic of safety is essential today, especially as we navigate through the remaining winter season.
In an article by Total Landscape Care, they mapped out the main areas of your truck fleet to focus on winterizing to keep workers safe. The areas were as follows:
- Battery: The cold weather affects the battery by pulling voltage from it, which clearly makes it harder to start. If the truck’s battery is nearing the 48-72-month cycle, you should most likely go ahead and replace it. If the battery is younger than that, you should check the electrical wiring for any damage or fraying.
- Tires: With every 10 degree temperature drop, a tire loses approximately one pound per square inch (psi). When driving with deflated tires, especially in winter conditions, this reduces the tread and traction of the truck, therefore putting your driver at risk of sliding on ice.
- Fluids: When the temperature drops, the fluids within the truck become thicker. Examples of these fluids include oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake and transmission fluids. To prevent the engine from freezing, you can use a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and coolant. For the motor oil, using lighter grade in the winter months will also be beneficial. If your truck is using diesel, you can avoid gelling by adding anti-gel fuel additives. Also, look at high cetane ratings when you’re at the pump, which will have shorter ignition delay periods.
- Windshield Wipers: Evaluating whether your windshield wipers need to be replaced is critical during the winter season, too. Always check that they’re not stuck to the windshield before driving somewhere. Making sure the wipers aren’t set to automatic is also important, because if they are stuck and try to move when the truck is started, it could blow out a fuse.
- Emergency Kit: It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially in winter conditions. The basics of a good winter weather kit include: first aid kit, flashlight, blankets, winter clothes, ice scraper, jumper cables, water, dry food snacks, cell phone charger and any other survival supplies.
Do you have any other important areas you take into account when winterizing your fleet that aren’t included in this post? Feel free to share your tips in the comments below or by sending us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.