By Drew Sheahan, InTouchGPS.com
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Anyone in the service industry knows that idiom is as true today as when Benjamin Franklin wrote it. How many times have you seen a disaster at a customer’s house that could have been avoided if they performed a little preventive maintenance? The same can be said for service fleet vehicles in the winter. Preparing your fleet before winter arrives is an important part of avoiding emergency repairs and keeping downtime to an absolute minimum. Whether you have a service fleet of one vehicle or several hundred, here are eight tips to make sure your vehicles are ready for winter.
Below are eight maintenance tips that you can conduct to ensure optimum performance for your fleet:
- Tires– Make sure your tires are at the full and accurate pressure. Also, confirm that you have the right tires for your geography and conditions. Other than vehicle safety, the correct tire pressure also helps reduce fuel costs. Lastly, check to make sure the tires have sufficient tread, especially since your vehicles might be driving over rain, sleet and snow.
- Top Off Fluids- The best time to check and top off your vehicle’s fluids is before the harsh winter weather hits. Check and top off engine coolants, power steering, brake, windshield washer and other fluids.
3. Gas– Keep your gas tank at least half full (especially larger trucks).Water vapor can collect in the bottom of the tank and be drawn into your engine’s fuel line: if it’s cold enough it can freeze and prevent your engine from starting.
- Battery– The low temperatures also have a negative impact on your vehicle’s batteries. When you need that extra cranking power, your battery may not be up to the task. Have your batteries checked and consider replacing your battery if it’s more than three years old. Keep the contacts free of corrosion with a terminal cleaner.
- Oil– When driving in cold weather, it’s important to make sure you are using the right viscosity of motor oil. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended proper viscosity for freezing temperatures.
- Belts, Hoses, Lines– Inspect vehicles belts, hoses and lines for wear and tear. A worn belt could spell disaster for you and your vehicle, especially when driving in extreme conditions. You don’t want a driver stuck by the wayside in the cold. Make a belt inspection and check for signs of fraying or cracking. Change any belts with even a hint of being worn to help avoid a breakdown during the worst of winter.
- Heater– Check heater elements and defrost to ensure they work accurately.
- Utilize GPS Fleet Tracking– Manage your entire workforce without having to physically be in the vehicle with them with InTouchGPS fleet tracking. For an incredibly low monthly cost you can track your vehicles in real time. Reduce costs while increasing profits with the aid of idling or speeding alerts, real-time location tracking, automated reporting and so many more features that our cloud based easy to use software provides. At any given moment, from any web enabled device, you can see where all of your vehicles are, where they are headed and fast they are going. With InTouchGPS you can even create maintenance scheduling and have automated timecard reporting.
These are just a few tips to keep your fleet optimized during the colder months. A last thing to consider is to be very clear about your policy on idling- Are you expecting your drivers to turn off the vehicle in any specific occasion or is using your car as climate control and keeping running to stay warm okay with you. (You can track this with GPS fleet tracking from InTouchGPS.) This idling can have a significant impact on the bottom line by allowing fuel costs to soar.
As we enter the winter months, be safe out there. For more information on other cost saving tips, contact InTouchGPS today at 1-800-746-5170 or visit us on the web at InTouchGPS.com