Keep your fleet on the move this winter
Downtime costs you time and money. Keep your vehicles up and running by preparing well.
Keep your fleet running in Winter
To keep your vehicles ploughing on through the winter months, it’s worth having them fully serviced before winter really starts to bite. At the very least, if you can’t have them serviced, then conduct your own checks.
Ensure all your lights are clean and working and your battery is fully charged. The
windscreen, wiper blades and other windows should also be cleaned and the washer bottle filled with screen wash. Next, check your tyres condition, tread depth and pressure (including the spare). Are your brakes working well? And it’s a good idea to go shopping and stock up your fleet essentials such as de-icer, windscreen wash, oil and anti-freeze.
Remember, you can use your fuelGenie fuel card to purchase oil.
The UK has often be battered by some extreme weather, so it’s worth keeping an emergency kit in your car, especially on long journeys. Many drivers regard this as unnecessary, but recent years have left us with images of stranded motorists in snow storms and floods.
It is recommended that you carry:
Tow rope, a shovel, wellington boots, a hazard warning triangle, de-icing equipment, a first aid kit, torch, car blanket, warm clothes, emergency rations (including hot drink in a flask) and a fully charged mobile phone.
It really is better to be safe than sorry.
Be sensible too. Listen to local/national weather broadcasts and travel bulletins. And check them regularly as conditions can change rapidly. Have Plan B ready in case conditions on your route worsen.
If conditions are very bad, and the emergency services are recommending that people do not travel unless absolutely necessary, then think very carefully. Is it safe to send your fleet out?
Many fleet operators have telematics technology at their disposal, which can keep fleets working efficiently all through the winter.
It provides fleet managers and drivers with ongoing weather updates, so conditions can be carefully monitored all journey long. Route mapping and planning systems help keep your fleet moving by advising on things like road closures and alternative routes available. Last-minute changes of plan can be made to avoid the worst weather-related disruption.
It can also keep fleet operators informed about the condition of individual vehicles, enabling them to spot mechanical issues earlier and resolve them quicker. Real-time updates can be provided on everything from fuel levels to battery health. Fleet managers can receive email or mobile notification when a vehicle has been stationary for a long time, possibly indicating a breakdown. Regular maintenance checks and MOTs can be scheduled in.
As we have already mentioned, vehicle maintenance should be prioritized at this time of year. Snow, frost and ice all put extra strain on vehicles, so it's easy for problems to develop.
Fleet operators need to remind their drivers just how important it is to drive to road conditions. Telematics gathers a wide range of data to provide managers with in-depth insight into how their drivers conduct themselves when they're behind the wheel. If drivers repeatedly breach the speed limit, brake sharply or take corners dangerously, telematics will pick this up and these issues must be addressed.
Fleet managers can use geofencing in order to set speed limits through particular areas - so if drivers are set to travel along a route that's likely to be particularly risky, their manager can impose a speed limit for that particular stretch. If this is breached, managers will be notified via email or mobile.
It all helps promote an internal culture of safer driving as well as greater awareness of the dangers posed to drivers in the winter.