Top 5 Ways to Prepare Your Fleet for Winter – We are in the thick of winter here in the Northeast and there’s no escaping the snow, cold, sleet and ice. Winter poses many challenges and dangers on our roadways, and when you own or manage a fleet of trucks, it’s your responsibility to keep them and everyone else around them safe.
Frigid temperatures can be tough on any vehicle, particularly large fleet vehicles that are driven up to 12 hours a day. Routine maintenance will prevent emergency repairs and expensive downtime. Here are some ways to prepare your fleet for winter.
1. Add Winterized Fuel
The top complaints among fleet drivers include low fuel economy and vehicles that won’t start up when temps get below zero. To combat this, use winterized fuel so your trucks can operate seamlessly in temps as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also opt for an additive package to boost fuel economy and horsepower by 5%. This will ensure your fleet stays on the road for longer while cutting back on fuel costs.
2. Drain the Water Separator/Replace Filters
When water is present in the fuel system, this can be very damaging to fuel pumps and injectors when sub-zero temperatures hit. This leads to a common cold engine startup issue known as “fuel gelling.” This is when water turns to ice in both the fuel storage tanks and filtration systems, which plugs up the filters. Replace water-absorbing filters and drain the water separator on a regular basis.
3. Perform Regular Maintenance
This is important. Cold weather does a number on many of your trucks’ components, but if you engage in proactive maintenance such as replacement of worn brake pads, belts, and hoses, you can avoid those costly bills down the line. You should also regularly test the battery and clean all connections.
4. Check and Top Off Fluids
Utilizing the wrong oil in winter can result in too much engine wear. Heavy oils are not the best for low temperatures, as they are too viscous for effective lubrication. Instead, you should use a full-synthetic oil featuring a lower cold temp viscosity, which does better in all temperature ranges. Check and top off fluids related to the coolant, brake, power steering, and windshield-washer systems.
5. Clean and Check Exteriors
Protect your vehicles’ exteriors from snow, ice and salt by thoroughly cleaning and waxing them before winter. This means washing the body, cab, and under-carriage to get rid of salts and de-icers that can be very corrosive and damage the body.
Winter is a big challenge for fleet managers and drivers, but if you take the right steps now, you will enjoy a long season of seamless operation.
Contact Taylor Oil
For more tips on preparing your fleet for winter or to book our convenient onsite fueling services, contact us today.