When winter weather hits, your fleet operation's vehicles need to be prepared, and so do your drivers.
Driving in winter conditions takes special skills and training. Drivers need to know how to adjust their driving according to the conditions, and how to prepare in case of an emergency.
Drivers should prepare for winter weather in the following ways:
- Review Winter Driving Techniques: Drivers need to know how to adjust their driving habits to the current road conditions. Some of the changes drivers need to make include: giving additional space for a safe stopping distance, lowering speeds in wet road conditions, avoiding slamming on the brakes on slippery roads, keeping a constant speed when going uphill, and trying to remain on plowed roads.
- Pack an Emergency Kit: If a vehicle breaks down in cold temperatures, drivers need to be prepared to survive in winter conditions. For their safety, drivers should keep an emergency winter kit in their vehicles. This kit can include: blankets, warm clothes, first aid supplies, water, hand warmers, flares, windshield brush and scraper, and a shovel.
- Check the Vehicle: Like technicians need to check vehicles during preventative maintenance, drivers should inspect the vehicle before each trip. Drivers should look for any visible damage to the outside of the vehicle, check the tires, check the fuel levels, ensure the heat is working in the cabin, make sure the defroster is functioning properly, check the headlights, and make sure to report any issues with the vehicle as soon as possible.
- Monitor Fuel Levels: Drivers should ensure there is at least a quarter of a tank of gas in the vehicle before starting their route. Vehicles can breakdown in the winter if there is not enough fuel.
- Watch the Radar and Weather Reports: Winter weather can change quickly, so drivers should check the radar along their route and look for weather alerts before starting their trip. This will help drivers know what to expect, and if needed, find an alternative route.
- Drive Safely: Drivers should always practice safe driving behaviors, but these can be even more important during winter. These include lowering speeds, signaling turns, staying a safe distance behind vehicles and not making aggressive maneuvers.
To learn how RTA Fleet Management Software can help your operation with preventative maintenance scheduling, contact us today to request a free demo.