Winter Preparation Checklist for Your Fleet

October 22, 2020 11:27 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s the time of year when winter preparation becomes part of your commercial fleet maintenance routine in Memphis, TN. The items in this checklist ensure that all your vehicles run well and stay safe as they travel through colder climates this winter. While Memphis has fairly temperate winters, much of the rest of the country is less lucky. Here is your winter preparation checklist for your fleet:

  • Tires: Tires make the difference between a timely and successful route through the mountains and a semi truck accident disaster. All-weather tires may not be enough for some climates, and if you see frequent travel through colder states, consider upgrading to these tires for better grip on snow and ice. Even if your drivers are avoiding snow, check tires for correct inflation, as under-inflating leads to failure, poor handling and reduced gas mileage.
  • Battery: Cold weather is tough on car and truck batteries. This is the most common cause of getting stranded in winter, and diesel engines must have good batteries with a strong charge. If a truck’s starter motor cranks slowly or headlights dim when engines idle, you need to at least clean your battery connections. However, if it has been 48 to 72 months since you last switched out batteries, it may be time for new ones.
  • Belts and hoses: Worn belts and hoses are more likely to fail in cold temperatures. This can be disastrous if any of your fleet vehicles are in a remote area. All winter inspections should include checking accessory drive belts for cracking or fraying. If there is any damage, it should be replaced. Also, cooling hoses must be checked for leaks and cracks. Replace any hoses that are spongy or brittle when squeezed.
  • Brakes: Pads and shoes should be double-checked before those long winter hauls. Brakes that squeal must be replaced. Also, check for proper air dryer maintenance. The air dryer removes system moisture and contaminants before they enter the braking system. You don’t want to risk frozen lines, as that causes brake failure in large commercial vehicles.
  • Windshield wipers: Winter precipitation leads to visibility issues, which become much worse if your fleet lacks functional windshield wipers. It’s a good idea to replace wiper blades every winter and make that your routine. If your vehicles are driven anywhere that may have ice buildup, consider buying heavy-duty winter wipers.
  • Fluids: Brake, transmission, power steering, windshield washer and battery fluids should all be topped off before your fleet starts winter hauling. Ask your service provider to winterize the cooling system and change the oil. Before any vehicle travels, check the oil level to make sure there are no leaks. Cold weather and low oil levels never mix and may risk a breakdown.

United Diesel Power offers commercial fleet maintenance services in Memphis, TN. We can perform any type of engine maintenance or suspension services to keep your fleet running well through snowy and icy conditions. Reach out to us today to schedule an appointment—we look forward to working with you!

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