Canadian winter weather is not the same across the country, but no matter where your fleet operates, these five tips can help ensure safe, reliable operations throughout the cold, snowy, dark months.
- Preventative maintenance – This should be top of mind as winter approaches. Preventative maintenance includes fluid checks, suspension and ride control tests and general tune-ups to stay ahead of winter driving problems. Getting shocks and struts inspected every 20,000 kilometres will ensure suspension systems and ride control are functioning properly.
- Use winter tires – Winter tires are the best bet for tackling cold winter temperatures and slushy, snow-packed roads. Their specialized rubber compound is made to stay soft and pliable in the extreme cold.
- Check batteries – The cold can be rough on batteries and it’s an unwelcome surprise if a fleet car won’t start on a frigid winter day. Get batteries tested to ensure and connections are tight, clean and free of erosion. Batteries typically last for five years.
- Windshield views – Being able to see out the windshield is a key safety issue. Winter wiper blades are a great investment for tackling winter visibility, as they are designed to resist the wind and prevent ice and snow build-up. Consider changing out washer fluid in the winter months for one with detergent, to withstand temperatures below -40 degrees Celsius.
- Pack a survival kit – As winter approaches, ensure each fleet vehicle is equipped with an emergency survival kit. Include extra washer fluid, a spare tire, jack and tool kit, jumper cables, a shovel, traction mat, non-perishable food and bottled water, candles, blankets, warm clothing, first-aid supplies, flares and matches, as well as a flashlight and extra batteries.