Winter is coming! For those of us in the northern hemisphere, that means cold weather, snow, and ice. Adverse weather costs the trucking industry an estimated $3.5 billion per year.

For those of us who manage fleets of vehicles, that reality means preparing our vehicles and drivers for the challenges of winter driving. Here are some tips to get your fleet ready for winter, courtesy of your friends from GPS Trackit.

1. Invest in winter tires.

Winter tires are designed to provide better traction and handling in cold weather conditions. They’re also a good investment because they can be used for multiple winters.

2. Educate your drivers on winter driving safety. 

Make sure your drivers know how to properly handle your vehicles in winter conditions. This includes things like snow removal and using the defrosters and wipers effectively.

3. Inspect your vehicles regularly.

Cold weather can be tough on vehicles, so it’s important to inspect them regularly for things like battery trouble, fluid leaks, and cracked hoses. The service modules built into GPS Trackit are designed to keep you automatically up-to-date on regular maintenance. 

4. Keep your fuel tanks full. 

This will help prevent freezing and condensation in the fuel lines. Plus, if unexpected weather forces drivers to detour, they won’t also have to deal with fuel anxiety or finding an appropriate vendor.

5. Keep an emergency kit in each vehicle. 

This should include items like jumper cables, a shovel, a first-aid kit, and blankets. 

6. Plan your routes carefully. 

Be aware of closures and detours that might impact your route planning. And give yourself extra time to reach your destination so you don’t have to hurry in dangerous conditions. Good fleet management software can make this job easier, with integrated weather forecasts and advanced routing guidance.

7. Stay in communication with your drivers. 

In case of an emergency, you’ll want to be able to reach your drivers quickly and easily. Two-way communication modules are built into GPS Trackit’s platform. 

8. Use technology to your advantage. 

New advancements in fleet management technology can help you monitor driver behavior and even remotely disable vehicles if they become stranded. 

9. Allow extra time for travel.

When severe weather hits, it can cause delays in travel time. Build this into your schedule so that you (and your customers) aren’t caught off guard.

10. Have a backup plan. 

If you need to cancel or reschedule appointments due to weather, have a way to communicate this to customers quickly and easily. Preparing your fleet for winter doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. By following these simple tips—and scheduling a free, personalized demo with a GPS Trackit Fleet Advisor—you can rest assured that your fleet will be ready to take on whatever throws its way.