Help Your Fleet Beat the Heat

Things are heating up this summer, and business owners need to be mindful of the effects extreme heat can have on equipment. Though most sweeping is done at night, even storage in a hot location can create issues with your vehicles. Follow these simple but important tips to keep your fleet ready to withstand the heat.

Keep Up with Inspections

Heat can be taxing on virtually every vehicle component, so ensure that all fluids are topped off and change oil where necessary. Remind your drivers that fluid checks should be done before a shift begins, and never after or during when the engine is still hot. In addition to fluid management, remember that extreme weather can also shorten battery life.

Finally, check all tires. Make sure the contact with hot pavement has not worn tread down to unsafe levels, and that tire pressure is within a safe range. This is important for safety as well as optimizing fuel economy—according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, properly-inflated tires operate at approximately 3% better fuel efficiency than improperly-inflated tires. Consider tire rotations at the end of the season to ensure safe driving in the fall.

Avoiding Cosmetic Issues

Even if the wear on your vehicles is only cosmetic, this reflects negatively on your company. Keep the fleet looking its best by keeping up with washing schedules. If you have trucks out in the daytime, encourage drivers to park them in the shade, preserving both the paint and the interior. Avoid vinyl cracking and other interior damage by using a sun shade on the windshield.

Overheating and Blowout Prevention

Warmer temperatures cause tire air to expand, compromising fuel economy and vehicle handling and increasing the risk of blowouts and collisions. Be sure to conduct a thorough brake check on every machine. In addition to all of the other maintenance tips we’ve discussed, make sure all drivers are up to speed on proper company procedures for breakdowns and accidents, and provide retraining sessions if necessary.