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Freezing temperatures, black ice, snowstorms…winter weather can be dangerous for drivers to navigate.
While it’s always important that your fleet vehicles are regularly inspected for any issues or faults, it’s especially important in seasons such as winter, when your drivers could be facing additional hazards on the roads. Having a system for performing and reporting daily, weekly or monthly checks makes it easy for you to safeguard your drivers and ensure your vehicles are prepared for any situation.
We’ve compiled a list of vehicle checks that are useful during the winter months and could, if carried out on a regular basis, help you and your drivers be as safe as possible when the temperature drops.
During winter, ice, snow, and even heavy rain can make roads slippery, creating more challenges for drivers. A good set of winter tires can make a big difference in terms of traction and stability, but they can only go so far if they are not maintained. Be sure to check tire pressure and inspect the tread depth on all of your fleet’s tires to ensure they are ready for the season.
Windshield wipers are one of the most widely used pieces of safety equipment in a vehicle. They help guarantee visibility through rain, sleet and snow, so they need to be in good working condition. Checking to see if your wiper blades need replacing ensures that they are and will allow your drivers to see everything on the roads in front of them.
The battery provides necessary power to the engine, as well as the electrical system of the vehicle. Extreme cold temperatures can strain the battery and reduce its ability to perform, so it’s crucial to check the battery before winter weather sets in. Make sure to test the battery, ensure connections are tight, and replace it if necessary.
The Quartix system includes a battery status report that, when enabled, gives you an easy way to check the battery health for each of your vehicles. Find out more about this useful tool.
The effectiveness of your brakes in preventing an accident is obviously paramount. Low temperatures and harsh driving conditions in winter can cause your brakes to deteriorate, so make sure your brakes are inspected regularly, but in particular before the winter season starts and after it ends.
Snowy, stormy conditions can develop quickly and present a real threat to unprepared drivers. It’s important that your vehicles carry speciality equipment such as a first-aid kit, tire chains, and flares or reflectors to signal warnings. These items should be regularly inspected to ensure they are stocked and in optimal condition. Drivers should also have a fully charged mobile phone and a backup power source if their device runs out of battery.
Having a built-in system for regular vehicle checks and, when necessary, incident reports, can make maintaining your vehicles an easy task for you and your drivers, no matter the time of year. Quartix Check is a time-saving mobile app that can help keep you in compliance with government regulations, while also helping mitigate long-term maintenance costs across your fleet.
With a Quartix Check subscription and just a few clicks and swipes on their device, your drivers can record all the information needed for checks on vans, cars and trucks. You can even create a custom vehicle inspection for winter that includes some of the checks listed above. This bespoke inspection can be stored on your account and applied during winter months.
Quartix Check eliminates the need for paper inspection sheets and makes it easy to record and report incidents such as accidents or vehicle damage by creating a digital audit trail. You can use it to:
- View a report of passed and failed fleet inspections
- Search for specific inspections or date ranges, to gain more insight
- Manage inspections for a group of drivers
Winter driving can be challenging and dangerous, but taking the time to perform regular vehicle maintenance checks can go a long way in improving fleet safety. Performing these checks will not only prevent accidents but also provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your fleet is prepared for whatever winter weather comes your way.