As cold weather approaches, it’s more important than ever to make sure your fleet is ready to face the elements. A company that depends on a fleet of vehicles must maintain constant care where preventative maintenance is concerned. There are many advantages to preventative fleet maintenance, but primarily it provides for increased productivity, reducing costs associated with labor and may decrease fuel costs as well. There are several ways to approach pre-winterizing your fleet to keep operating costs at a minimum. Below we’ve provided some key inspection points for pre-winterization of your fleet.
Identify any corrosion, check wiring and replace any defective bulbs.
Perform a battery load test to ensure the cold cranking amps (CCA) meet specifications. Clean the terminals and ensure a corrosion-free and tight connection.
Test the freeze point for the vehicle’s antifreeze to insure it is well below temperatures that will be encountered.
Fill windshield washer fluid reservoirs with fluid that won’t freeze in cold temperatures. Verify that windshield wipers are clearing the driver’s view correctly. Install Winter-specific blades
Inspect the serpentine belt for cracks or excessive wear.
Inspect wiring for cracks, rubs and cuts or excessive connectors from an old repair. Make sure sealable connectors are installed and inspect the wire up past the break for additional problems.
Service fuel and coolant filters, if equipped, as well as the air dryer cartridge.
Lubricate and clean the fifth wheel. Besides lubricating the pivot points and top plate with grease, spray the jaws with a diesel fuel lube oil mixture after ensuring they are debris and grease-free.
7-Way Trailer Connector
Inspect and clean the back-of cab 7-way connector. Inspect the cap spring to ensure it snaps back in place as well as the notch that interlocks with the 7-way connector end. Apply dielectric grease to prevent water intrusion. Check the cable itself for corrosion and worn pins, as well as a worn head. Also look at the plug and cap on the front of the coupled unit for the same issues and clean and re-grease periodically for longevity.
Check glad hand seals. Replace if in doubt. Check the glad hands themselves, making sure they still lock tightly and are free from cracks and debris.
Check the air spring brake chamber dust cap.
Tires & Wheels
Check air pressures and measure tread. Check torque on all lug-nuts
Look at idle time versus change interval and ensure DPF filters are changed. Perform a forced regeneration at each PM.
Have unit washed with an environmentally-safe chemical to stop the corrosion of road chemicals from eating away at vehicle systems year-round.
Thinking about outsourcing fleet maintenance? Learn The Financial Impact of Outsourced Fleet Maintenance, How Outsourced Fleet Maintenance Affects Operations and How Outsourced Fleet Maintenance Impacts Your Fleet.
Contact us today for a free fleet maintenance cost analysis and see how our fleet management service can improve performance and lower costs.