Preparing light-duty vehicle fleets for severe weather involves a multi-faceted approach.  -  Photo: AF

Preparing light-duty vehicle fleets for severe weather involves a multi-faceted approach.

Photo: AF

Ensuring the safety and efficiency of your light-duty vehicle fleet during severe weather is paramount.

Let’s explore strategies and insights to help you prepare your fleet and drivers for challenging weather conditions with insights from Eric Frey, director, Global Product Management, Connected Vehicles & IoT, at Powerfleet.

Preparation for Extreme Weather

A thorough fleet preparation can go a long way when facing extreme weather conditions.

"Ensuring the vehicles are up to date ahead of time, such as being equipped with the correct snow tires and adequate tire pressure for better grip, is one of the best ways to avoid safety hazards," Frey stated.

Some prep include:

  • Double-check batteries before snow hits, as severe low temperatures can drain a vehicle's battery.
  • Coaching drivers in safe and defensive driving practices.

"In difficult weather situations such as a blizzard, low tire pressure in severe low temperatures can be a significant obstacle. Keeping a nitrogen-inflated tire or two on hand allows for greater safety and efficiency," Frey advised.

Technology Integration for Safety

Fleet tech has advanced to improve navigation, delivery times, maintenance, and more. However, fleet software and technology can also enhance fleet performance and safety during extreme weather.

A navigation system, providing a backup mode of communication for seamless coordination between drivers and management during last-minute changes, can be imperative.

Fleet managers can leverage data collection for real-time coaching, identifying danger spots, and tracking fuel consumption efficiently.

"IoT software and technology work to streamline the processes for asset tracking, vehicle telematics, effective communication, as well as greatly minimize unplanned downtime," Frey said.

Driver Training and Awareness

Another way to prepare for severe weather challenges is effective driver training.

Fleet managers can conduct training in the summer when conditions are calm, using simulators and remote sessions for emergency protocols and slick conditions.

Safe driving behavior, facilitated by dash cameras, becomes crucial for accident prevention in challenging weather environments.

"Simulators and remote training sessions can be incredibly helpful to your drivers to get accustomed to emergency protocols and slick conditions."

Regarding safety measures, driver safety should be a top priority during incremental weather. Educating drivers on vehicle maintenance and protocols ensures they have all necessary information and documentation to act promptly.

Preparing light-duty vehicle fleets for severe weather involves a multi-faceted approach, from vehicle preparation and essential tools to leveraging technology and comprehensive driver training.

By implementing these strategies and insights, fleet managers can confidently navigate extreme weather conditions, ensuring the well-being of their fleet and drivers.

About the author
Hillary Weiss

Hillary Weiss

Senior Editor

Hillary Weiss is a former senior editor at Bobit. She has a decade of digital publishing experience and a passion for all things related to fleets.

View Bio