Spring has finally returned to the northern hemisphere, although there is still snow on the ground in many areas. Spring presents a unique mix of fleet maintenance and driver challenges.
Vehicles and Equipment
Carefully inspect and clean every piece of equipment in your fleet. Consider adding a spring checklist to your fleet maintenance spreadsheet or fleet maintenance software.
Consider performing upcoming scheduled (but not due) maintenance early to minimize downtime and maximize shop time.
Check to ensure all Safety Inspections and Licenses that may have expired over the winter are up-to-date.
Pay close attention to inactive or less-used vehicles and equipment that have been sitting idle and exposed to winter conditions that may have been damaged by ice, snow, melt, and rust.
Check to ensure driver log books and operator manuals are available and up to date.
While your equipment is in for routine spring maintenance, it’s a perfect time to have a peek at your maintenance reports for the unit from your fleet maintenance software or fleet maintenance spreadsheet. Dont have either? why not contact us and learn how Fleet Harmony Cloud Fleet management Software can help you.
Leave your winter tires on until you are certain that the days of snow and ice are over. Don’t remove your winter emergency kit and ice scraper just yet!
Frequently check tire pressure. Repeated changes in heat can change the density of the air inside your tires and often lead to under-inflation.
If your operation slows down in the winter and begins to ramp up in the spring, you may have had drivers and operators on layoff. Validate all driver and operator licenses. It’s also a perfect time to review your Workplace Hazardous Materials (WHMIS) policies with employees. WHMIS is a Canadian system designed to give employers and workers information about hazardous materials used in the workplace.
Spring Road Conditions
Our roads, neighborhoods, job sites and delivery points change considerably with spring.
The warm / thaw cycle causes frost heaves and potholes that sometimes can form overnight, especially on secondary roads. Maintain a good distance from the driver ahead of you so you can spot potholes in advance and give yourself extra time to react. Plus, this limits the amount of kicked-up rocks and debris to potentially hit your windshield.
Leftover salt and sand can reduce tire grip. Be especially cautious in areas where salt and sand can build up, such as rural roads and off ramps.
Extra caution should be used when pulling off roadsides. Softened gravel, along with the possibility of erosion and frosted leaves, can form sinkholes. Ease your vehicle one wheel at a time to the shoulder.
Warm spring sun melts snow, and the water that we see draining across our highways can form ice at night when temperatures drop below freezing, especially in low lands and bridges.
Melting snow and rain causes spring flooding. Flooding not only presents the risk of hydroplaning, but it also limits the visibility of washed-out and eroded roads that may be hiding under water.
Warming temperatures brings out children, walkers, and joggers. Be extra careful, especially when driving in residential areas. Motorcyclists and cyclists are easily hidden among other vehicles.
Animals, especially deer, graze the salt-rich vegetation near highways in early spring. Pay close attention to animal crossing signs.
Share these tips with your drivers, family, and friends and enjoy a safe and incident-free spring!