While the unrelenting heat wave of summer is still upon us, the reality is that fall is just around the corner, and it’s time to prepare for the change of season. For fleet managers and operators, this change in season brings along a new set of challenges and considerations when it comes to maintaining and repairing their vehicles. Fall is a transitional period that requires specific attention to ensure that your fleet remains efficient, reliable, and safe as the weather changes.
Tire Inspection & Replacement
One of the most critical aspects of fall fleet maintenance is ensuring that your vehicles are equipped with the appropriate tires. As temperatures drop, tire pressure tends to decrease, leading to reduced traction and handling. Check the tire pressure of each vehicle and consider switching to all-season or winter tires if you operate in areas with significant temperature drops and potential snowfall. Worn-out tires should be replaced promptly to maintain optimal safety on wet and slippery roads.
Fluid Check & Change
The fall season is an ideal time to perform a comprehensive fluid check and change for your fleet vehicles. This includes checking and replenishing engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, and windshield washer fluid. These fluids play a crucial role in maintaining the vehicle’s performance and preventing breakdowns during colder weather.
Extreme temperatures can put added strain on batteries, often leading to starting issues. Before fall arrives, ensure that your fleet’s batteries are in good condition by conducting a battery test. Replace any batteries as necessary to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
HVAC System Maintenance
You’ve likely had your air conditioning on full-blast for the past month, which is putting a major strain on those systems, which includes your heating. Make sure that the HVAC systems are functioning optimally to ensure optimal comfort. Clean or replace cabin air filters to improve air quality and system efficiency.
Brake Inspection & Service
Effective braking systems are imperative for safety all year round, but they become even more crucial as we head into the colder months. Schedule a comprehensive brake inspection, including brake pad wear, rotor condition, and brake fluid levels. Addressing any brake issues promptly can prevent accidents and ensure the safety of your drivers and other road users.
Lighting & Visibility
With shorter daylight hours and potentially foggy conditions, maintaining optimal visibility is paramount. Check all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights, turn signals, and brake lights. Replace any bulbs that are dim or burnt out, and ensure that all lighting systems are aligned correctly for optimal illumination.
Wiper Blade Replacement
Fall often brings increased rainfall, which can lead to reduced visibility if your fleet’s wiper blades are worn or ineffective. Replace any worn wiper blades to ensure clear visibility during rainy weather, and consider using winter-specific wiper blades that are designed to handle ice and snow.
These wet weather conditions can also accelerate the formation of rust on your fleet vehicles, especially if road salt is used in your area. Consider applying a rust-resistant coating to vulnerable areas of the vehicles to prevent corrosion and extend their lifespan.
Emergency Kit Check
Lastly, ensure that each vehicle’s emergency kit is up-to-date and well-stocked. Fall weather can be unpredictable, so having essentials like warm blankets, non-perishable food, water, a flashlight, and basic tools can make a significant difference in case of unexpected breakdowns or emergencies. Don’t forget your DOT triangles and road flares!
MIDDLETON & MEADS IS YOUR ONE-STOP-SHOP FOR ALL OF YOUR VEHICLE’S NEEDS.
Need to repair your truck or bus? Contact Middleton & Meads today! Middleton & Meads provides quality truck and bus repair, service, and fleet management for the Baltimore, MD area. We have over 90 years of experience in the trucking industry and will provide you with customer service like you have never experienced before! If you are interested in seeing how we can help your business, give us a call at (410) 752-5588 or visit us online today! For more articles and trucking tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and LinkedIn.