It is hard to believe it is already the month of May. While some places like Orlando, Florida or San Diego, California have a never ending summer, for most of us, May is when we start making our summer plans. That includes vacations, what to do with the kids with school being out and if you are in the fleet business-how to prepare your fleet for the heat. Here is a valuable checklist of best practices that IntouchGPS recommends you follow to make sure that your fleet is ready for the summer.
I. Get Rid Of Winter’s Changes
In an earlier blog, we discussed best winterizing practices for your fleet. Now that Winter is over, the first step in getting ready for the new season is to revert back to your summer vehicle persona.
- For places with harsh winters remove snow chains from your tires or swap out from snow tires to summer tires if applicable.
- Conduct a thorough inspection of windshield wipers, (especially since with the heat often comes more rain.)
- Complete a full interior and exterior cleaning, including under the vehicle where salt and snow may have lodged from the roads.
II. Summer-ize Your Fleet
Now that your vehicle no longer has winter’s remnants, let’s perform some basic maintenance. Here are some tips from the National Institute For Automotive Excellence:
A marginally operating system will fail in hot weather. Have the system examined by a qualified technician. Newer models have cabin air filters that clean the air entering the heating and air conditioning system. Check your owner’s manual for location and replacement interval
The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage, or tow a trailer.
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drive-ability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean dirt and insects from all lenses. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; check them while they’re cold before driving for any distance. Don’t forget to check your spare as well and be sure the jack is in good condition. Examine tires for tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. An alignment is warranted if there’s uneven tread wear or if your vehicle pulls to one side.
Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.
Batteries can fail any time of year. The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. Routine care: Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check the fluid level monthly.Avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves.
Driver Policy Meeting
The last part of getting ready for the summer has to do with your fleet drivers. Make clear your expectations on what is allowed in regards to the heat and your driver. Are they allowed to use the vehicle for climate control and keep it on between jobs or while on break? IntouchGPS has made driver policy templates that may help you define and annotate your policies to the drivers. If interested in getting a FREE driver policy meeting template, simply call us and we would be more than happy to send you one.
Even without requiring a contract we have thousands of clients across the US who utilize our GPS fleet tracking products and services year over year. To discover the benefits of GPS fleet tracking that many others are taking advantage of, please contact us today to schedule a no pressure demo of our system.