Our winters can get pretty stormy, so it is important to consider how extreme weather conditions can affect your fleet. There is an increasing need to ensure your fleet is suitable for the road and the driver knows how to operate safely in dangerous conditions that can occur as a result of extreme weather.
In bad weather conditions, there is an increased risk of being involved in an accident. Claims for peak damage during bad weather and the infamous ‘Beast from the East’ storm, resulted in more than 13,000 additional damage claims being made, costing £ 17 million.
When ice is estimated, it is important to check the tread depth. Tread is very important to keep control of braking and steering. We know that in wet conditions, the braking distance is doubled and when ice is involved, that distance reaches ten times that of normal conditions. A minimum tread depth of 4mm is recommended for a vehicle to survive safely in ice conditions. If the tread depth is below the legal requirements of 1.6mm, the vehicle may not be used at all.
The famous ‘beast’ from last winter cost an economy of £ 1 billion per day, with people unable to come to work and the roads and toll roads becoming impassable. Having a fleet ready to navigate in the worst weather conditions is very important to stop your business from losing money, minimize distractions, and to help keep other road users safe from danger too. Still being able to get deliveries to customers can also prevent potential damage to your reputation.
One option for fleet management is leasing. Rental vehicles tend to be newer, better maintained, and less likely to suffer damage than older assets. Newer vehicles will also be more likely to have advanced features including automatic braking, better tyre tread, automatic seat belt fastening and GPS tracking.
As a fleet manager, you have the responsibility to provide maintenance and tracking tasks to help you with this. Knowing where your driver is, giving them the latest road information, giving them the knowledge to switch to safer routes and tracking service and maintenance needs are all important things that GPS tracking devices can offer.
Using a fleet of rental vehicles also guarantees legal compliance, which means you can easily fulfill your maintenance duties. Vehicles can be optimized depending on the time of year, which means you are ready for a season that brings bad weather. Vehicles can be equipped with additional lighting and chevrons, for example, helping to ensure your keep drivers more prepared to face the challenges they face in driving in bad weather. For more information on Chapter 8 Chevrons, visit www.vehiclechevrons.com
When the weather becomes unpredictable, the greatest asset a business has is flexibility. It is important for fleet managers to maintain the ability to respond to market demand and if needed, can get additional vehicles to meet the increase in demand during peak periods.
When temperatures drop, managers and drivers must be prepared to deal with all weather conditions, fulfilling the employer’s maintenance duties while minimizing business costs and disruptions.