Efficiency Enterprises, Inc. 6300 Efficiency Way Baltimore, MD 21225

Readying Your Fleet for Winter: Why It’s Important

Harsh winter conditions and frigid temperatures are hard on vehicles, especially fleet vehicles which spend hours on the road. To help avoid repairs and costly downtime during winter, you need to ready your fleet for winter in the following ways.

Pay Close Attention to the Tires

Cold temperatures affect tire pressure as it causes tires to deflate. If unnoticed, deflated tires will adversely affect the tire’s durability, fuel economy and pose a threat to overall safety. Therefore, you need to keep tabs on the tires to minimize these risks.

Besides, the freezing temperature during winter causes rubber compounds in tires to harden. Since tires are made of rubber, they become less effective in gripping the road.

As part of tire preparation, rotate the tires and set reminders to keep rotating them. Consider switching from rib tread to lug tread tires to enjoy better stability and vehicle handling to drive smoothly on challenging roads. Additionally, install valve caps on the tires to avoid ice and build-up on the tires.

Change to Winterized Fuel and Protect Your Brakes

A major complaint during winter is vehicles that don’t start when the temperature goes below zero. Fortunately, you can make use of winterized fuel which operates at extremely low temperatures. You can also make use of a special additive package to increase horsepower and reduce fuel costs.

Brakes are also crucial for highway safety, especially during winter. With snow on the roads, the road gets slippery and needs your brakes to be optimally functioning. Check on your brakes and the brake chamber for any tears or signs of corrosion. Consult your mechanic and ask them to add some lubricant to the brake adjusters for reliable stopping power.

Frequently Service Your Fleet and Check Fluids

Cold weather can damage the wearable components of your trucks. Therefore, during winter, you need to be proactive about your fleet maintenance. Frequently check on brake pads, worn belts, and hoses to catch problems in time and avoid expensive repairs. You should also check the glow plug operation for diesel trucks.

Pay close attention to your vehicle’s fluid levels. Since engine oils are not the same, using the wrong oil, especially during winter, can result in excessive engine wear. Besides, heavy oils tend to be highly viscous in cold weather, thus don’t offer the same lubrication as in warm weather.

Therefore, for an easy fleet startup, consider using full-synthetic oil with low viscosity that can operate effectively under different temperatures. As a fleet rental service, you can consult us for recommendations on the best cold-weather fluids to use.

Why You Need to Prepare Your Fleet

Since vehicles are manufactured to survive harsh weather conditions, why should you get your fleet ready for winter? Winter comes with extremely harsh conditions, and ignoring preparation tips means you will be risking antifreeze failure, breakdowns, and low tire traction, which can cause accidents and losses.

Preparing your fleet for winter is important because, first, it saves you money. Although you will spend money getting your fleet ready for winter, it will help save money you would have otherwise spent making repairs or paying for accidents you could have avoided with proper procedures.

Second, preparing for winter helps preserve car tires. Tires are expensive, and it is essential to enhance the durability of your current tires. Besides, failing to take care of car tires during winter could also affect your vehicle’s alignment, causing more inconveniences.

Lastly, preparation helps your fleet remain safe with minimal chances of damage and loss. You wouldn’t want to lose merchandise during transportation. You can avoid this by ensuring your fleet is ready for the harsh winter conditions.

With the above tips, you can easily take care of your fleet during winter. Contact Efficiency today for all of your fleet needs.

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How to Remove Stress Out of Commercial Truck Leasing

For many companies, commercial truck leasing has been nothing short of a highly stressful affair. Instead of enjoying and experiencing the joys of truck leasing and realizing business dreams, what they experience is just a protracted nightmare. Fortunately, there are several tips that you can employ to ensure that you don’t end up too stressed by truck leasing.

Do Thorough Research on Truck Leasing Programs

Most of the mistakes you will make when it comes to truck leasing are a result of trying to do things at the last minute. Therefore, you must avoid doing that and ensure that you know everything you must know ahead of time. In fact, the more details you find out ahead of time, the better your decisions will be when it comes to getting into lease agreements.

One of the best things you can do is talk to experienced operators about best practices when it comes to leasing trucks. There are several questions you can ask. For instance, you can inquire about their monthly or weekly rates or down payments. You can also find out if they handle any maintenance, towing, or repairs? The trick is to know as much as you can before you sign anything. Find out what’s in the lease contract. If everything is clear before you sign, then the chance that things will go wrong becomes slimmer. The truck leasing service should be able to answer all of your questions.

Read the Terms of Service

If you are regularly transporting heavy loads, it means you will likely need to lease trucks for a longer period. So before you agree to anything, ensure that you read the terms and conditions thoroughly, so you don’t get into an agreement without proper understanding. You need to know the kind of support the leasing company is promising to offer. This will help clear things if something unexpected happens. You also need to find out if there are any distance limits placed on the trucks. Failure to abide by some of the conditions listed in the terms and conditions can result in penalties.

Consider Prices

As with all your expenses, you need to compare several offers and pick the one that best serves your interests. You must never jump at the first deal you will find. Some service providers might just charge you a lot of money even if their service is no better than the next. The first thing you need to do is set a budget and ensure that you stick to it. Hiring services rarely negotiate, so you need to find a provider with a price that you are comfortable with.

Check the Type of Trucks

Another thing you seriously need to look into is the size of the trucks you’re looking at leasing. Older vehicles will probably not be as efficient as you want, and they need more maintenance. If you are planning to purchase the trucks at the end of the lease, it is not advisable to pick trucks that will be difficult to maintain and upgrade.

Accessible Service Centers

It’s not uncommon for vehicles to break down. Sometimes even the best-maintained vehicles can have problems. Before you sign the lease agreement, you must find out how quickly the provider can address the problem and where their service centers are located. You need to get your trucks from a service that takes the safety of its customers seriously and offers 24/7 roadside assistance. Some of the best service providers will provide you with a replacement truck at no extra cost to ensure that there are no delays on your part.

These are some of the things you must look into to ensure that you don’t end up in a tricky spot after leasing trucks. The idea is to be well informed when it comes to how lease agreements work and what you should be looking for in a service provider. Let Efficiency Enterprises make your leasing experience easy! Contact us today to learn more.

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4 Ways To Minimize The Risk Of Risky Drivers In Your Fleet

Statistics show that on average commercial fleets have a disturbing 20 percent yearly accident rate – and that human error is behind nearly 80% of all these accidents. A high-risk driver can cost your firm as much as $70,000 in a single accident. To put this into perspective: it’s nearly double the cost of the average workplace injury.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that fleet managers are under increasing pressure, not only to identify risky drivers, but also to boost safety levels by doing whatever is necessary to remedy the situation.

If the safety of your fleet is a top priority, it’s imperative to change the driver issues that are causing all these accidents. But where do you start? Continue reading to find out.

Start by identifying high-risk drivers

If you only have three vehicles in your fleet, you will already know which one of the three drivers is a higher risk than the others. If you have 300 vehicles, things are much more complex. Work methodically. Start by checking all the drivers’ accident histories. Also, check every vehicle record. This will help to identify those drivers who have been involved in the highest number of accidents or who have abnormally high numbers of traffic violations on their record.

Classify these drivers into risk categories

Let’s say that, after studying all the vehicle and driver records, a list of 40 drivers who have an above-average number of infractions on their record emerges. That does not mean they are all in the same risk category. The next step is to classify them into risk groups.

At the bottom would be those with one or two equipment violations. The next group could be those with three or four violations, including breaking traffic rules. In an even higher risk group could be those with more than four violations, including serious speeding and other moving violations.

Right at the top should be those who have committed serious offenses like driving under the influence, ignoring stop signs or traffic lights, or exceeding the speed limit by more than 25mph.

Train and re-train problem drivers

Once it becomes clear who the high-risk drivers are and where the problem areas lie, the next step is corrective training. Whether this happens online, behind the wheel, or in a classroom, it should specifically focus on eliminating problem areas.

Some issues can easily be fixed by making sure the drivers in question get a refresher course that covers topics such as following distances, the dangers of speeding, driving in bad weather, etc. In other cases, the driver might have to be monitored behind the wheel to pinpoint and eliminate bad driving habits.

Create a culture of safe driving in your firm

While a once-off ‘drive safely’ campaign might be useful, in the long run, more will be needed. To keep the issue of safe driving on your drivers’ minds, consider doing the following:

Involve managers. Managers are in closer contact with drivers than the top management team. Start by making sure safe driving is one of their top priorities and request them to regularly stress the importance of this whenever they are in contact with drivers.

Safety meetings. Safe driving is important enough to warrant a regular meeting where you, for example, get someone from outside the firm to give a talk on this topic. It will also go a long way to keep safe driving on everyone’s mind.

Memos, emails, and newsletters. On their own, these are not enough. But when used as part of an ongoing safe driving campaign, they can help to keep the message alive. If one of your drivers, for example, celebrates 10 violation-free years, use one or more of these to make sure everyone knows about it.

Sources:

https://www.mixtelematics.com/safety
https://www.transpoco.com/blog/how-to-reduce-fleet-vehicle-accidents-starting-with-these-5-tips
https://www.automotive-fleet.com/340207/how-to-deal-with-high-risk-drivers
https://www.wilmarinc.com/blog/8-steps-to-handle-risky-drivers-in-your-fleet
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