Storm readiness: Ryder & Penske pass along tips for fleet preparation & response

Quimby Mug Bayou Florida Headshot
Updated Oct 10, 2018

As Hurricane Michael prepares to make landfall Wednesday in Northwest Florida keep in mind that hurricane season isn’t over until December 1.

We reached out to Ryder and Penske to get some tips on fleet preparation prior to and following these major storms.

HWT: What steps should be taken to best protect a fleet prior to a storm?

Ryder: At Ryder we immediately go into storm preparedness and we ensure the following is done, but first and foremost we ensure that our employees are safe:

  • Determine the availability of vehicles and equipment
  • Communicate the do’s and don’ts with customers if a vehicle is flooded
  • Make sure that the location isSecured
  • Test generators to make sure that they are ready
  • Park Vehicles on or move tohigh ground
  • Assure that trucks andrefrigerated trailers are fueled and ready
  • Cover computer terminals with plastic
  • Secure and cover all diagnostic equipment
  • Remove any loose debris,secure around office andterminal

 HWT: What steps should be taken if fleet vehicles are damaged following a storm?

  • Do always use extreme caution before approaching a vehicle after a storm has passed.
  • Perform a thorough inspection of the vehicle and identify any high water marks on the vehicle. If any high water marks are found, determine if water made it above the hubcap.
  • Contact your local Ryder shop or Ryder Customer Response Center (RCRC) at 888-715-7272if water marks are above the hubcap. Ryder will dispatch a technician to your location to inspect equipment prior to use.
  • Tow all vehicles out of standing water as soon as possible for inspection and do not attempt to start the vehicle.
  • Contact your insurance company for assistance with damage identification and disposition of claims related to water damage.

HWT: What usually happens to flooded trucks and vans? Can they be put back into service so long as they pass inspection?

Ryder: When we are inspecting a vehicle we are visually looking for a high water marks that are above the hubcap. Those water marks could provide evidence of water intrusion into the air intake system, the exhaust system, and any electrical connection which ultimately could be catastrophic for the overall vehicle. We have a very thorough checklist that is used to check all components before releasing the vehicle back to our customers. 

Penske Truck Leasing passed along their latest blog which addresses fleet safety tips along with changes in hours of operation brought on by Hurricane Michael.

Penske Truck Leasing is well prepared ahead of Hurricane Michael. Hours of operation at these locations are impacted by the storm. We will update this post with location information as it becomes available:

Important Penske Information

Contact us if you need assistance with your lease or rental units before or after the storm:

  • Penske Location and Fuel Finder Tool
  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance: 1-800-526-0798
  • Consumer Truck Rental Reservations: 1-888-996-5415
  • Commercial Truck Rental Reservations: 1-800-736-7531

Flooded Vehicles

If you suspect your vehicle(s) may have been flooded do not start the vehicle. Starting the vehicle may cause significant damage to the emission control system. Contact your local Penske service location or 24/7 Roadside Assistance for guidance.

Tips for Penske Customers

Penske offers the following advice to consumers and business customers on what to do before a storm arrives:

  • Make safety your number one priority.
  • Top off truck fuel tanks.
  • Move trucks to higher ground if in a flood-prone area.
  • Stay tuned to local news stations for weather reports.
  • Adhere to all travel, road advisories and restrictions.
  • Delay travel into impacted areas when possible.
  • Know your evacuation routes and have a plan.
  • Seal and lock all fuel tank tops.
  • Secure outdoor items and clear debris that could become a projectile
  • Charge all mobile phone battery packs and ensure you have charging cables.
  • Put mobile devices on low-power mode to conserve battery.
  • Ensure you have employee contact information and a post-storm follow-up plan to verify the status of each employee.

Penske Facilities Questions

Penske takes steps to ensure continued service, but there are times when delays and closures may be necessary due to travel restrictions, weather conditions, power outages or a state of emergency.

Please call our 24/7 Roadside Assistance team at 1-800-526-0798 to confirm the open or closed status of a Penske facility.