By Bruce W. Smith, Editor
We talk a lot about upgrades and aftermarket add-ons for pickups to improve their functionality and efficiency on and off the jobsite.
“Customizing” stock trucks is a good investment because outfitting them with products for specific applications improves the corporate bottom line when time is saved, and tools and equipment are better protected.
But the number one goal for a company owner, whether self-employed or CEO of a multi-million dollar conglomerate, should always be employee safety.
That’s why every vehicle fleet manager should take a little extra time to make sure the pickups employees are driving are ready for winter with its driving challenges of shorter days, longer nights and adverse weather.
When I think of driver safety, I think BLT: Brakes. Lights. Tires.
If your business is in a part of the country that gets snow a few days a month, or where it rains day in and day out from October to April, those “all-terrain” and “all-season” tires should be swapped out for dedicated snow tires.
For those that work in the true Snow Belt, changing to dedicated snow tires on company vehicles is just a sensible safety move for all drivers: Snow tires provide superior traction in rain, snow and ice over their all-terrain, all-season counterparts.
(The summer tires can be put in storage and put back on the trucks in the spring so mileage on the softer winter tires is maximized.)
I also make sure the headlights are working properly, the lenses clean and clear, and both high- and low-beams are adjusted properly.
It’s also a good time to think about changing out the OE bulbs for one of the brighter, whiter versions on the market.
Being able to see another 50, 100 or 200 yards down the road can give the driver the extra second or more to react in an emergency situation.
That brings me to the brakes. Fall is the perfect time to give every pickup in your fleet a brake job – or at least a thorough four-wheel inspection and adjustment.
Serve your employees a fall BLT and they’ll know their well-being is your biggest concern – and the trucks they drive are up to the escalated driving challenges of winter.