Summer can turn the heat up on your fleet, as there are multiple risks to your vehicles and equipment when operating them in exceedingly high temperatures. This is especially true in the construction industry, where equipment operating in closed or tight spaces are at even higher risk.
Excessive heat-related wear and tear. Tire blowouts. Malfunctioning batteries or alternators. Overworked truck refrigeration units. Higher fuel costs as engines strain under higher temperatures. These are all-to-common problems as temperatures rise. But with the right planning and fleet management practices – and smart use of your telematics system – you can avoid heat-related issues that can take your vehicles and equipment out of service and result in unplanned, expensive downtime.
Here are some tips for smarter management of your fleet during the hot summer months.
Smarter scheduling. When possible, planning to operate your most vulnerable equipment during hours that coincide with cooler temperatures – overnight, early in the morning – can reduce the heat-related stress on your vehicles and equipment, and help to keep them in service.
Inspections and monitoring. Using your telematics system to conduct automated inspections or guide daily driver/operator inspections on your equipment can make you aware of potential problems that require either monitoring or maintenance. For example, low coolant or oil levels, worn tires, or overheating electrical systems can all point to existing or potentially larger problems that can take vehicles and equipment out of service and result in costly downtime.
Preventative maintenance. Your fleet can be better prepared to endure summer heat if you conduct preventative maintenance on your vehicles or equipment. The recommended maintenance schedules for many makes and models of vehicles and yellow iron can be uploaded to your telematics system to keep you on top of preventative maintenance that can improve performance, no matter the weather conditions.
Planning ahead. One of the harshest realities about summer heat is that if you wait until temperatures are high to address the risks to your equipment, it might be too late. To keep your fleet in service during the hottest days of the summer plan and perform preventative maintenance well in advance of the summer heat. In fact, when summer winds down, it will be the ideal time to plan your fall and winter preventative maintenance to help keep your equipment in service when temperatures drop to dangerous levels. If you have the right telematics system, you can keep your preventative maintenance on track across your entire mixed fleet throughout any fluctuations in temperature.
Profitable Utilization in Any Conditions
A telematics platform can help you optimize your operations all year round. But it can really pay off during times like the hottest days of summer, when understanding the status of your equipment can mean the difference between profitable utilization and having valuable vehicles and equipment in the shop for unplanned repairs.