Getting vehicles (and drivers) ready for the colder seasons

It's easy to think of Australia as all sunshine and beaches, but the country can still deliver a pretty nasty winter. While it's pretty hard to find snow, cold and wet weather can create dangerous driving conditions.

As a result, those in charge of vehicle fleets need to start prepping their cars, trucks and drivers for the colder months ahead.

Clean the vehicle

While it may seem unnecessary, it's actually quite important to clean the inside of a vehicle before winter. During hot summer days, a greasy film can build up on the windows, which can in turn attract mist and fog up windows when it starts to get colder.

Clean windows with a strong glass cleaner and synthetic cloth - ensuring that the windows are clear.

Be wary of aquaplaning

Following heavy rainfall - often common in winter - something called aquaplaning can occur. This happens when a driver travels across a road so fast that the tyres are unable to displace the water at the necessary rate. In turn, this causes the car to ride on top of the water, thus meaning it loses contact with the road.

It's easy to see how this could cause a significant crash, but what can be done? By reducing speed, the tyres come back in contact with the road, and start displacing water correctly. Simple.

Take a look at the exterior

The smooth, aerodynamic surfaces of many new vehicles may appear relatively basic, but there's a lot going on. Before winter, take 20 minutes to walk around the car fixing common winter issues.

  • Wiper blades: These are essential during heavy rainfall, and damaged blades are often ineffective. Replacing them will mean drivers stay safe and there's less chance of scratching the windscreen.
  • Drainage holes: Looking at the doors, make sure that drainage holes aren't blocked. These deposit water outside the vehicle, and blockage could mean water seeping into the car.

Address warning lights

Ignoring the 'check engine' light may not appear to make car run any worse for the wear - but it's there for a reason. As soon as these lights turn on, drivers should either take the vehicle back to base or to a mechanic for repair.

Checking vehicles ahead of the colder months is the best way to keep them running smoothly throughout.

It's not too long now before the seasons start to change, and it's essential that fleet managers and drivers start to plan for the colder months.

A small amount of work and driver education now could save expensive maintenance, and potentially the lives of your drivers.