Fleet Mechanic: Avoiding road calls in bad weather

Written by Leonard D'Orlando,

As a mechanic running an efficient and safe fleet means a day in which everything operates smoothly with little to no downtime or road calls. This challenge is one that the mechanic must face and overcome on a daily basis. When external forces, out of the control of the fleet mechanic, are introduced it becomes even more difficult for them to focus on the scheduled tasks of the day. The ability to run a fleet in inclement weather mainly snow and ice conditions is one such challenge.

A day in the life of the fleet mechanic

The day typically starts very early as drivers begin pre-trip inspections, start their vehicles, and prepare for the day ahead. If all goes according to plan every vehicle will leave the yard and the mechanic can then proceed to tackle the maintenance tasks already assigned for the day. Of course, road calls are always a thought in the back of the mechanics mind and a constant concern on any given day. This concern is further amplified when inclement weather conditions like snow and ice are forecast for the day.   On days such as these options for some fleets range from simply not running or run a limited schedule with a few vehicles. For some fleets, however, these are not options as they must continue to operate whether it is the cargo being transported, people traveling to destinations, or school districts with little to no snow days in their schedule.

When traction aids are needed

Drivers who run in adverse conditions may ultimately need to use some sort of traction device to continue their travel safely. Depending on the device used the driver and equipment may be placed at risk. For instance, if they are using conventional snow chains, then the driver must get out of the vehicle and deal with the task of having to strap these chains around the tires. The process of chaining up leads to down time where the driver can spend hours on the side of the road. Once the vehicle is chained up and the driver continues there is still the risk of damage to equipment which may ultimately necessitate a road call from the fleet mechanic. What if there was a way to minimize these risks.

 Safely keeping the wheels turning

One such device to consider for your traction needs is the Onspot automatic snow chain system. Sometimes an operator can simply be driving on a clear road and then come to a certain section of the road where the sun does not hit and find themselves on ice. Sometimes a driver may simply be trying to get in and out of an icy loading dock, or truck stop parking lot. Using conventional chains for these situations would not be practical and sometimes traction aids like sand are not always available, but the Onspot system is ready at the press of a button thereby improving fleet efficiency.

A cost-effective solution

What about cost? Some may be hesitant because of cost. If the system, however, can prevent a driver from getting into a situation where they become stuck or damage equipment to try to get the vehicle traction (even just one time) then the system has paid for itself. The system is often less of an expense than one tow bill, road call from a fleet mechanic, or replacement of major drive line components. For more insights and experiences from actual Onspot customers click on the following link:

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For Mechanics

Leonard D'Orlando

About Leonard D'Orlando

Leonard has six years with Onspot Automatic Tire Chains in North America. Four years as a field technician on the East Coast and two years as a Regional Sales Manager. During the four years as a field technician Leonard provided install and maintenance training to dealers. Leonard also performed fleet reviews for customers and provided technical service support. An alumnus from the University of Maine, Leonard graduated with a B.A. in English and a concentration in Education. Leonard also attended Texas State Technical College where he earned an associate’s degree in automotive mechanics.


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