How Weather Affects a Fleet Operation
Whether you own a company that operates a fleet of vehicles or you’re a fleet driver yourself, the weather often has an effect on fleet operation.
While day to day weather, like a little rain or wind, will have little to no effect on your fleet operation, snow, strong winds, storms, heavy rain, fog and other more extreme weather will.
Visibility and Vision are Decreased:
Harsher weather like snow, fog, hail and heavy rain can all decrease a driver’s view of the road, making driving more difficult. This type of weather will also decrease a driver’s own visibility to other vehicles and pedestrians. While you can’t control the weather, there are a few things that you can do to increase your vision. Firstly, keep windows and windscreens as clean as possible, and secondly, use headlights and even fog lights when necessary. Also using navigation software can also makes things easier in poor visibility environments.
Traffic Congestion often Increases:
When the weather is poor, there’s often more traffic congestion on the roads. This is usually due to the fact that people drive at slower speeds in poor weather conditions, like ice and heavy rain. During the winter, you also see more maintenance workers that are clearing up debris as a result of the bad weather, which in turn, can cause an increase in traffic congestion.
Roads are Closed more Often:
During poor weather, like snow or storms, roads are closed more often. This means that drivers will have to take an alternative route to their destination, which makes their journey longer, and uses more fuel. The best thing to do in this situation is keep up with traffic news and utilize GPS. Doing this can let you know in advance what roads are closed, and stop you from wasting time.
Deliveries take Longer to Unload or Load:
Loading and unloading products from vehicles often takes much longer when the weather is poor. Wind, rain, ice and snow all make it more difficult for people to safely load and unload a vehicle.
Changes of Breaking Down are Higher:
Harsh weather conditions, particularly cold weather put more pressure and strain on a vehicle. This means that breakdowns are more likely to occur, and will disrupt fleet operation. Before setting out on journey, ensure that car batteries are charged and healthy, and that all vehicles are well-maintained.
Drivers May have to Slow Down:
In poor weather conditions, like snow and sleet, the roads become more slippery. This means that drivers have to slow down, in order to keep control of their vehicle and remain safe. As a result it’s likely that a fleet will take much longer to reach their destination, and the whole fleet operation will slow down.
Overall, the weather can have a big effect on fleet operation. Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather, meaning that it’s always going to have an impact on your fleet operation. However, there are simple things that you can do, like utilizing GPS, maintaining your vehicles, and planning journeys beforehand that will lessen the impact that these weather conditions have on your fleet operation.