Transitioning from green to white services before the first flakes fall can be difficult, but having a plan will help prepare you for whatever the season throws. Don't wait until you see snow on the ground before connecting your plow or spreader. Poorly maintained equipment will cost you in repair costs and downtime. With these quick tips below, you can stay ahead of the curve.
SET A SCHEDULE
Mother Nature doesn’t wait for you to be ready. If you don’t already have a fleet readiness schedule, make one. Establish a schedule for your preseason equipment rollout and scheduled maintenance throughout winter. Identify your company’s snow season kickoff date and calculate the time you need to get your equipment ready. Preseason checks, annual services and pre-, during, and post-event checks are all part of a good preventive maintenance plan. At minimum you will want to follow the manufacturers’ recommended service intervals for your equipment.
Make sure to leave plenty of time, knowing that current season maintenance and breakdowns may temporarily derail the schedule. If you aren’t able to prep your entire fleet at once, start with one or two trucks so that you are ready for an early storm.
PREPARE FOR BREAKDOWNS
You’re eventually going to need to make a repair; and Murphy’s Law says you’ll need to execute that repair at the worst part of the storm in the middle of your route. Having spare parts is a must to keep you on the road doing the job you were hired to do. It could be as simple as an emergency parts kit that you keep in your truck or as complex as a parts room for the big fleets. At minimum, every truck should have basic hand tools and a hydraulic hose repair kit in their truck as the first line of defense in the event of a breakdown.
Maintaining a great relationship with your dealer is important when it comes to parts availability. Let your dealer know your service needs as well as your snow and ice control equipment density to help them stock the appropriate parts you’ll need in the future. The closer you get to the start of the season, the better the chance that the parts you need will be on back order. Early on, stock major parts, such as plow pumps, spreader motors, etc., that may be hard to find in the middle of a storm
Servicing snow and ice equipment doesn’t stop with the plow or spreader. The truck is the key component to smoothly run the snow and ice removal weapon system. Maintain your truck to maximize your equipment performance during the storm and for years to come.
Remember, if you’ve incurred any damages following an event; be sure to get those issues fixed before the next storm. It’ll save time, money, and a whole lot of headache next time when you’re out there in the middle of the night.