This winter is expected to be one of the worst we’ve seen in recent history, and that should be on your mind as you prepare your truck fleet come the holiday shopping rush. You have two main priorities: meeting deadlines and keeping your drivers safe. Depending on where your main distribution is happening in the country, you could face a serious threat to both. Here are a few tips on how to prepare.
Know how to keep your drivers safe
Keeping in contact with weather centers can keep your drivers safe during unexpected bad weather. Storms can hit out of the blue, and that’s why a constant line of communication is necessary between you, your drivers, and weather/radar centers. Don’t trust general weather predictions, but, instead, talk to drivers on the road to know how fast conditions are changing. Not only does this make your drivers safer, but it also allows you to be in communication with retailers to know what product to expect and what product will be delayed.
Schedule extra distribution beforehand
Get your distribution done when you can—meaning you should overstock locations that are expecting bad weather. This might be initially taxing on stagnant product on the shelves, but the benefits of having product in the store during peak shopping periods outweigh the initial costs. When the weather is good, get your product out. That way you aren’t putting drivers at risk.
Communicate with your drivers beforehand
The bottom line is this: drivers should never continue working if they feel uncomfortable. A majority of accidents occur because drivers are rushing to complete an order or are driving in bad conditions because they’re getting paid by the delivery. No order is worth risking lives, so prepare your drivers by training them to evaluate weather conditions. Black ice, snow, and freezing rain should be road-conditions that your drivers are able to identify. When they can identify these, they’ll know to stop at the next rest stop.
Know how to equip drivers if the worst happens
This is simple yet crucial. Especially if you have drivers heading to more remote locations, you need to prepare in-cab items that could save lives. That means blankets, flashlights, emergency food, jumper cables, and spare tires. With temperatures plummeting, a few of these easy, simple items keep your drivers safe.