We're already well into winter, but it's never too late to make sure your highway trucks and lift trucks are properly prepared for cold weather and that your employees know how to protect themselves from the cold. Here are two sources of information that may help you "winterize" your operation.
For highway truck fleets, Ryder's Online Center for Winter Preparedness offers videos and a series of free tip sheets for downloading. Topics include winter tire care, fueling, safe driving, and emergency preparedness (including a checklist of supplies for drivers). One of the more interesting tip sheets looks at special winter considerations for new engine technologies. Among the engine-care tips: Drivers of trucks with newer engines should not let them idle as a means of warming up the engine. That's because the engine temperature could be too low, preventing the diesel particulate filters from reaching the temperatures required to convert soot to ash. Soot may therefore build up and eventually clog the filter.
For lift trucks, the website Purchasing.com, an online marketplace for material handling and construction equipment, offers a collection of winter safety tips, including advice about operator and forklift protection, forklift operation, and even forklift attachments. For example, winter-rated oils, hydraulic fluids, and lubricants are a must to avoid "gelling," which can compromise a vehicle's responsiveness.