Emergencies Happen, and Fuel Cards Can Help Keep Your Fleet Safe
As California continues the recovery process from devastating fires, snow has fallen on the Sierra Nevada mountain range signaling the start of winter. And while many over-the-road truckers may not see snow covered roads this winter, the majority will, reminding us that we should still be mindful of the consequences and aware of how to handle conditions like heavy rain, high winds, flooding, snow and potential mudslides as a result of the fire damage. Driving in winter weather conditions means poor visibility, poor traction and increased stop time. It also means unpredictability in the actions of the drivers around you. Be prepared and anticipate what could happen. Make sure you know your route and where you can gain access to fleet fueling, and keep your fuel cards easily accessible. Most importantly, know what the conditions are ahead of time, make good decisions, and get off the roads when conditions are severe. Preparation is critical, and it starts with your vehicle. These tips bear repeating because they could save your life.
12 Most Important Winter Safety Tips
1. Slow down – Accidents are usually due to excessive speed. Driving at the speed limit may be legal but is often too fast for snow covered or icy road conditions. Take as much time as necessary. Do not hurry. Speed can kill.
2. Keep a safe following distance– Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front and to the sides of your truck. Approximately ¼ mile when possible is ideal.
3. Don’t travel as part of a pack– Find a safe way to get away from the pack and travel alone, with the goal being to maximize the distance around your vehicle.
4. Don’t follow the tail lights of the vehicle ahead – In winter conditions like snow or heavy rain, if you see the tail lights in front of you, you are too close.
5. Use good, solid judgment— If weather is severe, get off the road. Find a place to exit safely and wait until conditions are safe.
6. Don’t stop on the shoulder of the road–– Blinding rain or snow might make your position appear to be the roadway and result in collision.
7. Communication is Key — When road conditions are dangerous, stay in communication with dispatch in order to manage delivery deadlines and expectations. Take your time.
8. Caution when using Foot Breaks — Avoid using your foot break unless the entire unit is completely straight. Even a slight turn can result in a spin—the truck slows down, and the trailer does not. This is especially true, when the trailer is empty.
9. Keep tractor trailer lights clean. Follow the motto, “Keep everything cleared and clean, so you can be seen.”
10. Ensure ‘all systems’ are a go — Be absolutely certain before you leave, that the defroster and heater are working properly. Wipers, wiper motor, lights, brake and tail lights, washer fluid is topped up, drain moisture from the air tanks, all brakes are set up, and windows and mirrors are completely clean before departure.
11. Keep fuel tanks topped up — Fuel management is not only smart for safety in long hauls a full tank also adds extra weight over the drive tires that will aid with traction.
12. Good quality lug tires — Good tires with the proper tire pressure, are essential for good traction for the best safe winter driving.
Over-the-road trucking does not have to be dangerous if all procedures are followed and preparation is meticulous. Along with the flashlight, windshield scraper, chains and bags of sand, it is critical to maintain access to a flexible fuel card solution that can be used in any situation especially in potential emergency winter conditions. Fortunately, companies like EFS are equipped to provide these winter ready tools that should never be taken for granted.
Owner/operators and fleet managers need to rely on the control and confidence they get with fuel cards. Depending on the size of the fleet or need of the fleet manager, these flexible fuel cards provide transparency for the managers and security for the drivers. EFS offers three different fleet card solutions that can be tailored to meet the need of fleets both large and small. Fleet card solutions can be as valuable as snow tires in winter driving weather with advantages that provide confidence and control. And while EFS offers choices in the Fleet One EDGE Card and the Mastercard Fleet Card when it comes to fuel management there is one card that might just do it all.
The Revolutionary Fleet Fuel Card That Does it All
The EFS Fleet Card is a powerful, convenient payment solution that responds to the changing dynamics of fleet fuel management by controlling fuel costs. Customized to a fleets unique needs, the EFS Fuel Card is designed to meet the financial demands of business, as well as those of your employees or independent contractors.
The EFS Fuel Card provides more security and control especially in winter weather conditions when emergencies are more likely to arise. The fuel card enables a customized solution at the individual card level with distinct card prompts that validate before authorizing the fuel transaction at the point of purchase. The EFS Fuel Card consolidates transactions on a single card, giving you one data point to manage purchases, payroll, settlement, cash advances, and more.
The EFS Fleet and Fuel Card Advantage:
- Best-in-class purchase and financial controls
- Consolidated transactions on a single card
- Better authorization controls
- Fuel Card-level programming
- Superior fraud prevention tools
- Controls fuel spending
- Real-time online account reconciliation
- 24/7 online and mobile access
- Seamless system integration with leading third-party software providers
This winter while fleet managers and drivers are checking tires and purchasing chains, they are also validating financial tools that are just as important. Fleet fuel cards might just be considered one of the most valuable tools in a trucker’s toolbox.