As this October transitions to winter more quickly than anticipated, HVAC contractors and fleet managers are hustling to keep up with the compressed schedule and its demands. HVAC contractor confidence was already high for 2019 thanks in part to a booming economy, and this winter season’s early cold snap is sure to add even more to the bottom line. However, the early onset of winter also brings with it hazardous weather and driving conditions. Fleet managers should act now to prepare for the impending challenges of winter driving. In this blog, we will discuss how WEX Fleet solutions can help HVAC fleet managers quickly prepare their fleet and drivers for the dangers that accompany winter driving.
Preparing the HVAC Fleet for Winter Conditions
Preparation for winter driving and safety begins with the vehicle. Regular oil changes and tune-ups reduce the risk of breakdowns where drivers can become stranded in adverse weather conditions. Changing over to snow tires and tracking tire pressure helps to keep drivers on the road. However, when business is booming and winter arrives early, it can be tempting to postpone vehicle inspections and keep the fleet in production. An out-of-service fleet vehicle can add up to real losses for HVAC contractors, and the same can be said for almost any fleet. But a winter accident from loss of traction may take a vehicle out of service for weeks, and, more importantly, it has the potential to bring real harm to the driver. Fortunately for HVAC fleet managers, WEX Fleet offers scalable solutions to help track vehicle maintenance, engine performance, and much more.
The WEX Solution
HVAC fleet managers can use WEX Telematics and GPS Fleet Tracking to monitor fleet vehicles in real-time while providing updates on service routes, road conditions, and weather conditions. In addition, WEX solutions can track a fleet vehicle’s mechanical performance alerting the fleet manager and driver to any issues like low tire pressure, brake wear and tear, poor engine performance, and more. WEX telematics can also provide maintenance alerts that are triggered by the odometer making it easier for fleet managers to track. And WEX’s powerful ClearView Analytics – which includes up to 25 customizable reports – provides fleet managers with critical data revealing fuel and maintenance concerns before the fleet drivers even hit the road.
Preparing HVAC Fleet Drivers
Once the vehicles are ready for winter, it’s time to prepare the drivers. The fleet manager’s top priority is to keep their staff safe and in production, but this can be a monumental task. The annual accident rate involving commercial fleet drivers is around 20%. On average, fleet drivers travel almost double the miles of a non-fleet driver, which puts them at increased risk for accidents. Fleet vehicle accidents are one the most expensive injury claims for a business with an average cost of about $70,000, which is nearly double the cost of an average workplace injury.
These statistics are a very real concern for fleet managers, but there is only so much training that can be accomplished in a classroom. Fleet managers often conduct in-person ride-alongs to assess driver behavior and reduce the risk of preventable accidents. However, it simply may not be practical or even possible for fleet managers to ride with every driver to make the assessment.
The WEX Solution
With WEX technology, fleet managers can review driver behaviors like excessive acceleration, braking, speeding, and mileage without having to be in the vehicle. WEX solutions provide alerts regarding driver behavior in real-time or they can be accessed later with ClearView Analytics and Reporting. The best part – this can all be done from the fleet manager’s desktop computer or mobile device making an in-person ride-along or surprise inspection no longer necessary.
Keeping HVAC technicians and their service vehicles safer and prepared for winter driving conditions can be accomplished quickly and efficiently with WEX Telematics & GPS Fleet Tracking and ClearView Analytics & Reporting. For more information on how WEX solutions can keep your HVAC fleet and drivers safer and more efficient, please visit our website here.