When the winter months roll in, bad weather can very quickly make dedicated trucking stop in its tracks.
How do you keep drivers and key personnel rolling without creating unnecessary expenses that weigh down your overhead? This is the time to create a comprehensive snow belt policy that helps keep trucks, people and cargo moving throughout the winter.
By creating this document, you’ll be able to set a solid policy on who receives access to winter-friendly transportation while retaining flexibility to deal with changes as they arise. Here’s what you should consider when developing this policy.
How to Build a Comprehensive Snow Belt Policy for Your Dedicated Trucking
1. Set rules of which personnel can request winter transportation access. Which workers should have access to winter transportation? If workers can work from home during bad weather without requiring extensive infrastructure updates or other expensive accommodation to make it work, this will help lower the cost of providing them with transportation. For drivers who must remain active, base their level of accommodation with the estimated annual snowfall and frequency of bad winter weather, providing less extensive options to those in southern regions while drivers in areas more prone to winter weather receive higher levels of support. If the employee has a vital job function, increase their priority for all-weather transportation access.
2. Consider which options to make available to those personnel. For drivers with the lowest level of priority, something as simple as all-weather tires can make all the difference in whether they can perform their work functions as needed. However, while these tires improve traction, they don’t work as well as snow tires for cornering and braking. Snow tires can work well if you have drivers in areas of significant snowfall, but will not have as good traction in dry weather conditions, so should be reserved for drivers in areas where these types of tires would be most appropriate. Both types of tires will often require storage during the off season, so if this is a problem, you may need to consider other options. For the most severe weather and vital drivers, considering an all-wheel or 4-wheel drive vehicle may be your best option.
3. Provide comprehensive training to the eligible personnel. Though it can be tempting to simply provide the right asset access, adding appropriate training can help protect your investment. This can be in a range of different environments. If you have a number of drivers and want the best possible training in real-world conditions, behind-the-wheel training can be very effective. If you want similar training without the extra expense of behind-the-wheel training or have scheduling issues that makes it difficult to get everyone together at once, a simulator can be an excellent option to consider. Other inexpensive possibilities to consider include web-based training and classroom options.
4. Assess the overall financial impact of the policy for your business. Take the time to consider what your budget may be able to bear and then look at potential scenarios and the related expenses to see if the budgeted numbers will bear up in real-life situations. A fleet management company can help you look at options and determine figures. Consider the cost/benefit analysis, then pursue approval where it is needed.
By creating a snow belt policy for your trucks and other transportation resources, you can help ensure that your key personnel have appropriate vehicle access during bad weather in the winter months.
At Veltri, we know all about cold-weather driving and how a good snow belt policy can make all the difference for your business. Please feel free to see what we can offer you today to keep your business rolling by meeting your dedicated tracking needs.