Remarketing Winter Tips; Truck News: Winter Prep

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Donlen-Remarketing-Winter-Driving-TipsDid you know that a vehicle with an accident in its history can bring as little as 1/3 the value of a vehicle without an accident when it comes time to cycle?

Avoiding an accident in the first place is the best way to help you retain the value of your vehicles. With winter raging around us, the chances of having an accident go up considerably. But there are some quick and easy things that you can do to stay safe, and help you retain the value of your assets.

In our latest video, Gus shares three great tips you can pass along to your drivers for safe winter driving.

> Check out the video now


Truck News

Winter Preparation for Truck Drivers

Old Man Winter has definitely arrived. As a professional driver, it is always your responsibility to plan for and safely navigate roads impacted by winter conditions.

Donlen-Winter-Driving-Tips-r2Each year, thousands of professional drivers are seriously injured during changing winter weather conditions. Working in the ice and snow requires your full attention and awareness, so it’s important to make sure you are prepared for winter driving. First and foremost, avoid driving while you are fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks can reduce driving risks. Drivers are more prone to personal injury during the winter months, with slip, trip, and fall injuries among the most common occurrences.

Here are some helpful winter driving tips to help make it safer for you and those around you.

General safety guidelines:

  • Always use three points of contacts when exiting/entering your tractor, trailer, or getting on the catwalk behind the cab.
  • Always wear proper footwear. A full support leather shoe with a rugged non-slip sole is best.
  • Use non-slip covers on your shoes or boots.
  • Slow down and watch where you walk. Snow can accumulate on top of ice in and around truck parking areas. Take small steps and check your footing with each step.
  • Wear gloves for better grip, and check for ice on all handrails and hand grabs before using them.

Pre-trip preparation:

  • Check weather and road conditions before you hit the road. In addition to the weather channel on the radio, listen to other drivers that have previously been in the area. The FHWA’s web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/index.htm contains helpful links to information on weather and road conditions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.
  • Make sure that your vehicle is in top operating condition. While it is always a smart idea to conduct a thorough pre-trip inspection, severe winter conditions demand you take the extra time needed to ensure you are not stranded by an equipment malfunction.
  • Check your tires. Tires are the most important aspect of keeping your vehicle under control in snowy and icy conditions. Drive axle tires should have ample tread depth to provide the best control in winter conditions. The tread depth and condition of the steer axle tires are also vital in keeping the control of the steering. If you are operating in areas with chain laws, make sure the chains are in good condition and ready to be installed if needed.
  • Thoroughly clear all snow from mirrors and glass surfaces in the truck, and ensure they are clean for maximum visibility.
  • Buckle up and turn your lights on to increase your visibility to other motorists.

What to do behind the wheel:

  • Be aware of your vehicle’s driving dynamics as they change when on ice or snow. As your load and weight diminish, the handling of the truck in snow and ice will change.
  • Use caution on bridges, overpasses, and infrequently traveled roads that freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet you may encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
  • Driving too quickly is the main cause of winter accidents. A large truck with a heavy load takes more time to stop, especially on snow and ice-covered roads. Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface conditions, including wet, ice, and sand. Always look and steer where you want to go and avoid making any sudden stops or hard braking. Increase your following distance and drive more slowly.
  • Do not “pump” the brakes if your truck is equipped with antilock brakes.
  • Maneuvers are more difficult to make in the snow. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be and give yourself sufficient room for turns and stopping.
  • Don’t tailgate! While tailgating is a bad idea under normal driving conditions, it is much, much worse in winter weather. Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement. To ensure you have enough room between your vehicle and the one in front of you, a good rule of thumb is to leave four vehicle lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 mph you are driving.
  • Brake before making turns. It is difficult to steer vehicles while applying the brakes in snowy conditions. Make sure to smoothly step on your truck’s brakes to reduce speed before entering turns, and accelerate again once you have rounded the corner.

Finally, it’s important to properly assess the situation and use good judgment based on your safety and the safety of those around you. If the weather and road conditions become too hazardous for you to continue safely, you must stop. As a professional, you have the responsibility to maintain proper control of your vehicle at all times – including the times Old Man Winter wreaks havoc on the roads.


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And finally…

And finally, have you made your 2014 resolutions yet? Although about 45% of Americans make resolutions every year, less than half stick to it more than six months. The top ten resolutions are: 1) lose weight, 2) get organized, 3) spend less/ save more, 4) enjoy life, 5) stay fit and healthy, 6) learn something, 7) quit smoking, 8) help others, 9) fall in love, 10) spend more time with family. We’d like to add one more: be a safer driver. Do these three simple things every time you get behind the wheel: use your seatbelt, keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and have patience. It’s been said that it takes less than a month to create a habit – that’s well below the resolution drop-off rate of six months! Together, let’s make 2014 the year of safe driving.

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on January 3, 2014


About Donlen
Donlen is the industry’s leading provider of integrated financing and management solutions for corporate fleets. Utilizing a highly consultative and strategic approach, Donlen helps fleets reduce cost, improve utilization, and increase driver safety and productivity. Donlen’s innovation has been honored with the Computerworld 2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Development, the 2012 and 2013 InformationWeek 500 List of Top Technology Innovators Across America, and the 2013 CIO 100. Their workplace excellence has been recognized on the IAOP The Global Outsourcing 100® list for seven of the last eight years, and as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago each year from 2007-2012. Founded in 1965 and headquartered in Northbrook, IL, Donlen is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE: HTZ). For more information about Donlen, visit www.donlen.com.