Winter is here and many parts of the country are experiencing extremely cold, sub-zero temperatures right now. As restoration contractors, cold spells often mean an uptick in business due to frozen pipes and other winter and ice-related issues. This also means making sure fleet vehicles are tuned and ready to go, and teams have the proper gear they need to serve customers and their needs best.
- Engine Maintenance
Most restoration companies don’t have an in-house mechanic, but it’s likely you have a local auto shop you trust to service your vehicles. Heading into winter, or stretches of extreme cold, it’s wise to have batteries and other engine components inspected to be sure everything is in order. During a recent cold snap in the Midwest, tow truck companies were inundated with calls from drivers stuck on the side of the road. In some cases, people were waiting 10+ hours in sub-zero temperatures for two trucks to reach them. In the restoration world, our customers don’t have 10 minutes to wait, so making sure your fleet is ready to battle extreme temperatures is wise.
- Snow & Ice Removal
This might seem like a no-brainer, but when techs are leaving the shop bright and early to head to a water job, it can be easy to “forget” to brush snow off the truck or scrape ice off the windows. This is dangerous, and in some states could equal a ticket if they’re caught driving without proper visibility! Plus, having trucks adequately cleaned off at the beginning of the day gives a more overall professional appearance on the road. So, insist your team take the extra few minutes to clean trucks off properly before heading out for the day – for their safety, and the safety of others on the road.
When it comes to extreme cold snaps, like the one in late January, frostbite can happen in just minutes. As restoration companies handle major spikes in calls about frozen pipes and other weather-related issues, it’s important to remember your team will likely be in unheated homes and crawl spaces doing inspections, setting equipment, etc. It would be wise to make sure everything has warm winter coats, hats, and gloves, and doing something as simple as handing out hand warmers could go a long way in boosting morale and showing you care about your team. Want to take it a step further? Deliver some warm coffee and hot cocoa to job sites, and encourage your team to take breaks and go warm up for a few minutes when it’s needed.