With the hot season coming to an end and winter about to hit most of North America, many freight companies are preparing for the dreaded cold season. Managers have to deal with the prospect of shortages and other issues, which could slow down operations significantly. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure that your heated fleet runs on all cylinders this season.
Consider going for Non-Heated Freight on Shorter Runs
One of the ways you can limit shortages is to assign non-heated trucks on short runs. No matter how cold it is, short runs can usually be done without issues, even if a heated truck would normally be necessary. In this case, you need to evaluate the cargo and see if that is feasible; in some cases, it’s simply impossible to go unheated. In these cases, you’ll have no choice than to go for a heated truck.
Make Sure that Heated Freight and Non-Heated Freight are Clearly Separated
In some cases, shipments will require 90 percent of the cargo to be frozen and only 10 percent or so to be temperature controlled or heated. Using one shipment for these will one, require that you pay a premium, and two, allocate heated trucks for a shipment only using 10 percent of its heating capacity. The solution would be to split the cargo and add the extra 10 percent to another heated truck that isn’t at full capacity.
Use Blanket Wraps
Blanket wraps are also a great way to circumvent the use of heated trucks and a great way to conserve heat while insulating the cargo. You can place blanket wraps around totes or drums and let the heat dissipate slowly. This will often be enough to protect sensitive shipments. A blanket manufacturer should give you guidelines for things like grade needed, time limits and temperatures.
However, you still have to be careful when using blanket wraps as they demand more monitoring than a regular heated shipment would. You should make sure that temperature probes and monitoring are being added to the shipment.
Have Spare Parts on Hand
Heated trucks demand a lot of maintenance and a unit that is out of order can cost the company by reducing its capacity. It can also cost money in expensive repairs as well. Certain components are more vulnerable than others and you should keep a few spare parts in stock in case something happens. That will not only allow you to cut costs on reparations but allow you to make reparations in-house if you have qualified staff on hand. You can find electrical heating elements for manufacturing and heated trucks online if you want to keep the costs to a minimum.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can manage your fleet to make sure that you don’t run out of units and use the ones at your disposal correctly. Just by making a few adjustments, you can improve your fleet’s efficiency and be prepared for any eventuality.