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Is your fleet prepared for winter?

Is your fleet prepared for winter?

Winter weather certainly puts the cold into cold chain

With winter fast approaching it’s good practice for all our customers to prepare for the upcoming drop in temperatures. Here are some of the most important things to check on the vehicles in your fleet:

  • Fuel system and fuel pipes – to ensure no water, dust, or particles are found inside the system
  • Unit, drive system, and belt – to examine the level of wear and tear
  • Refrigeration system – to make sure the charge is good and to check for any leaks or losses of refrigerant
  • Battery – to ensure there’s capacity to power the system through low temperatures
  • Engine coolant – to replace ‘summer coolant’ with a winter variety if the vehicle is expected to operate in extreme conditions
  • Engine oil – to determine if the viscosity exists to survive cold temperatures
  • Evaporator and condenser coils – Clear any debris and salt build-up from coils

Problems caused by the freeze

What exactly happens inside a refrigeration unit when cold weather takes hold? What causes a unit to stop functioning? The answer to these questions is simple: the fuel can freeze or wax, meaning that no fuel is able to get through to the engine. The unit therefore stops, causing the temperature inside to drop very quickly.

There’s no simple fix either. Instead you’ll need to:

  • Contact the nearest MFS depot to arrange immediate support
  • Be directed towards a warm workshop, and wait for the summer fuel to become liquid again
  • Empty the tank and refill with winter fuel
  • Replace the existing fuel filter

All of which means a lot of downtime, the loss of the temperature-sensitive cargo being shipped, and the extra costs associated with the service centre and man-hours of a skilled technician.

A focus on battery condition

During the winter months in the UK, we have found that the main causes of breakdowns are battery related. Battery performance is greatly reduced during cold ambient temperatures and can cause issues when starting the fridge.

One way around this that is becoming popular is to fit a small solar panel. This will keep the battery topped up even in low light conditions. A number of our customers who have had these fitted have seen reductions in call-outs due to flat batteries.

Book your winter check

At MFS we offer a winter check, a service focused on checking the condition of your vehicle and making sure you won’t be caught out in the cold this winter. A winter check can introduce immediate benefits, including:

  • The reassurance of knowing that your fleet has been checked over by the experts and is ready for the rigours of winter
  • Access to winter fuels that can be difficult to obtain in warm locations
  • Upgrade options including heaters for both fuel filters and fuel pipes, alongside innovations such as Solar Panels to keep batteries fully charged

Winter checks can be completed either inside one of our workshops or as a mobile service where we will come to your location. Find your nearest MFS depot here and get in touch to let us help you prepare your fleet for winter.