Delivering in the Snow!
As we get into the first winter of having Tonquin drivers out on the road, I thought I would make a short post about some tips, suggestions and things to keep in mind for these winter months. Most of you are already out there driving quite often and have already heard most of this but it can't hurt to keep it in mind as we head into winter. Also, we asked our other co-founder, Jeff Sr. who is the owner of an auto repair shop for over 40 years, some tips on taking care of your vehicle for this winter! So here are 4 things to keep in mind for this winter.
1. Check and replace wiper blades!
This is one of the more obvious ones but its always good to be reminded. With these harsh winters in upstate New York, it would smart to have your blades changed every season but if you have some high quality blades and want to get their use, just watch out for these signs of a bad blade.
Streaking or partial coverage on your windshield
Sticking and noisiness while operating
Ineffectiveness (the weather isn't that bad, you just need new blades)
Our expert Jeff Sr. suggests that Bosch Wiper Blades are going to be the best quality, but they do not fit every vehicle. So some other quality blades that will fit most vehicles are Rain-X and Michelin that have 26" versions that will run you anywhere form $17-$21. You can pick these up at your local auto parts store depending on the brand, and most auto part store websites have nifty features that let you put in your vehicle make and model to see what brands fit. Also almost every retail chain with install them for you even though I have faith that most of you can do that yourselves!
2. Check tire pressure and tread
This one is very relevant to us because we actually had an incident yesterday with a Tonquin driver getting a flat tire during a delivery! The driver acted fast and had a friend help complete the delivery which we greatly appreciated. In any case that something like this happens to you during a shipment, please feel free to text us at 315-436-3422, email support@Tonquin.com, or reach out on social media and we will have another driver sent to your location to complete the shipment!
Anyway back to the topic. For this reason exactly, it is important to check your tire pressure as the temperature starts to drop. If you notice any bumpy rides on the highway or your car handling different, these could be symptoms of pressure loss in one of your tires. As well as just quickly visually inspecting your vehicle for any soft tires could go a long way. Most gas stations have areas to pump up your tires and prepare them for winter. To check your tires tread, "simply insert a penny into your tire's tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, your tread depth is less than 2/32 inch and it's time to replace your tires." This a common trick that takes seconds, and again it could go a long way!
3. Have your battery checked if its more than 3 years old
This again is something that could save you from sitting in a cold parking lot needing assistance instead of getting out there and making money. Most car batteries, even if brand new, already have a battery that is at least 6 months old. It is especially important to get batteries in newer model cars checked these days because they show less signs of failing. Make this something you or your mechanic does when doing routine maintenance. Just like any of the tasks above, it doesn't hurt to do this more often than not.
4. Ice scraper, snow brush, and windshield wiper fluid
These are the more obvious items that you should have in your car at all times. Since most of you are all about efficiency and maximizing your time, it may be helpful to have a larger snow brush and a separate ice scraper. There are some sizable snow brushes out there that could have your vehicle snow free a lot faster than others. It would also be a good idea to carry a few bottles of wiper fluid in your car at a time that way you make less trips to resupply and you'll never be caught driving blind!
Just some few final tips I though of that could be helpful when out on the road.
Getting a pair of gloves with grip on them. This could help out on those really cold days when your fingers could us a little help. And just for staying comfortable when delivering through these winter months! Also to spend less time back and forth out in the cold, getting a cart or bin to carry multiple items will sure help make unloading quicker!
Get a phone mount that doesn't attach to a vent. This is something that would only be a thought in the winter because in the summer months, the A.C. will actually help to cool your phone. Moving your phone away from your vent will allow maximum heat to hit your face on those really cold days. One of the links below will take you to an article that lists some of the best phone mounts!
This cool gadget, the PowerUp 400 Torch (picture on right). This is a heavy duty flashlight that doubles as jumper cables. This is the most compact and useful tools that i'v seen in awhile so I just wanted to share to anyone that likes to prepare for all circumstances. While this one that you can get at www.scosche.com will cost a pretty penny, I thought I would still feature it and also note that one can be picked up at Installations Unlimited on route 11 in North Syracuse (not a sponsor).
As a driver, your vehicle is your biggest asset so you want to take care of it. And even if you do not drive often, these are still important steps to stay safe over the winter. Please feel free to reach out to us on social media with any questions or concerns when driving with Tonquin over the winter and we will be sure to help you out!