3 Ways to Eliminate Chaos During Peak Season

3 Ways to Eliminate Chaos During Peak Season

As ISP Contractors, the peak season is absolutely relentless to say the least. This article may seem impossible, but we've narrowed down 3 Ways to Eliminate Chaos During Peak Season. This will allow for your drivers to take a moment to breathe, feel appreciated, and maintain safety procedures, all while you're operating a multi-faceted business during the business time of the year!

3 Ways to Eliminate Chaos During Peak Season(1)

Tip 1: Energize & encourage

An easy and often forgotten option for energizing your drivers is to offer beverages and snacks before they hit the road for their 12+ hour day! Here are a few suggestions for hydration and replenishment without breaking the bank!

  • Powerade, Gatorade, Vitamin Water: these have electrolytes to help with hydration, along with Vitamin C to help fight off flu germs 🙂
  • Trail Mix, Nuts, and Protein/Energy Bars
  • Pack a little lunch sack or mini cooler/lunchbox for each driver to take along with them. Add in an ice pack, a few drinks, some snacks, and there you have an efficient and inexpensive way to energize and encourage your team for hours and hours.

Tip 2: Step Van Maintenance

As the ISP contractor, you are responsible for ensuring your fleet of step vans are operating at their fullest potential. Below is a list to consider running through before the peak season begins (or even now... it's not too late!):

  1. Keep Your Wheels in Motion
    1. It’s important to care for the parts that keep your wheels spinning and your business in motion… the truck tires. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly as the temperature fluctuates during the winter months. According to foodtruckr.com, “you could lose up to 1PSI for every 10 degrees the temperature drops.”  Tires should be properly inflated to ensure the truck equipment and weight is properly distributed. A tip for checking tires is to add that task to your morning routine list, as that is the coldest part of day.
  2. Check the truck battery
    1. Another basic tip is to check your truck’s battery throughout the winter months. Your truck is operating harder to keep everything operating and functional, so your battery can experience additional wear and tear during the colder months, so be mindful of that. It’s easy, and quick, to get your battery checked one of two ways:
      1. Test it yourself with special equipment like a voltmeter
      2. Bring your step van to any basic auto service shop for a free battery check
  3. Fluids
    1. You need to make sure your step van has the proper level of fluids. This may seem obvious, but in the midst of the winter months, it’s critical to keep the fluids filled, cleaned, and maintained to ensure the truck continues to operate smoothly.
      1. According to foodtruckr.com, check out the list of fluids to replenish and monitor as you winterize your food truck step vans:
        1. Oil: Make sure your oil is changed regularly. This is especially important during the winter, as cold temperatures can thicken the oil and prevent it from circulating fully throughout the engine. When your engine isn’t lubricated properly, it will have trouble starting in the cold. Ask your mechanic what type of oil you should be using during the winter. If you live in a cold climate, you’ll typically want thinner oil that is less viscous.
        2. Antifreeze and Water Levels: Ask your mechanic to check the antifreeze and water levels in your radiator to make sure they are at the correct ratio to prevent the coolant from freezing. You can buy a small antifreeze tester to check the levels yourself, but you should always have an experienced mechanic recommend the initial ratio rather than trying to determine it yourself.
        3. Transmission & Power Steering Fluid:  Finally, have your mechanic check the transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. You don’t want to be out on the road and suffer a breakdown that could have been easily avoided with such a simple fix!
  4. Perform an Overall Truck Exam
    1. As your list for peak season grows, be sure to add the following items to consider: [Source: https://www.worktruckonline.com/157846/how-to-winterize-your-truck)
      1. New wiper blades Rubberized boot blades are made to specifically help prevent snow and ice buildup. Experienced tip: Do Not Buy Cheap Blades! The last thing you want your driver to be doing during peak season is changing wiper blades because one has fallen off! This is one avenue to invest in decent equipment.
      2. Carry MotorKote or WD-40 in Your Truck. MotorKote and WD-40 can be life savers when a seal or door has frozen shut. The MotorKote can be preventative and done quickly by adding a drop to a cloth and applying over your door seals and anything that opens or closes (and locks) to prevent them from freezing shut in the winter. Coat your wiper blades with a thin coat and let dry for a few hours then wipe off excess. This will prevent snow and ice from sticking to the blades.
      3. WD-40 can defrost frozen locks, which can come in super handy early in the freezing mornings or when icy weather hits.
      4. Prevent your fuel from freezing. When the temperatures drop below freezing, be sure to treat your fuel to prevent gelling or ice build-up in filters and fuel lines. This will ensure your truck can continue making deliveries and avoid being stranded on the side of the road.

Tip 3: Be prepared.

Whether we're talking preparation for extreme weather elements, or preparing for the unexpected truck breakdown, it's imperative that all ISP contractors are prepared for unforeseen situations, and expenses.

When the busy season for ISP contractors hits, it hits hard! As an ISP contractor, one of the worst situations that can occur is having a delivery step van break down mid-route during the holiday craziness. This causes so many stresses and inconveniences - from late deliveries, coordinating a rental step van or truck, additional rental fees, repair fees, etc, that could be prevented. A solution that many MAG Trucks customers have found advantageous for ISP contractors success is the importance of adding supplemental vehicles to your fleet. Let's explore this in further detail.
The cost of rental or lease step vans and trucks can add up extremely quickly. Between outrageous weekly rental fees, insurance costs, and unexpected wear and tear on a rental truck, costs of renting or leasing are normally not the best solution for ISP contractors. In addition, lease or rental vehicles may not be ready or available when you need them. When you are placed in a situation of dire need and the cost is unexpected, things can become very costly very quickly. When ISP contractors operate with supplemental vehicles within their ISP fleets, there are many advantages to this business procedure.
Yes, the peak season is here. Yes, it's absolutely crazy, but hopefully these 3 Ways to Eliminate Chaos During Peak Season will assist in managing your team of drivers... all while keeping your sanity!

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