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The Holistic Approach to Fleet Protection


February 2014

Even if you have been able to stay out of the cold this winter, your fleet hasn’t. Salt, ice and moisture on your vehicle can cause devastating results if overlooked. During your next maintenance inspection go through our short checklist and ask yourself these questions:


  • Is your vehicle electrochemically sound?- The electrons within metals circulate and when two metals are near each other that are not similar, it can cause problems. While one metal remains pristine, the other corrodes rapidly. If you are replacing rivots, screws, or bolts, pay attention to their metal type and the body metal material. Refer to a galvanic series chart to ensure they are close together to prevent galvanic corrosion.
  • Do you properly prepare substrates for recoating?- Whenever sanding through the OEM coating, make sure the metal is properly cleaned and abraded. Spot pretreatments can help extend the life of coatings over exposed metal.
  • What properties does your primer have?- Use a properly formulated 2K epoxy or 2K urethane that is designed to go direct to metal. Make sure your primer contains anti-corrosive pigments and additives to extend corrosion protection. In extreme environments a zinc rich primer can be used.
  • What is your appropriate film build?- By decreasing your film build you will shorten the corrosion protection of the coating system. Although a lighter film build will provide cost savings, the lack of protection allows premature corrosion to develop and will cost much more in the end.
  • Are joints and cracks sealed?- Water magnifies corrosion problems. It is critical to evaluate cracks and even sealed areas because water can absorb moisture from the air and complete the corrosion cycle if not addressed.
  • Do you regularly clean your fleet’s “Hot Zone”?- The hot zone is any part of the vehicle within 42 inches from the ground. This area gets the most moisture and salt from the roads and needs to be cleaned and inspected regularly. This is not the only area to check, but it is usually the first place to look for premature corrosion.


It is important to understand that if even one of the boxes on your checklist isn’t marked, you can have corrosion problems. This holistic approach gives your fleet the best chance to make it through the winter without any major issues.

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