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Frigid temperatures are a fact of life for many florists throughout North America, and they add another element of difficulty and risk to the flower and plant delivery process.

Follow these tips to make successful deliveries when temps drop below 32 F.
 

 
  1. Ensure your arrangements and plants are properly wrapped to protect them from extreme elements. Heavy plastic bags designed for flower arrangement and plant delivery are one line of defense, but in extremely low temperatures, surrounding flowers in layers of tissue paper and heavy kraft or butcher paper inside the plastic bags is necessary. Double and triple bagging also can provide additional protection.

  2. Have your delivery vehicle(s) properly serviced before wintry weather arrives.

    • Get an engine tune-up in the fall. Switch to winter-weight oil if you aren’t already using all-season oil.
    • Be sure all fluids are at proper levels. Antifreeze should be strong enough to prevent freezing in your area and fresh enough to prevent rust. Some car care experts recommend that radiators be flushed and antifreeze be changed seasonally. Check with your favorite service technician, or follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your vehicle owner’s manual.
    • Have your battery and voltage regulator checked. Replace the battery, if necessary; don’t wait until it is shot. Winter is not the time to be stranded by a bad battery. Also make sure battery connections are good and battery terminal posts are free of corrosion.
    • Have the brakes adjusted.
    • Make sure your tires are designed for driving conditions in your area and that the tread is adequate. Get your tire chains/cleats ready to go (if you use them in your area).
    • Be sure all lights are in working order.
    • Make sure wiper blades are cleaning properly. Consider changing to winter wiper blades, which are made for driving in snow. They are covered with a rubber “boot” to keep moisture away from working parts of the blade.
    • Depending on how extreme winter weather conditions are in your area, consider an engine block heater system or electric dipstick, if you don’t already utilize one. If you do, make sure they are ready to go for the season.
  3. Equip each vehicle with your winter driving supplies, including:
     • long-handled windshield scraper(s) with a brush on one end
     • windshield and door lock de-icer
     • a snow shovel
     • a tow chain or strap
     • a flashlight (with extra batteries)
     • cat litter, sand, salt or traction mats
     • jumper cables
     • warning devices (flares or reflective triangles)
     • a brightly colored cloth to signal for help; and so on.

  4. Consider insulating and/or heating the back of your delivery van. Insulation options include spray foam insulation (www.rhhfoamsystems.com/apps_trucks.php) and insulated van liners (www.vanliner.net, www.sprinteraccessories.com/047_insulation_kit.html). If you have a Ford E-Series cargo van, check out Ford’s EconoCargo® Interior System Liner Panels.

    Insulation will serve double duty during the hot days of summer, too.

 

 


Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc..
PO Box 4368
Topeka, KS   66604

Phone: 800-367-4708
Local: 785-266-0888
Fax: 785-266-0333


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