The rumble of snow plows, salt trucks and other road-clearing commercial vehicles is increasingly common as we enter the thick of winter storm season. Most regions in the U.S. experience snow and ice storms to some degree each year, and transportation departments rely on these machines to clear roadways, runways and parking lots. Problem is, the highly-corrosive conditions and materials (salt, snow, sand, liquid de-icers) these vehicles endure season-after-season means fleets can quickly go out-of-service. Local governments invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on this problem, and many struggle to replace existing units on a regular schedule. They have a vested interest in extending the service life of their equipment, so many have come to rely on VCI vehicle covers.
VCI stands for “vapor corrosion inhibitor.” VCI vehicle covers are manufactured with non-toxic, rust-repelling vapor molecules that provide long-term protection to the metal parts encased inside. Many municipalities and even the U.S. military have become evangelists for VCI products in recent years. Rust and corrosion costs the Pentagon more money annually than some of its most expensive weapons systems – up to $21 billion annually, according to a Defense Management audit last year by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Another study by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration revealed direct costs associated with metallic corrosion just in the motor vehicle sector alone is $23.4 billion-a-year. Several noted “optimum corrosion management practices” – including the use of VCI vehicle covers – had the potential to slash these expenses by one-third.