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HEAVY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE IN WINTER MONTHS

Posted on November 16, 2022 at 9:00 AM by Marcie Christensen

Winter weather is tough on the heavy-duty equipment your team relies on for success. It is possible to power up your work fleet to move snow or continue with daily operation, but some preventive maintenance will be necessary to keep your investments in peak operating condition.

WHY WINTERIZE HEAVY EQUIPMENT?

You can think of your heavy equipment fleet like a group of regular vehicles. It is necessary to monitor fuel levels, tire treads, engine conditions and moving parts so that they bounce back after being exposed to freezing temperatures. The process of winterizing heavy equipment helps it survive prolonged storage or work in harsh environments.

HOW TO WINTERIZE HEAVY EQUIPMENT

Winterizing heavy equipment looks different based on whether you will operate your investments in the cold. Misjudging the status of equipment can result in irreversible damage, so you’ll want to perform meticulous inspections and thorough care before running machines in the heart of winter or allowing your fleet to sit for months at a time.

HEAVY EQUIPMENT PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE FOR STORAGE

Store vehicles within an enclosed space when not in use during winter. Ideally, you will have a temperature-controlled facility where you can set indoor conditions above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you know you will not use the equipment, follow the guidelines below:

- Disconnect batteries and physical attachments and store these in a warm environment.

- Empty fuel tanks and any engine liquids, taking care to dry the compartments completely.

- Apply high-viscosity lubricants to doors and hinges.

HEAVY EQUIPMENT WINTER MAINTENANCE FOR REGULAR USE

If you know you will be using your equipment year-round, equipment upkeep is a top priority. Use the following checklist to ensure your diesel-powered machines serve you from December through March:

1. SELECT WINTER-GRADE FLUIDS AND LUBRICANTS

Check fluid levels and oil dipsticks before winter comes around. If you plan on operating your fleet throughout winter, perform this step before each assignment.

Lubricant and oil viscosities should correspond to the temperatures your machines will be running in. Grease up hinges and conduct an oil change before the weather starts to turn, taking care to avoid oils that contain kerosene to stop liquids from freezing. You’ll also want to double-check that your fleet is topped up on antifreeze for radiator stability.

2. LET THE ENGINE RUN

Allow equipment operators to start up engines and run them for several minutes before they begin a task. This process filters oil through engine compartments for consistent performance. Run the engines until they reach operating temperatures and navigate through all engine functions gradually to ease equipment into the workday.

You can speed up this procedure by using a cold-start engine block heater. These devices warm up engines and hydraulic fluids in bitterly cold environments.

3. INFLATE TIRES TO MATCH CONDITIONS

Freezing temperatures cause tires to lose air over time, so it is recommended that you use a pressure gauge daily. Move to a warm place such as a garage or dock to adjust tire pressures. Inflating your equipment’s tires with nitrogen gas will limit the accumulation of ice crystals.

4. STORE BATTERIES INDOORS

Batteries lose their charge in subfreezing temperatures, so it’s wise to disconnect batteries and bring them indoors between uses. You can promote maximum uptime by swapping out fully charged units to meet your work requirements.

5. REFILL THE FUEL TANK

Be sure to refill equipment fuel tanks before departing for a job. This heavy equipment preventive maintenance tip reduces your chances of fuel freezing during the night. You can also drain and sanitize water separator compartments to ensure debris stays out of fuel systems.

 

PARTNER WITH RANKO EQUIPMENT FOR HEAVY EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE, SERVICE AND SALES

In search of equipment that can stand up to winter weather? Ranko is your source for new and used machines suitable for a variety of tasks. We help professionals across the US to enhance productivity on-site, and we also perform routine maintenance and repairs to keep your investments running strong.

Feel free to contact us by phone or online with questions about our current inventory or service capabilities.

You can call us at 515-635-00749 or send us an email at info@rankoeq.com

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