10 Top Tips When Preparing Your Equipment for Winter
19th December, 2019
Winter has arrived and you need to prepare your equipment for the colder weather. Winter can be unpredictable, and the freezing days could arrive earlier than expected and last for several months.
Here are a few tested tips to get your equipment ready for winter.
1. Keep Tyres Properly Inflated
At the beginning of every shift, check the tyres and ensure they are well inflated. Tyres lose air quicker in cold weather. You can use dry nitrogen to remove ice that could hold the valve open and deflate the tires.
2. Keep the Batteries Warm and Fully Charged
In winter, batteries work harder to start the engine. To ensure an easy start, keep the battery of your equipment warm and fully charged. You can store the battery at room temperature every night if you operate the machinery at sub-zero temperatures.
3. Keep the Machinery in an Enclosed Facility
It is best to store the equipment in a storage facility when not in use. This helps to minimise exposure to snow and ice, ensuring a smoother start.
If your machine is not working, it is advisable to detach various components and store them separately in an enclosed facility. Storing the parts prevents damages on the hinges and joints.
Remember to keep oils, fluids and lubricants at room temperature.
4. Refill the Tank at the End of the Day
Filling up the tank at the end of each shift prevents a frozen fuel tank. Keep the tank clean and drain water, sediments and debris before refilling.
5. Visual Inspection
Check various components of the equipment before daily operations. Identify cuts, cracks or worn out parts of the tires, belts and hydraulic hoses and have them repaired or replaced when necessary.
6. Condition Hydraulic Hoses and Use the Right Lubricant
Apply the right hydraulic, transmission, drive and engine lubricants. Each machine requires specific grease. Check the lubricant levels with a dipstick to ensure it is fluid enough to flow and avoid oils that are diluted with kerosene.
It is important to note that the wrapper of the hydraulic hose can crack if you bend it in winter. You can prevent cracking by conditioning the hydraulic hoses before the cold days.
Run the machinery so that the temperature of the lubricant reaches 65°C and continue operating the machine for about an hour. You can also use artic hydraulic oil and the regular operation of the machine will condition the hoses.
7. Invest in Block Heaters
A block heater provides the simplest way to heat your engine in the cold season. It raises the temperature of the hydraulic fluid, oils and the entire engine. For a speedy warm-up, block the radiator and prevent the entry of cold air from the fan.
8.Keep Diesel Exhaust Fluid Correctly
If you expose DEF to temperatures below subzero, it is likely to freeze. Store the fluid in a well-insulated area. Since the fluid does not thaw out, use the right container to prevent bursting.
9. Make Sure the Engine Reaches the Ideal Temperature before You Start Working
Running your engine before starting the day’s work prevents exhaust and intake valves from sticking. Give your equipment a warm-up by cycling through significant functions. In the process, the warm oil is well distributed for a seamless operation.
10. Start the Engine with Starting Fluid
Store the starting fluid at room temperature and inject it while the engine is running.
Just remember to ensure starting fluid is stored correctly, this highly toxic fluid is very flammable. DO NOT keep it in the machinery operator’s compartment.
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