With cooler weather settling in, many construction companies, farmers and equipment rental businesses face the grueling task of preparing their equipment for harsh winter conditions. If you don’t properly winterize equipment, you could be hit with several serious problems come springtime. Your company spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on those pieces of equipment, and replacing expensive machines due to lack of popper care is a luxury few can afford.
The first step in preparing your equipment for winter should always be to checking the owner’s manual for suggested winterizing tips. Second, no matter what pre-winter steps you take, throughout the season you should start the machine every so often and let it briefly run to warm up the engine and affirm the gears are running smoothly in the cold temperatures. Lastly, if your equipment has any attachments you should detach them from the machine and keep them store separately. The strain of holding on attachments in freezing weather can cause great damage to joints and hinges.
Before putting equipment away for the season,
go through our pre-winter checklist:
___ Check all lights
___ Check windshield wipers
___ Make sure batteries are fully charged and are dirt and corrosion free
___ Check all fluid levels
___ Change engine oil and filters
___ Make sure belts are in good condition
___ Ensure the heater is operational
___ ‘Grease’ the entire machine
___ Check for general machine damage; fix it
___ Lube all doors and joints
___ Add mechanical fuel/water separators and fuel warmers to diesel machines
___ Clean all mirrors and windows
___ Make sure brakes and the parking brake are operational
___ Change the oil on 4-cycle engines
___ Add fuel stabilizers
___ Check fan belts for condition, tension and alignment
___ Ensure they are no fuel leaks, and make sure the proper fuel blend is being used
___ If you plan to use the equipment on snow and ice, be sure to winterize tires
These are just a few of the recommended steps in preparing equipment for winter. For more information on weatherizing equipment and teams, check out our 5 Summer Safety Tips for Your Fleet and 6 Ways to Reduce Fleet Costs blog posts.