How to Winterize Heavy Equipment

winter bulldozer equipment

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.

winterize equipment

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.