If your business continues year-round, even through the coldest and snowiest parts of the winter, you will likely face all kinds of weather-related issues. Problems will arise unless you properly prepare your equipment for the winter season and use a specialized approach for your maintenance throughout the cold months.
Cold weather tends to have adverse effects on various parts of heavy equipment. If you do not regularly inspect your machines and implement winter-appropriate maintenance measures, it could lead to increased wear and tear and may even result in unwanted downtime.
In addition, failing to adjust to the demands of winter when it comes to maintaining your machinery could make it unsafe to operate.
Rather than finding yourself in a situation where you are ill-prepared to handle the temperature drop, prepare for the cold weather well in advance this year to avoid dealing with problems on your construction sites.
Implementing a proper winter maintenance plan is the only way to continue operating your equipment efficiently and effectively, and survive this season with your heavy equipment still in good shape.
The following are some of the most significant winter maintenance tips that you should keep in mind as temperatures drop and snow arrives this year:
It is crucial that your heavy equipment’s mobility is always maintained, as it must be able to keep moving even when conditions get tough. This is especially true when it comes to wheeled equipment.
Keeping your wheeled equipment’s tires in good condition is necessary to keep them moving along. Still, the cold weather that comes with winter can be tough on tires. Even very durable rubber can be seriously damaged when exposed to lower temperatures, resulting in chunking, cracking, and uneven wear. Tires that deflate and rest without air will often crack the sidewall of the tire rendering it compromised.
Aside from your equipment’s tires, there are many other parts that require more attention during winter. For instance, cold weather tends to wreak havoc on hoses, drive belts, and electrical wiring.
Thus, you should check for cracks or tears in these parts on at least a weekly basis, and repair promptly, any water intrusion can cause costly component failures and escalate quickly.
Pro-tip: Consider rodent mitigation measures in parked equipment as vermin can ruin a machine, chewing of wires and odour are difficult and costly to remedy.
Before winter becomes too extreme and temperatures drop significantly, switch all of the fluids in your machines to those designed to withstand the cold. For instance, you will need an oil rated for sub-freezing temperatures; otherwise, it will thicken, and its circulation will be impeded. Antifreeze strength is also paramount!
If you intend to operate your equipment in extremely low temperatures, you may even need to change the fuel you use, as certain diesels may start to gel when exposed to very cold temperatures.
Pro-tip: Consider checking block heater or diesel heater operation to mitigate a No-Start situation.
Cold temperatures can lead to moisture or impurities in your equipment’s fuel, which can clog the fuel filter or result in the failure of the fuel injection system.
During the winter, it is crucial to keep your equipment’s fuel tanks full as often as possible. This will help minimize the amount of condensation that occurs in the tank and the fuel lines. You should also regularly check all caps and vents to ensure their seals remain tight and the systems remain secure.
Lastly, it helps to add a commercial cold-weather treatment to your fuel, as this will condition the fuel, defrost the filters, and get rid of excess moisture in the system, better preparing it to face colder weather.
Batteries are especially vulnerable to damage when cold weather strikes, as low temperatures can severely drain batteries, making it difficult to start and run the engine. Throughout the winter, it is imperative to schedule regular battery tests and occasionally check all of your equipment’s batteries’ electrolyte levels.
In addition, regularly clean all terminal posts, cable ends, and connectors since dirt, rust, and other corrosive materials can result in short-circuiting or discharging and may slowly deplete your batteries.
Pro-tip: Consider a trickle charger on your batteries to maintain and offer maximum cranking capabilities.
If you are worried about falling behind on crucial aspects of your heavy equipment’s care this winter, you can trust its maintenance to Great West Equipment. Our team of trained heavy equipment technicians has the expertise to implement measures to keep your equipment in top condition even throughout the most challenging time of the year.
Sometimes, even when you do a fair amount of maintenance, the frigid temperatures can still do a number on your machines. However, if you need to have any parts fixed or replaced, we can make sure that they are handled quickly so that you can minimize equipment downtime. Using the latest technological advances, our technicians will do whatever it takes to get your equipment up and running again.
If your goal is to build your fleet this winter, we can help in that regard. We have excavators for sale in BC, along with a wide range of other types of heavy equipment that you can choose from.
We have an expensive stock of both new and used equipment from some of the industry’s top manufacturers, including Volvo, Madill, Timberpro, and Metso. If you require guidance while deciding on the best equipment to meet your needs this winter, our team would be happy to point you in the right direction.
For more information about our excavators for sale in BC or to learn more about how our maintenance services can help you get through this winter, call Great West Equipment at 1-833-730-0613 or contact us here.