Cold weather can take its toll on your equipment, causing parts to malfunction and keeping your equipment off the road, which can cause delays in your service and potential loss of income. So what can you do to prevent this from happening? Proper maintenance is the key. Going over your equipment and addressing any potential issues beforehand will save you time and money in the long run.
Perform a thorough inspection on your heavy equipment before using it in the winter, making sure to:
- Lubricate Systems – Including transmission, engine, and hydraulic systems. Make sure your equipment is lubricated – this is always important but even more so when temperatures drop below freezing. Lubricants reduce wear and tear, improve reliability and lower your costs. When temperatures drop, it can congeal your fluids and stop them from flowing properly through the machine.
- Check Filters – Check all filters and replace them if needed to prevent engine starting issues and power loss, including air filters, hydraulic filters, and fuel filters.
- Inspect hoses as they are susceptible to cracking in the winter, and replace them as needed.
- Refill Tank – After each use, refill the fuel tank to prevent icing, taking extra care to prevent water and other particles from getting in the tank.
- Check Tires – Check the tire pressure frequently and clear away snow to prevent machinery from freezing in place.
- Check the Battery – If the machine won’t be used at all in the winter, remove the battery and store it indoors. Avoid charging a frozen battery to prevent battery explosion.
- Keep the Exterior Clean – Road salts take a toll on equipment so be sure to rinse after each job, including undercarriage and make sure all windows are easy to see through.
- Warm Up Equipment – Allow equipment to fully warm up before operating. This allows fluids to circulate and reduces shock to the systems. This also increases efficiency and safety and improves performance.
- Store Equipment Inside or Under Cover – Store heavy equipment indoors if possible or at least under a shelter to protect it from the elements.
Cold or freezing temperatures put more of a strain on your heavy equipment. Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your equipment on the road and working hard for you. The experts at MAWS can design a PM plan for your heavy equipment to help it last longer and work harder for you and your customers. Find the MAWS location nearest you to learn more.
If you own a sweeper, check out our blog with 5 helpful tips to help you overwinter your sweeper. Sweeper operators need to keep freezing temperatures in mind. Whether you’re shutting down your sweeping operation for the winter or trying to squeeze some extra work out of your machines during the winter months, you need to properly prepare your equipment for the cold.