Winter weather can pose a real problem on your jobsite when it comes to equipment. To make sure you don’t face any unexpected issues, there are a few important steps you can take to make sure your machines are protected. Let’s take a look at just a few of those.
Oil and Coolant
One of the first and most important measures you can take is using low viscosity oil in the winter time. When you first start your machine, it takes a minute to get the oil flowing throughout your unit. Therefore, as the thebalancesmb.com points out, an important step in fending off sludgy and slow moving oil is switching the type of oil you use both before and after winter ends. This will reduce the friction on all internal parts of your equipment that it comes in contact with, and in turn will help help increase fuel efficiency. It’s a win-win situation: reduce wear on your parts and save money in the long run on fuel.
Going hand in hand with using the right type of oil is utilizing the correct ratio of coolant to water. For the most part, a 50/50 mix of coolant to water is enough to make sure that your engine will not face any freezing issues, but in extra cold environments the ratio may need to reach 70/30. Raising the boiling point of your engine fluid and preventing corrosion are essential steps in winterizing your equipment, and making sure that your coolant mix is accurate is absolutely necessary.
The electrical components of your machine also need to be considered in the cold. First and foremost, you should make sure the electrolyte levels in your batteries meet the indicated level. Dense electrolyte levels allow your battery to achieve the high energy output that is required to power your equipment, so these levels should be regularly inspected to ensure their optimal output. In addition to making sure the internals of your batteries are up to snuff, you should also always be aware of any corrosion or rust on the outside of your batteries as well. This could potentially cause irreversible issues like leakage or full failure, so if you need to go about removing rust, make sure you are using the right tools to clean it up, such as using a terminal brush with strong bristles.
Lastly, with snow and ice bringing slippery conditions about, check your equipment’s tires regularly. The last thing that you want to happen is having your machines skidding and sliding around delicate areas of your jobsite. Therefore, examine the treads and inspect your air pressure to guarantee you are getting enough friction when moving your machines around. This is one of the most simple measures you can take to make sure you stay safe in the winter, no matter if it is an air compressor, a backhoe, or even your pickup trucks. Don’t slap yourself in the head because this obvious precaution was forgotten.
Overall, your success in the winter is largely dictated by your preparation, so don’t get caught off-guard. If you want a few more easy ideas on how to make your life easier in the cold, here are some more important things you can do to save future headaches:
Make sure important joints in your machine are greased
Cover up equipment that isn’t being used for long periods of time in order to reduce corrosion
Replace your air filters
Do not charge your batteries in freezing temperatures, which can potentially cause explosions
Stay safe (and warm) out there!