Although construction does slow down in the winter, it never really stops. There is always something to built, repair or maintain. Even if you aren’t planning on using your machines for the next month or so, here are some great winter maintenance tips for construction equipment.
Changing the type of oil to match the outside temperature can protect the longevity of your powertrain. Using a low viscosity/hydraulic oil is much better in colder temperatures, it flows much faster from a cold start to make sure all critical components are properly lubricated.
Normally you might use a 50/50 mix of coolant and water to maintain engine temperature. In the winter months your might want to consider switching to a 70/30 ratio to prevent freezing while equipment is not in use. Freezing water can cause havoc in your coolant system, but too much coolant can make your pump work harder, so the right mix is key.
Newer equipment that uses DEF (diesel exhaust fluid), should be watched closely in really cold temperatures. DEF will freeze at sustained temperatures below -10ᵒC, so ensuring your have a way to heat and thaw this fluid is crucial to maintaining operational efficiency.
It is important to check the electrolyte level of your batteries throughout the coldest months. Also, it is a good idea to ensure battery terminals are free of debris and rust, to prevent the battery from draining out in the field. When storing equipment for the winter, you will want to remove batteries and store them inside a building to protect them from the cold.
When using wheel loaders and other equipment that sits on tires, be sure to check for proper tire pressure throughout the winter. Lower temperatures will reduce tire pressure, this can cause premature wear and damage.
Other Helpful Tips
Fuel tanks should be kept full to prevent condensation from building inside the tank and fuel lines. There are fuel treatments available for diesel machines to thaw frozen fuel filters and remove excess moisture.
If you are working in areas with heavy snow-fall, be sure to always remove excess snow and debris from your undercarriage, as this excess weight will only add to your operating costs.
If you are looking for more winter maintenance tips for construction equipment in BC, be sure to contact the service department at Handlers Equipment! Handlers operates a full-service shop capable of making major and minor repairs to keep your construction equipment operational and productive!