If you run a construction company, nothing will be done without your heavy equipment. These pieces of machines are your workhorses and keeping these machines running is a full time job.
If you work in a winter climate, the job is even harder. Cold temperatures, ice, snow, wind and salt can take a heavy toll on machinery and equipment. But with some careful planning and diligent maintenance, you can keep things going all winter.
Here are 10 tips to keep your construction equipment at maximum efficiency during the cold winter months.
- Store equipment indoors . Whenever possible, store your heavy equipment and machinery out of the elements in a closed storage facility. Store oils and liquids at room temperature. Be especially careful when storing diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) correctly, which freezes during prolonged exposure to temperatures of 12 degrees or lower.
- Installing engine heater . A block heater increases the temperature of the engine, the oils and the hydraulic fluid, and this may be the easiest way to ensure that an engine is switched on in cold weather. To speed up the heating process, block the radiator to restrict cold air from the fan.
- Keep batteries warm and fully charged . Your batteries need to work much harder in cold weather. They actually have to pump out almost twice as many crankshaft amplifiers to turn on a cold engine. Consider using battery heaters or storing batteries indoors when not in use, and keep the batteries charged.
- Winter with the right lubricant . As cold weather approaches, overwinter your equipment with the right lubricant for engine, hydraulics, transmission and final drive for winter operation. Before starting the machine, make sure that all lubricants are filled to the correct levels and that they are sufficiently liquid for proper flow.
- Conditioning hydraulic hoses . The outer cover of Apply an Arctic hydraulic oil in colder months to avoid cracking. Normal use of the machine presupposes that the hydraulic hose is correct.
- Inflate tires properly . Cold weather can lead to tires losing air faster. Tires should always be inflated in a heated area to make it easier for the tires. Check all tire pressures at the beginning of each shift.
- Be vigilant with daily inspections . Winter can be brutal when it comes to equipment, so be sure to inspect all equipment daily before using it. Look for on hydraulic hoses, belts and tires. Remove snow, dirt and debris from the equipment. Check filters, batteries, liquids, tires, lamps, dryers and heaters and defrosters.
- Run motors up to operating temperature . Before starting your equipment on a cold winter day, it is important to run the engine until it reaches working temperature. Among other things, it will keep the intake and exhaust valves stuck. You should also test all of the machine's features to help oil and fluids distribute properly.
- Clean and fill at the end of the day . Clean snow, ice, dirt and debris from machines at the end of the day and always fill the fuel tank at the end of each shift to avoid a frozen fuel tank in the morning.
- Protect stored machines. If you have equipment that will not be used and stored during the winter, protect the engine cylinders with a protective spray to combat corrosion and rust. It helps prevent damaged cylinder seals, which can lead to a catastrophic oil leak when you postpone the machine in the spring.
By taking appropriate measures before and during the cold winter months, you can keep your workhorses agile and avoid costly breakdowns.
Want more advice on risk management for your construction company? Contact the construction insurance staff at BNC Agency.