Best Practices For Winter Equipment Operation

01 Oct 2017, by Anthony in Crane Training News, Earth Moving Training News, First Aid Training News, Forklift Training News, MEWP Training News

With the winter months approaching, business owners and contractors have to start preparing their equipment for the harsh weather conditions. Whether it will be working during this freezing weather or storing the equipment during this season one should ensure the best practice to avoid any costly problems come spring.


Below are tips on how you can ensure your equipment is ready for winter, how you can store it as well as its operation during winter;


Check The Final Drives, Gear Boxes. Chain Tanks and Swing Gear Baths For Water

Ensure that you are using coolants that go well with your machines and one that can withstand the extremely low temperatures, if the coolant freezes it will crack the engine block consequently damaging the engine.


Add Fuel Conditioner

Fuel conditioners prevent fuel from freezing and also make sure that an engine starts in the cold. Check that the conditioner you are using matches the fuel type you are using and also check the manufacturer’s instructions on the amount of conditioner to use.


Check Your Fuel Filter

If your fuel filter is clogged it can prevent moisture from escaping which would without doubt freeze due to the cold weather consequently making your machine to fail or run improperly. Make sure the water traps in the filters are empty before the cold weather comes. To also avoid setbacks have another set of fuel filters on standby.


Check The Cold Start Aids

Ether is one of the cold start aids used by diesel engines to help the engine start during cold weather. For machines that have these ether sprays, ensure the bottles are full and for those machines with automated ether system, inspect the hoses and connections for any loose connections or cracks.


Check Your Block Heater

A block heater keeps fluids at the right viscosity and temperature. However, if it is not working, the fluid can thicken making it hard for the engine to start which will exert pressure on the battery as well. Make sure the hoses are warm and also plug in the block heater to inspect it.


Check The Air Pre-Cleaners

Large debris and dust particles can accumulate during summer and ought to be removed, otherwise ice and snow could collect around them which will consequently allow moisture into the air system causing engine failure.


Check Battery Connections

Rust around battery connections can result to less voltage being transmitted, which will in turn strain the battery. Rusted connections drain the battery preventing the machine from starting. Regular inspection can reduce the chances of having a drained battery.


Storage Practices

If Possible Completely Fill The Fuel Tank, in case you’ve a diesel engine, it is a good idea to completely fill the fuel tank to prevent any possibilities of condensations forming and spreading in the tank. Condensation clogs fuel lines, filters, injectors as well as carburetors.


After Cleaning The Engine Run It

After you have finished cleaning your engine and replaced the oil run the machine to ensure everything is in good working conditions before storing. The oil will protect the engine from rust.

Store The Battery Separate

In case your equipment is staying outside, take out the battery and keep it in a warm dry place. This will extend your battery life.

Run The Machine Once A Month

Rather than starting the machine when it is extremely cold, consider running it when temperatures are above freezing point. Start and operate the hydraulics briefly every now and then to make sure all is well.

Protect Your Equipment

In case you can’t store your equipment indoors when not in use, consider covering it up with a weather resistant tarp. Snow causes condensation which will in turn cause problems to the engine.

Consider Using Quality Fuel

Ensure you are using quality fuel in your engine and also the fuel conditioner you are using matches the fuel type to guarantee your equipments efficiency during operation.

Warm Up The Engine

Let the machine come up to running temperatures before you start working.

Have A Spare Fuel Filter On Standby

Keep an extra pair of fuel filters in case the one you have gets damaged.

Check Your Starting Aids

Make sure your cold weather start aids and block heaters are properly working before setting out.

Check For Ice/Snow Build Up

Check your exhaust pipes and make sure they are clear of snow or ice.

Warm Up Before Operation

Steering responses on hydraulic equipment’s can be very slow during cold temperatures even though you are suing correct oils. Hence it is a good idea after starting the engine let it idle for some time to warm up.

Stay Safety

Remember that you are working in slippery conditions and falls are slips are inevitable therefore wear seatbelts when operating the machine and also be alert all the time.

Protecting your equipment during winter will avoid extra costs or future problems.  For further information and training take a look at Pro Trainers UK training services.




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