Heavy Equipment Maintenance Tips for Winter Weather

February 18, 2021 6:18 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Running your heavy equipment in the wintertime requires more care than in the spring and summer. Ice, snow, rain and hail can make for dangerous conditions—and your machinery can suffer if you don’t take proper care. Here’s how to prepare heavy equipment for winter in Texas, ensuring that you get the best operation with the smallest risk.

Don’t neglect the battery

Batteries are affected by cold weather—they simply don’t hold a charge as long or as well as they do in the warmer months. Rather than be surprised by a dead battery in the dead of winter, make it a habit to check your fleet’s batteries often. You should check the fluid level to make sure it’s up to par, and top it off when necessary. Always test the current and make sure the electrical contacts are free of dirt, debris, corrosion and other phenomena that could interfere with battery operation.

If you’re planning to store your heavy equipment during the winter in Texas, disconnect and remove the batteries. Store them somewhere that’s climate-controlled for best results.

Oil, coolant and your engine

Winter weather requires low viscosity oil. Since the outdoor temperature is significantly colder, regular oil will become thicker—that is, more viscous. If you continue to use your warm weather oil, you’ll need to let the engine run for several minutes to heat and thin the oil. It’s still a good idea to use low viscosity oil and let the engine warm up, however, for best results.

Coolant also needs special attention. Normally, a half-and-half mix of coolant and water is enough to keep your engine cool during operation. In the winter, consider making it a 70/30 mix. The water is much less likely to freeze at that ratio.

Tires and fuel

Cold weather also affects your tire pressure. Be sure to check your tire pressure frequently, especially before starting the workday. While you’re testing or filling your tires, make sure the tread is in good shape and there are no obvious wear marks. Any time you can use track-mounted equipment in the winter, choose that option. You’re much less likely to encounter issues.

Keep your fuel tank full at all times during the winter. This will eliminate moisture and condensation. You can use an additive to keep the fuel from freezing, and be sure to keep spare filters on hand. Frozen filters can affect the way your equipment operates.

Miscellaneous tips

Don’t forget to defog your cab windows so you can see clearly. Remember to operate in a slower, more methodical manner during the winter months. Cold weather, snow, ice and rain can make operating heavy equipment very dangerous. Train your workers to take their time—it’s always better to have a project take a little longer to complete if it means keeping everyone safe.

For more information about winter maintenance for heavy equipment in Texas, call V-Bar Equipment Company today. We offer heavy equipment sales and service to meet all of your production needs.

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