Your construction equipment plays an important role in the overall operations of your company. Construction equipment is built to last and wither the toughest working conditions.
It doesn’t matter whether you are lifting and hauling heavy beams, excavating stubborn rocks, or dealing with harsh weather, your equipment helps you to accomplish the task.
Regardless of how strong your equipment is, it will wear out easily if there is no proper maintenance. Things can even get worse during winter. Just the way you and your team brace for the cold weather, your equipment also needs extra attention and maintenance.
Below are some of the tips on how to maintain your construction equipment in winter:
1. Ensure the engines are well lubricated
One of the most important tips for maintaining construction equipment during winter is to ensure your engines are properly lubricated.
In an ideal weather condition, motor oil normally works to decrease friction and contact between moving parts of the engine. But extremely cold or warm weather affects the protective abilities of the engine and oil.
Temperature greatly affects the viscosity of motor oil. Viscosity refers to the measure of oil’s resistance to the flow. The motor oil will either become thicker or thinner depending on whether the engine is too cold or too hot.
During the winter season, the oil in your equipment may thicken and make the engine parts harder to move against each other. If you are using oil that’s not protect your engine parts, you are likely to experience accelerated wear that will call for repair of your equipment.
2. Ensure there’s enough tire tread
Tire tread is very important when it comes to construction equipment. It even plays a much important role during winter. Tires are generally the first line of defense as far as preventing accidents is concerned.
If you are operating in a place that’s covered in ice, snow, or sleet, those operating your equipment can have problems gaining the required traction.
There are two ways of dealing with this problem. The first one is to buy snow tires. If your worksite is known to experience extreme weather conditions, the best thing to do is to buy snow tires for your equipment. The second option is to replace your tires if you realize their performance will worsen during winter.
3. Look for proper coolant properties
Another great way of maintaining your construction equipment during winter is to ensure that your coolant adheres to recommended guidelines for winter.
Coolant is normally mixed with water when being poured into the engine. In case your equipment has a lot of water or the coolant degrades and boils off, you are likely to face the following issues:
• Your engine may overheat
• Coolant may change into slush
• The radiator may not have the capacity to cool the water heated in the engine
Heavy Equipment Radiators can be more than 10 feet tall. You should consider checking your radiator to determine which coolant is permitted in the engine.
You need to ensure that the ratio between coolant and water is 60 to 40 to avoid coolant issues during winter.
4. Ensure there’s enough tire pressure
Besides tire tread, tire pressure is another important factor to consider if you want to keep your construction equipment running during winter. Under-inflated tires can cause serious issues to your equipment including the following:
• Tires may wear out sooner
• Fuel efficiency may go down
• Tires can easily burst and call for replacement
• Equipment may fail to operate normally
Cold winter temperatures can also worsen tire pressure. Some of the things you can do to monitor tire pressure include:
• Check your tire pressure at least once a month
• Inflate tires to acceptable psi
• Be attentive to tire pressure warnings
5. Use the right type of fuel in winter
The type of fuel you choose to use during winter will determine if your construction equipment will endure the winter conditions or not.
Fuel solids are generally the best for the cold winter weather. You can also prevent gel build-up and ice in your fuel supply by switching your diesel fuel grade.