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Winterizing Your Construction Equipment for Winter

Category: Product Support

The arrival of the cold weather season creates a variety of challenges for the construction industry, not the least of which is protecting the health and condition of your fleet of heavy equipment and machinery.

From hard starts and system failures to avoidable accidents and accelerated wear and tear, there are several concerns when operating in harsh weather including frigid temperatures, snow, frozen rain, wind and ice. Luckily, it’s possible to protect your most valuable assets and avoid costly repairs and downtime by preparing your equipment for winter and remaining diligent with preventive maintenance.

If you’re interested in improving the performance and longevity of your machines, consider the following winter care maintenance tips:

    • Safer storage: Half the battle of keeping your equipment safe all winter long is shielding it from the most extreme environments when not in use. Storing machines in a climate-controlled area and away from the elements is among the easiest and most effective ways to avoid damage and eliminate labor requirements cleaning and digging out equipment after a winter storm.
    • Let the engine get warm: It’s all well and good to be eager to get to work, but taking a few moments to let the engine warm up is time well spent, as opposed to the damage that can be caused by firing the motor up cold. Be sure to allow for ample time for the engine to reach the optimal temperature before putting it in motion.
    • Use the correct oil and coolant: As winter approaches on the calendar, that’s your cue to change the oil and coolant so your equipment is ready to run in the cold. Use low-viscosity oil that circulates more freely when the temperature dips down low and coolant with a reduced water ratio so it won’t freeze up and cause damage to the system.
    • Service your batteries: Batteries have to produce nearly double the amp output at startup during the coldest winter months. A vital winter care maintenance tip is to keep batteries fully charged and warm for easier, safer and more reliable startups.
    • Maintain tire pressure: It’s well-known that cold air causes tires to deflate, resulting in dangerous operating conditions and diminished performance. Always check the pressure of your tires before hitting the road to confirm they are inflated to the optimal levels.
    • Keep it clean: When you do get the opportunity to work in the winter, it’s often in messy conditions including snow, slush and muddy terrain. Cleaning your equipment after use, especially the undercarriage, reduces the chance of rusting and buildup and helps you spot potential concerns before they grow to become significant issues.
    • Perform daily inspections: Have your drivers walk around their machines for a visual inspection before each shift. Checking grease points, fluid and fuel levels and a variety of other common concerns provides the peace of mind your equipment is in top shape and ready to perform.

For more on winterizing your construction equipment for winter to keep your fleet running longer and stronger, contact NMC Cat today. We offer a complete selection of products and services for preparing your equipment for winter.