Maintenance for Construction Machines in Winter
Construction equipment can be extremely useful during the entire calendar year, including winter. In order to continue working properly, however, owners must take the necessary steps in regards to equipment maintenance. If kept in good condition, even in the face of cold weather, construction equipment can be used with the same purpose as any other season—although this is contingent upon the ground and materials themselves not being frozen or covered in snow.
Those that live in colder climates can run into a few problems, but the primary issue faced most often is equipment failure. Whether it be in relation to battery-start failure, or engine failure, there are a few things to consider during the wintertime.
Battery Operation Failure
In winter, we most often see equipment start failure, which occurs when the machinery goes into the winter season not fully-charged. Since performing a battery replacement can be difficult in the cold weather, being preventative is a much easier method of keeping your equipment maintained.
COLD DIESEL ENGINE FAILURE
Another thing to consider is that cold diesel engines also need to be maintained in the winter to continue working properly through all the other seasons.
How Do I Maintain Construction Equipment in the Winter?
Here are some of the ways to ensure your construction equipment keeps running all winter long:
Fully Charge Machinery
Batteries need to be fully charged before being stored for the winter.
Store in a Cool Location
Batteries will discharge over time, but lower temperatures slow the process. If you won’t be using your equipment, it is important to consider storing it in a cool location; but with that being said, the temperature shouldn’t be extremely cold (like the temps outside during winter in some areas). Temperatures above 12 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal for this kind of storage.
Disconnect Negative Ground Cable
Operators should disconnect the negative ground cable. This helps reduce the discharge caused by electrical components. Remember to restore the cable before the end of the season.
What to Consider with a Cold Diesel Engine
Starting a diesel engine that’s been stored out in the cold can be very dangerous. Here are some of the major things to consider with your cold diesel engine:
- Do Not Underestimate Warm-Up Time
- Keep Your Diesel Exhaust Fluid Thawed
- Address Any Frozen Fuel
- Keep Your Engine in a Warm Area
- Make Sure Your Fuel Tank is Full
How Do I Choose the Right Construction Equipment for Winter Use?
Choosing the right winter construction equipment is largely dependent on the climate, terrain, and the type of job you are completing. Some types of construction equipment that are well-suited for winter use include excavators, skid steers, compact track loaders, wheel loaders, and dozers.
For more information regarding construction equipment and how to properly maintain this machinery, contact your local John Deere dealer.