Winter Care Tips – Keep your Equipment Moving
Now that winter is here read about some quick tips to keep your equipment operating. Don’t let winter slow you down.
Make sure fluid levels are where they should be. Not only are proper fluid levels key, using the correct fluid during winter months is important. Using a lower viscosity engine / hydraulic oil can help move fluids through your machine quick, helping the unit warm up with ease. Check that coolant fluid is properly topped off and the coolant type you are using is not only ideal for the weather, but compatible for your machine.
Oil and coolant are not the only fluids that should be checked. Make sure fuel tanks are full. This helps prevent condensation in the fuel system. Use fuel additives or treatment products to prevent moisture from getting into and freezing in the system. Be sure you are using a fuel supplier that has winter blend fuel options.
Properly store DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) fluid. DEF fluid freezes with prolonged exposure to cold. A frozen DEF tank will limit your machines operating ability, causing you more time spent on a down machine. Avoid idling for more than 20 minutes – this increases the chances of plugging up your DPF (diesel particulate filter).
Use a Block Heater
Use a block heater on units if possible. A block heater helps increase the temperature of the engine and fluids to speed up the warmup process. Be sure to run the engine to operating temp before use. Running the engine up to temperature helps all the components get a nice stretch in before their work out.
Check tire pressure. Low temps will reduce tire pressure causing increased wear. If possible, check into using beet juice in tires. Beet juice is a tire ballast solution for tractors, front end loaders, skid steers and all terrain forklifts. Beet juice is freeze resistant to -35%, is noncorrosive and environmentally friendly. We can help you determine if beet juice is a solution for your equipment.
Make sure the undercarriage of your machine is clear of snow, ice, mud, and other debris. Debris can cause increased wear and tear on vital undercarriage components. Check for proper track tension and adjustment daily. Undercarriage wear and breakdown will quickly halt the operation of your machine.
You cannot always conquer mother nature, but you can be proactive when entering the battle. Know that you can count on Quality Forklift/Quality Equipment to help get your equipment winter ready.