By KEP Services for aftermarket Caterpillar parts in the UK
Construction work will carry on throughout the winter. You are responsible for any damage caused by the cold to any heavy equipment that you own or rent, regardless of whether the damage was caused by the equipment itself or the weather.
Due to this fact, numerous construction companies and workers are aware of the significance of winter equipment maintenance in terms of reducing overall maintenance costs. By adhering to these seven preventative maintenance strategies, you and your machine operators will be able to safeguard your construction equipment, reduce the number of expensive heavy equipment repairs, and save money.
Maintain a regular check on the level of the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).
Even though telematics are becoming more and more of a standard feature on more and more machines, you should still keep an eye on the level of DEF in your vehicle, particularly when the temperature is below freezing. The reason for this is that starting DEF has a chance of causing the computer to become unresponsive. If the temperature is below freezing, it is recommended that you use a block heater to pre-heat the engine as well as the oils before beginning to operate the machine.
It is important to keep DEF in a warm location throughout the winter months. Because diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) can either lose or gain its purity depending on the temperature and humidity of its environment, it is essential to know how to properly store it.
You should always make sure that your apparatus is clean.
The majority of the money that is spent on maintaining a piece of construction equipment goes toward repairing and replacing its undercarriage. This is due to the fact that it sustains the greatest amount of damage on a daily basis. This is especially true during the winter months, which highlights the significance of performing routine maintenance checks. When night falls, the temperature drops, and the mud that has accumulated on the undercarriage during the day will freeze and stick to the vehicle. In the event that something goes wrong, it will be difficult to move around the workplace and access essential components of the machine.
Frozen mud and ice can speed up the wear and tear on machines, which can result in damage to the tracks. If you want to reduce the likelihood of damage and save money on insurance, you should make it a habit to clean them up every night.
Make Sure to Make Use of the Right Fluids, Gases, and Oils.
Oil requirements can vary widely from machine to machine. In addition to that, the amount of fluid that is necessary can change significantly depending on the season. It is essential to consult the owner’s manual or the guidelines provided by the manufacturer when determining which oils, gases, and fluids to use and when to use them. Because of this, continuous monitoring of the fluid conditions is required. Some things to keep an eye out for are the following: braking fluid In temperatures below zero, brake fluid can freeze, making it impossible to stop the vehicle in time in the event of an emergency.
Every evening, check to see that the appropriate amounts of fluids are present, and that the gas tank is at its maximum capacity. Eliminating condensation is a top priority because it is the primary factor that contributes to liquid tanks freezing over. Heavy equipment needs to have its fluids topped off or drained every night as part of its preventative maintenance routine.
Obtain the appropriate coolant. It is essential to keep in mind that not all coolants are able to perform their functions at the same temperature. It is especially important to make sure that you have the right one if you will be working in temperatures below zero. Maintaining a full level will help prevent condensation from forming.
There needs to be a change made to the hydraulic fluid. Always make sure to replace the hydraulic fluid in the equipment before storing it or turning the power back on.
Ensure that all electronic devices are turned off.
It is highly recommended that you keep your machines operating even in areas where the temperature can drop to as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit (or -40 degrees Celsius). Because of the extreme cold, it might take all day for the machines to get to operating temperature. If you continue to operate in this manner, you will never accomplish anything.
On a parking lot that is covered in snow, there is a yellow excavator with a bucket attachment. The tracks of the machine are covered in snow.
On the other hand, you are unable to maintain a normal engine revving while the vehicle is idling. It is recommended by technicians that the speed of the machine be maintained at 1100–1200 RPM at all times. This is due to the fact that maintaining the engine within its typical rpm range of 700 to 800 will not be sufficient to keep it warm.
Always make sure the engines in your vehicle are kept at a temperature that is comfortable.
The engines found in heavy machinery operate most efficiently in warm environments. On the other hand, during the winter months, the engine might not get hot enough to perform adequately on a job that isn’t very demanding. Therefore, it’s possible that you’ll need engine block heaters when the weather gets colder. They can be of assistance in maintaining an optimal operating temperature for your engine, which will help you avoid the potential damage that can be caused by making frequent cold starts while working.
Make sure your batteries are always fully charged before using them.
When the temperature drops, it increases the risk that the batteries in a diesel engine or an electric machine that hasn’t been properly maintained will discharge, which can be hazardous. This is true even if the machines have been properly maintained. In the event that you won’t be using the apparatus during the winter, be sure to disconnect the battery and store it in a warm location. They will have gained additional preparation time by the time the subsequent construction cycle begins in the spring.
You should consider purchasing a new battery, however, if you are certain that the device will be utilised continuously throughout the winter season. A battery that performs adequately during the summer will give you fits when the temperature drops below freezing.
Protect the machinery from adverse weather conditions.
There may be challenges involved for certain construction sites in winterizing their equipment. They need to be kept in a place that is secure, completely enclosed, and has a lot of heat. Having said that, a significant number of contractors won’t be in this position. If this is the case, you will need to take every safety measure possible to ensure that the equipment will remain intact throughout the harsh winters in the north. Depending on the severity of the weather, this may necessitate transporting the equipment to and from the location each day, parking it next to a fence, covering it with a tarp, or constructing a temporary shelter for it. Alternatively, it may require that a temporary shelter be constructed.
The icy temperatures of winter can be hard on not only our bodies but also our gadgets and other electronic devices. During the winter months, you should take precautions to avoid expensive breakdowns of your heavy machinery. This is true whether you own or lease the equipment. Because of this, it is essential to devise a schedule for yearly maintenance and stick to it religiously. This will, in addition to reducing costs, lead to an increase in efficiency.