Heavy duty machinery can present a variety of challenges in undesirable climates. Here in the Fraser Valley, we have been experiencing a variety of harsh climates, from extreme heat to freezing temperatures. To help you operate safely and prevent damages to you or your machines, we’ve assembled a helpful list of tips you should remember when using them in cold weather.
1. Fuel Tank
Fueling up in freezing temperatures requires extra care to avoid water and other contaminants from entering your machine’s fuel tank. This can be done by simply taking more caution when fueling up! Also ensure that you are maintaining filters (fuel, air and hydraulic) for easier starting and avoiding power loss during equipment operation.
In freezing conditions, jumper cables are always a concern, no matter the equipment or vehicle. Using them incorrectly can result in extensive system damage and can be extremely costly. The act of attempting to charge a frozen battery can also cause the battery to explode. If you suspect your battery is frozen, you can try to thaw it, but your best bet is to replace it. Better safe than sorry with batteries!
3. Warming Up
Warm her up! Like your muscles, equipment needs time to warm up. Ensure that when you are starting your machine you allow enough warm-up time before putting your equipment to work. Hoses and wires can become brittle and stressed in extreme conditions and, without appropriate warm up time, can snap, warp and break. Generally, the oil in the carrier will be warm to the touch, which indicates when there’s adequate heat and when your machine is ready to be operated. Hint: A good rule of thumb to follow is, with the warmed-up engine at half throttle, activate the attachment for 15 seconds, wait 5 seconds, then repeat 2 or 3 times more before operating in an actual work setting.
Now, let’s talk about operating in the cold! Before cold weather arrives, make sure to check that your atmospheric system, such as operator compartment heaters and defrosting devices, are in good working condition. Don’t wait to do this check, or you may discover that you don’t have heat in the cab (yikes)! When you are operating your machine during inadequate weather, be sure you can see clearly out of the cab windows. If visibility becomes reduced, it can make it hard to see nearby obstructions, other machines or laborers working, creating a major hazard. Another great practice is to reduce your speed during inclement weather. Reducing your speed will give you more control of your machine and keep you safe from brittle ground and ice and avoid the hazard of colliding into another machine.
And remember, our team of highly trained professionals is ready to help YOU with all your projects, all year round. KGH Equipment offers equipment services for homeowners, trades, and contractors. From manlifts to telehandlers and skid steers, KGH Equipment offers both ‘bare’ and ‘with operator’ rentals. KGH Equipment offers many services, from moving, delivery excavation services, land clearing, site preparation and a variety of other landscaping services. KGH can help take your site from start to completion. Contact us today for a FREE quote.