Is your equipment ready for winter? Check these simple tips off your list as you head into the colder months to make sure your equipment is ready to get the job done when the temperature drops.
1) Check your oil: You need to ensure that your oil is flowing even in colder temperatures. Check the viscosity of the oil you're using to be sure that it's the right one for your piece of equipment. It's a good idea to use a low viscosity oil in the colder winter months, so it can flow faster. You should also make sure you change your oil leading into and after winter.
2) Do a visual inspection of your tracks and tires: Make sure your undercarriage and tracks are in good working condition. Remove all the debris and snow that you can whenever possible. You should also check to make sure your tire pressure is inflated to where it should be — don't forget to look for wear marks on the tire.
3) Inspect your hoses and belts: These parts of the machine can be especially sensitive to winter and cold conditions. Make sure you're doing a visual inspection of your hydraulic hoses — the rubber tubing can wear down in freezing temperatures, making them stiff and brittle. You should be replacing parts with cracks and breaks in them.
4) Keep your fuel tank topped up: You should be topping up your fuel tank after every shift. If you don't, you could see your fuel start to gel at colder temperatures. Topping up the fuel tank will also help to prevent condensation from forming in the tank, which can lead to water in a fuel line.
5) Keep an eye on your DEF: Diesel Exhaust Fuel (DEF) will freeze at -11 degrees Celsius, so you should make sure that there is a way to warm and thaw frozen DEF to keep your machine running. If you aren’t using your equipment in the winter months, you should consider draining the fluid.
6) Check your battery: You should be checking on your battery leading into the winter months. Look to see that the battery electrolyte is filled up to the indicated level. You should also check the alternator, test the battery, and ensure that there is no rust or debris on the battery terminals. Not using your machine in the winter? It's a good idea to remove the battery from the machine and store it indoors to prevent it from freezing.
Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.