Preparing for Winter WeatherDecember 15, 2016
Tips for Preparing Your Equipment for Winter Weather
As another winter rolls in, it’s important to take steps to protect your fleet now, rather than risk additional maintenance expenses later. Colder temperatures, as well as ice and snow, all take their toll on heavy construction equipment. By being proactive about maintenance, you can ensure your key assets continue to deliver reliable performance no matter what the weather brings.
The first step in preparing for winter — and, for that matter, keeping your fleet running its best year round — is to ensure all manufacturer’s maintenance requirements are being met. Fresh lubrication and replacement filters are especially important going into the colder months. Check your owner’s manual or consult your local Fabick Cat representative for assistance putting together a comprehensive preventative maintenance schedule.
Other things you should be doing to get your fleet ready for winter include:
- Performing a comprehensive inspection. After required maintenance has been performed, a visual inspection is one of the best things you can do for your fleet. Look your machines over for signs of wear, including damage to the tires and undercarriage that may not be noticeable during operation. Taking the time to correct these issues now will prevent them from getting worse when the demands of winter take their toll.
- Cleaning off and dirt and debris. Dirt, grime and debris on a machine’s undercarriage, suspension and hydraulic components can all affect its ability to get the job done. Once freezing temperatures hit, you likely won’t have the opportunity to give your equipment the thorough cleaning it requires — doing so now will better prepare you for winter.
- Making sure you’re using quality fuel. Diesel engines have to work harder during periods of extreme cold, which often brings to light fuel issues not evident in warmer months. For this reason, winter is an opportune time to check on-site fuel storage for moisture or other contaminants.
- Confirming all safety equipment is working properly. Ice and freezing rain present additional hazards when working outdoors in the winter. To keep your crew working safely, ensure all seat belts, lap bars, brake systems and other important components are in good working condition.
- Getting the attachments you need. Attachments such as snow plows, heavy-duty loader buckets and augers can all be vital allies when working outdoors in winter. Make sure you’ve equipped your fleet with the right tools to keep working in any condition, whether it’s a deep freeze or a sudden snowstorm.
Contact Fabick Cat for All Your Winter Maintenance Needs
A reliable service partner can be essential to keeping productivity up in the winter. Fabick Cat offers factory-authorized service for all Cat® machines, from onsite emergency repairs to comprehensive equipment management solutions. We’ve been serving clients in Wisconsin and beyond since 1917 — we know what area winters can bring and what it takes to work safely and efficiently through them. Contact a service location near you for more information.