Become a Winter Warrior With Rentals From Fabick Cat

March 24, 2016


When it comes to the winter season, calling in a snow day just isn’t going to cut it. At Fabick Cat, we know our customers depend on their winter equipment rentals to stand up against freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall and icy roads. Whether it’s a light flurry or a record-breaking blizzard, you still need to get the job done.

Popular Equipment Rentals

With our large inventory of rental equipment, finding the right fit for your needs will be the easiest thing you check off your list this season. Some of the more popular equipment rentals for battling winter’s worst include:

  • Skid steers
  • Track loaders
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Wheel loaders / Compact wheel loaders
  • Power systems (Generators/Heaters)

Skid Steers

skid-steer-snow-removalWhen it comes to clearing snow, especially wet or heavy snow, skid steers tend to be a popular choice, and it’s easy to see why. With a variety of attachment options, skid steers offer a unique versatility that’s necessary when facing off against winter weather. In fact, when compared to using a truck for snow removal, skid steers can clear more snow in eight hours than a truck can in 20.

For customers located in areas with heavy snowfall, consider adding a radial-lift skid steer to your inventory rather than a vertical configuration. Radial-lifts tend to handle better when it comes to digging below grade and groundwork. This is especially important in the winter months when you’re faced with earth that has hardened due to dropping temperatures.

When making your decision on your skid steer rental, make sure to ask one of our team members about opportunities to package your rental for winter weather. One available option is to equip your machine with snow tires. As you have probably experienced with your recreational vehicle, colder temperatures can mean loss of tire pressure. With a narrower tire, somewhere between 6.5” – 8” wide, you’ll be increasing your skid’s ground pressure. An increase in ground pressure means better traction for your tires, including pushing and turning.

Track Loaders

Track loaders are another effective option when moving large amounts of snow. Track loaders’ dedicated undercarriage makes them a winter warrior, enabling them to push and turn with ease. This is especially important for customers who may have to work around landscaped areas.

Just as with your skid steer, track loaders should be equipped for winter applications. Consult a Fabick Cat team member on your machine’s block-type track to find the best rental track loader. Using a block-type track that has been specifically manufactured for colder temperatures will increase your machine’s traction, meaning improved efficiency and performance when you’re out in the field.

Backhoe Loaders

While skid steers are versatile machines, backhoe loaders tend to be more flexible. They’re a two-in-one-machine, equipped with a loader at the front and an excavator on the back. Additionally, backhoe loaders tend to be lighter, faster and taller than skid steers.


With the level of torque they provide, backhoe loaders equipped with snowplow attachments are ideal for moving large amounts of heavy, wet snow. When determining which type of backhoe loader rental will fit your snow removal needs, make sure to inquire about the various attachments and winter packages available. Additionally, backhoe loaders equipped with adjustable side lighting are an added bonus, especially for nighttime snow removal.

Wheel Loaders/Compact Wheel Loaders

If you’re looking for an all-on-one-machine, then the wheel loader/compact wheel loader is the answer. They are extremely versatile, and they also provide an impressive amount of power. The Cat 904 and 930G, two available rental options, provide a combined 40,000 pounds of breakout force — 8,003 pounds for the 904 and 32,000 pounds for the 930G.

It’s this power that makes wheel loaders perfect at moving large amounts of snow and ice. Plus, the large floor-to-ceiling windows provide added visibility — an invaluable benefit for those working at night or during particularly heavy snowstorms.

When searching for the right kind of rental wheel loader, ask about any available winter packages. Wheel loaders equipped with rearview cameras and/or additional lights are bonuses, especially for operators working overnight.


Cat offers various attachments for your equipment to aid in snow and ice removal. Depending on your selections, certain attachments should be utilized for skid steers, backhoes, compact loaders or track loaders — while other attachments may be utilized for more than one machine. Always consult a team member before renting attachments for your equipment to ensure compatibility.

Some examples of attachments that can aid in snow and/or ice removal include buckets, brooms, blades and snow blowers. For instances where a small amount of snow needs to be cleared, like in the case of sidewalks, small parking lots or driveways, an angle broom attachment may be a good option. In these instances, it’s best if there is only a small accumulation of dry snow, as the angle broom will not be able to handle larger loads.

Another option is the V-plow or blade attachments, where the operator has the ability to adjust the blade as needed. There are five different plowing configurations that can be achieved by adjusting your blade attachments. Those include:

  1. Straight blade – Used to back drag or as clean up.
  2. V-configuration – Both blades are pushed toward the back of the machine. Used for initial plowing efforts.
  3. Scoop – Both blades are pushed forward. Used for trapping snow.
  4. Left Angle – The blade is set to the left. Used when the operator needs a wider first cut and continued pushing of the snow to the edge of the site.
  5. Right angle – The blade is set to the right. Used when the operator needs a wider first cut and continued pushing of the snow to edge of the site.

Snow blowers are another popular attachment to help fight back against the perils of winter weather. During heavier snowfall, utilize a snow blower with a higher flow, somewhere in the range of 35 gpm. For lighter snowfall, a blower with a standard flow of 20 gpm will work best.

When deciding on a snow blower, make sure to discuss proper operational procedures with a Fabick Cat team member. Using three-point turns, carrying low loads and avoiding sudden changes in direction are all important. A Fabick Cat team member will be able to review all of the procedures with you to ensure your machine will perform at its most optimal level.

Power Systems

You don’t have to be a meteorologist to know winter weather can be unpredictable. Relying on power systems that may or may not be dependable isn’t an option. Our Power Systems rental department carries a comprehensive fleet of low-hour equipment that has been meticulously maintained to deliver the reliability you count on.

Cat Generator Rentals

Our rental inventory consists of generators delivering anywhere from 20 kW to 2,000 kW. Dependable and durable enough to withstand any type of weather, our fleet consists of trailer-and skid-mounted generators as well as a wide range of distribution equipment. Additionally, our generators’ fuel types range from diesel, natural gas, landfill gas and biogas.

When the time comes for you to use your rental generator, whether it’s gas or diesel, make sure to follow these tips. They’ll not only ensure you’re working in a safe environment, but also they’ll also make sure you’re keeping your generator in the best possible condition for future use:

  • Keep your generator wrapped when not in use. You can use a generator cover, which are custom designed to fit your model. You’ll also want to avoid leaving your generator where snow can pile up on or around it.
  • Include a transfer switch with your rental to power your generator.
  • Consider investing in a temperature alarm. If you’re away from the property for weeks at a time, a temperature alarm will alert you when power is lost and/or when the interior temperature drops beneath an acceptable range.
  • Run your generator at a minimum of 10’ from your operations. Exhaust should never be blown directly at vents, open windows, open doors or any other openings.
  • Utilize a heavy-duty cord manufactured for outdoor use. A 12-gauge cord will handle 20 amperes on an 80 percent duty cycle, but not if you’re planning on running at 20 amperes for the entirety of your project. In that case, make the switch to a 10-gauge cord.

With available gas or diesel generator rentals in urban areas like Madison, or larger territories in Missouri, Illinois, Upper Michigan or Wisconsin, Fabick Cat has you covered when it comes to power systems.

Emergency Generator Rentals

While we’d all like to be completely prepared when an emergency strikes, that isn’t always the case. Fortunately, our emergency power generator rentals are available for life’s unexpected moments. In the case of an unforeseen disaster, we’re ready to provide emergency response with our local fleet of equipment and dedicated employees.

With our extensive network of locations, we offer emergency generator rentals for urban areas like St. Louis and Milwaukee, as well as larger territories in southern IL, Missouri, Upper Michigan and Wisconsin.

Cat Heater Rentals

Winter is hard enough on your equipment. Adding a portable heater rental to your job site will not only keep your equipment in better condition, but it will keep your crew comfortable and able to focus on the job at hand.
Our portable heater rentals offer the same reliability and durability as any one of our other rental machines. Each heater is met with a stringent expectation for performance, efficiency and construction. Our inventory includes portable electric heaters, indirect fired diesel heaters and hydronic surface heaters coupled with our ancillary equipment inventory of air handlers, hoses, ductwork, pumps and fittings.

Prepping Your Equipment for Winter

Although our fleet of skid steers, backhoes and compact loaders have the durability to weather winter’s worst, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind to ensure your equipment is running at it’s most efficient when temperatures begin to drop:

  • Avoid extra contaminants entering your fuel tank, especially excess water from ice or snow.
  • Never attempt to charge a frozen battery. This will likely result in the battery exploding.
  • Allow enough time for warm-up, especially in extreme cold.
  • Pay attention to the air filtration system for your engine, as any unwanted openings could potentially draw in unfiltered air. Make sure to consult a Fabick Cat team member on the correct replacement filter to ensure
  • contaminated air doesn’t cause engine failure.
  • Check tracked and rubber-tired equipment to make sure they have not frozen to the ground. This equipment can be subject to severe damage, including torn tires or drive train damage.
  • Always raise contact attachments like blades and buckets off of the ground and onto planks or other support beams to avoid strain.
  • Review your equipment’s cooling systems regularly throughout the winter season. Check that your equipment’s coolant concentration is being maintained at 50 percent.
  • Always make a physical inspection of your machine and attachments before start up each day to ensure your equipment is working at its fullest capacity. Your inspection should include checking the fluid levels, belts, hoses, connections, attachments and battery electrolyte levels.
  • Invest in an engine-block heater to avoid diesel fuel from congealing during overnight storage.
  • Run your equipment at idle before storing the machine for the night to allow the engine to cool down. If you’re operating a turbo cool down feature, check the equipment’s monitor for it to timeout before shut down.

Emergency Service Options

emergency-snow-removal-equipmentIn 2012, Caterpillar® received a special commendation from the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency for the work of their East Coast dealers in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

In our territories, Fabick Cat has been a consistent partner both to cleanup crews dealing with similar emergency disaster events and to businesses taking proactive steps before the next big storm hits.
With our 24/7/365 service department, you’ll always have Fabick Cat’s support whenever the next emergency strikes. While our emergency equipment service is available in a number of locations throughout Missouri and southern Illinois, as well as in urban centers like St. Louis, we have also recently joined forces with FABCO Equipment, Inc. to expand our services to Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

To learn more about our emergency equipment services, call us at 800-845-9180 or contact us online.

Why Rent From Fabick Cat?

Beyond our almost 100-year record of providing durable and reliable rental construction equipment to some of the area’s most prominent operators, there are even more compelling reasons to rent equipment from Fabick Cat this winter season:

  • Meet short-term equipment needs. Especially during the winter season when your main fleet is stored away, having the ability to rent quality equipment that will be dependable when temperatures drop is invaluable.
  • Save money on transportation and maintenance costs when working in rough terrains.
  • Free up capital and credit that might be otherwise spent on payments if you purchased equipment.
  • Try out a potential purchase in real-world conditions, rather than just relying on a photo online.

Our fleet of heavy equipment for rent includes everything you’ll need to face whatever winter has in store for you and your team this season. Rent by the day, the week or the month — discounts are available for longer terms, and our rent-to-own program allows you to put a portion of your fees toward a down payment.

At Fabick Cat, our team of industry professionals can walk you through the various rental options to tackle the winter season. From skid steers to diesel generators, we have the tools you’ll need to get the job done no matter what. To learn more about the right rentals for your winter season needs, contact a location near you today.

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