The majority of construction machinery failures happen during cold seasons. Failure to follow the most straightforward maintenance procedures could cost you a lot of money and a lot of missed productivity. Although the cold weather is inevitable, there are ways on how you can continue using your machinery amid the most frigid conditions. Here are some tips on how you can keep your equipment running perfectly during cold weather:
1. Warm-up your machine before use.
When machinery is exposed to cold weather, its internal parts become brittle. It’s essential to warm up the machine before use to prevent the affected parts from breaking. In some countries, engines are not shut off and left running on idle overnight or even for days. This way, any fluids or materials with ice build-up will have time to melt before use.
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2. Use the right fuel, oils, and greases.
When the temperature drops low, the possibility of the fluids in your equipment freezing is high. If the fluids in your equipment start to freeze, you are risking your machine’s internal parts that use them. In countries with temperatures reaching below freezing point, fluids specifically for the winter season are commercially available. If regular fluids are used, the chance of breaking your pumps and reservoirs is very high. Not only will you risk productivity, but you will also be spending more on repairs than on procuring suitable winter-appropriate fluids.
3. Change your battery regularly.
Operating with a frozen battery may lead to a dangerous explosion. That is why it is very important to regularly check your battery if it is still good to use or needs replacement. The machinery works extra during cold seasons, which can take a toll on your battery’s performance. Proper battery maintenance is one of the crucial steps in preventing machine breakdowns during winter. It’s also a good idea to prep your batteries even before the winter season starts.
4. Clean your equipment after use.
Dirt build-up may be more brutal to clean up during the winter season. Getting frozen mud or ice off your machines would require so much effort, most likely generating more labor costs and downtimes during construction. There’s also a high risk of solid particles such as ice entering your fuel tank. Make sure that this doesn’t happen so water will not mix with your fuel. All this could be easily avoided by regularly cleaning your machinery after each use. Do you hear, can I ask you something?
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5. Operate with caution.
Cold seasons are not just risky for your equipment but operators as well. Especially during winter, job sites could experience difficult weather conditions. Prepare proper PPE and equipment such as lights and reflectors to prevent damage to your machinery due to human error. Frozen ground may also be a safety risk to both humans and equipment, so it’s vital to maintain safe site conditions before construction works. Lastly, operators need to assess the weather condition if it is really practical to continue operations. Although productivity on site is important for clients, crew members’ lives are much more important than getting a project done.
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