How To Prepare Heavy Equipment for Winter

Getting your heavy equipment ready for winter is an important part of responsible ownership. While you may not need to worry too much in a temperate climate, if you like in an area with snow and freezing temperatures, the following processes are essential. There are slightly different steps depending on whether you intend to store your equipment or now. So, your skid steers with snow plow attachments need to be made ready for work whereas other equipment needs to be stored.

Change the Fuel and Oil

The fluids inside the equipment should be changed. For many pieces of heavy equipment that run on diesel, a winter fuel should be used. This is more resistant to freezing. While is it unlikely that even summer diesel would completely freeze, moisture can form ice in fuel lines. Winter fuel helps to prevent this.

Additionally, the ending oil should be changed. Again, select an oil that is rated for winter temperatures.

Check Hoses and Hydraulics

Make sure all the hoses in your vehicle are in good condition and fluids are properly filled. This should include any hydraulics used on your heavy equipment (such as lifting beds or extending arms). Additionally, you should make sure that all moving parts are properly lubricated. Again, this will help to protect those systems against the low temperatures and elements of the winter.

Inspect the Vehicle

Take a moment to fully inspect the vehicle. This should include everything from the engine to the tires. Storing heavy equipment that needs repairs could result in finding a non-functional piece of equipment in the spring.

If you don’t intend to store the equipment over the winter, this step is still important. It will help to prevent any breakdowns or other incidents while you are using your equipment in low temperatures.

It is also a great idea to clean and inspect any attachments. Some, such as bale handling attachments, likely need to be put away for the winter. You may also need to take out and prepare your winter attachments such as plows.

Store the Battery

If you are storing your vehicle, make sure to remove the battery. As you likely know, batteries do not do very well when they are just sitting. They also don’t like to be overly cold.

So, if you plan to store the vehicle, remove the battery and place it somewhere at room temperature. Depending on the type of battery, you may need to make sure it is not directly on concrete. Even if you are storing your vehicle inside, it is a good idea to remove the battery. The best option is to store both inside and at room temperature.

Learn More

Discover more about how to take care of your heavy equipment and attachments. If you purchase a tractor and a skid steer with multiple accessories such as a skid steer trailer attachment, that is a significant investment in equipment. You don’t want to let it go to waste by taking poor care of them. A little maintenance can go a long way toward making sure you get the most from your investment.