Fueling Your Business Through Winter Months

Fueling Your Business Through Winter Months

Winterizing equipment can save you valuable time and money as temperatures drop, the ground freezes and snow begins to fall. The amount of winter care your equipment needs is dependent on the type of machine, how it’s being used and the climate you’re operating in. As a best practice, always check your operator manual for guidelines on servicing your equipment throughout the year, and keep the following tips in mind:

Prepare For Frost

As temperatures drop, the first step on a job is to dig a pilot hole or trench to see where the frost line is located. Year-to-year frost depth can change, and it can slow down production and make it easier to break a chain. In hard, deep frost conditions, treat operations as though you are digging in hard rock conditions. The best chains for these conditions include alligator tooth chains and weld-on Shark® tooth chains. In soft, less deep frosts, combo chains will work best. For best chain recommendations, see your local Ditch Witch dealer.

Keep Fresh Teeth On Hand

Teeth wear faster in cold temperatures, particularly when working in frost conditions and hardened soils that are more abrasive. As a rule of thumb, check your teeth twice a day during winter months, once in the morning before a job begins and once at the end of each day. Have fresh teeth on hand to quickly change out when needed to keep your equipment working efficiently in cold conditions.

Check Chain Tension

In colder climates, it is especially important to have the proper tension on your chain. The climate can alter the temper of steel chain components, causing them to wear faster and potentially crack. In addition, proper tension will help reduce the amount of debris that can enter and eat away at chain components.

Properly Grease Your Machine

To reduce friction on moving components and improve longevity of your equipment, be sure all components are properly greased. Before winter sets in, have all grease points serviced.

Monitor Coolant And Fluid Levels

Provide protection by using the recommended antifreeze/water mixture for the lowest temperature expected during operation. Service your machine before the winter season to help ensure all fluids are running properly through the machine and oil and filters are changed.

Maintain The Battery

Remove cables, clean cable ends and posts, and clean and tighten terminals on the cranking motor. Never charge a frozen battery. 

Warm Your Machine Prior To Operation

Prior to beginning a job, start your machine to warm hydraulics and oils. In extremely cold temperatures, once you start the machine, keep it running. This will save time getting it to start and keeping it warm before operation. 

Let Your Machine Determine The Pace

In extremely cold temperatures, machines will not work as fast as they do in non-winter months. Don’t force your machine, as it might stop production all together.