Cold Weather Operation
Use the appropriate fuel
Fueling in cold weather requires extra care to avoid water and other contaminants from entering your machine's fuel tank. Additionally, it's important to use high quality diesel that is designed specifically for winter weather operation. You should also match the fuel conditioner you use to match the type of fuel you are using. Consult your operator's manual to find the correct type of conditioner.
Inspect your machine cooling system
Have your cooling system serviced before it gets too cold. Make sure your coolant is mixed to handle the extreme winter temperatures.
Always warm up the machine before use
Hoses and wires can become brittle and stressed in extreme cold conditions. To avoid damage, be sure to allow sufficient time for the engine to reach operating temperature before putting the equipment to work.
Check starting devices
Your engine may need a little help to get started when the temperatures drop. Always check to make sure your block heaters, glow plugs and cold weather starting devices are working properly to avoid being left out in the cold when it's time to get to work. Avoid using ether/starting fluids.
Use the correct lubricants and inspect the condition of hydraulic hoses
Before it gets too cold outside, install the correct engine, hydraulic, transmission and final drive lubricants for your exact machine. Before starting the machine, check each level to ensure they are fluid enough for proper flow. To do so, check each dipstick and, if the oil drips, then it is fluid enough. Inspect hydraulic hoses for wear and cracks.
Have an extra filter
Always keep an extra fuel filter on hand in the cab but always follow installation instructions in your operator's manual.
Keep your machine clean and grease regularly
Clean and grease the control & pedal areas daily. Use a high-quality grease to keep dirt and moisture out. Grease the quick attach pivot points and pins to keep it operating smoothly when changing buckets.
Keep batteries charged and warm
Cold weather requires your batteries to generate nearly twice as many cranking amps in order to turn over, so keep yours charged and warm for easy starting. If you are working in subzero temperatures, storing the battery indoors at room temperature could help when it's not in use.
Operators should enter and exit your machine using three points of contact. Working in snow and ice means that slips and falls are a common cause of injuries during the winter. Wear your seatbelt when operating equipment and stay alert.
For idle machines
If you are storing equipment for the winter, be sure to always start once a month when the temperature is above freezing. Avoid starting a machine in extreme cold weather and operate the hydraulic system for a brief time. Do not try to break crawler machines from a frozen situation as it can result in powertrain damage.