Spring Equipment Maintenance Tips
Take these steps to protect your investment
Spring will be here before you know it. Is your equipment ready? Whether your machine has been sitting in storage, or you've been able to use it all winter long, taking a few key steps will ensure maximum efficiency this year and every year.
Conduct an Inspection
If your equipment was in storage all winter, the first step is take the time to inspect it from top to bottom. This will be a detailed process but it's an important one. Winter temperatures and even rodents can cause serious issues.
Here are a few things you should be aware of:
- Tire pressure should be checked and adjusted if the machine has inflatable tires.
- If you applied rust inhibiting oil prior to winter storage, wipe it all away.
- Make sure the connections are tight on the exhaust and air intake system
- If your machine is equipped with a battery disconnect switch, turn it on.
- Look for (and remove) animal nests.
One additional step for machines equipped with Tier 4 engines is checking the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) container to make sure it did not freeze or crack over winter.
Prior to Start Up
Now that your inspection is complete, begin prepping your machine for use.
- Add oil, coolant, DEF, or grease if needed.
- Check all grease points to ensure they are well-lubricated, especially if your area experiences harsh winters.
- To pre-lubricate the engine bearings, crank the engine for 10 to 15 seconds with the emergency switch turned on to prevent the engine from starting. Pause for 30 seconds and repeat.
Now that you're ready to start the engine. Allow it to idle for 15 minutes in a well ventilated area and check for fluid leaks, proper oil pressure and engine temperature, battery voltage, proper operation of all indicators and/or gauges. Shut it off and perform one more walkaround.
Winter Machine Use
Do you use your machinery all winter and in harsh conditions? As spring arrives, check the oil. When the temperature is cold, the viscosity of the oil may be lowered. As the weather warms up, drain and replace the oil with the correct oil for the current conditions.
Properly caring for your equipment is a detailed process, but it's an important one. Taking these steps will help protect your investment.