Skid steers are essential pieces of equipment in a multitude of different industries. From industrial and construction applications to uses in landscaping projects, there’s no end to what these machines can help us accomplish. However, the story changes once the winter season rolls around. Though these tools are still just as vital to our operations, it suddenly becomes much harder to keep them up to the task. Here are some effective ways to prepare your skid steer for the winter and ensure it’s always ready for work.
Change the Oil
Adjusting the type of oil you use in your skid steer is the first step you should take once the weather starts to cool down. As colder temperatures start to set in, standard oil can stiffen, making it difficult to keep essential components lubricated. Because of this, you should use oil with a thinner viscosity. This way, you won’t need to re-oil your machine as much to keep it operational.
Equip Cold-Weather Tires
It’s also important that you consider replacing your current skid steer tires with cold-weather models. Maximum traction is vital to maintaining control of your skid steer during winter operation. Specialized winter tires can do this by supplying optimal contact between the tread and the terrain. Whether you’re using a walk-behind skid steer or a larger vehicle model, it’s crucial that you find skid steer tires that can handle the rigors of snow and ice.
Use a Fuel Treatment
Like with oil, standard diesel fuel products can freeze when exposed to low temperatures for long periods of time. While fuel won’t turn to solid ice, the cold can cause this substance to gel up and make it difficult to move throughout the engine. This puts additional stress on your skid steer and decreases its level of performance during this time. Fortunately, there are several different additives you can combine with your fuel to prevent this gelling process and maintain fuel flow.
Repair or Replace Your Battery
One of the most effective ways to prepare your skid steer for the winter is to perform the necessary repairs or replacements on your battery. Similar to that of a car, your skid steer battery is responsible for jump-starting the engine and ensuring all crucial controls are online. Without it, your equipment simply won’t start, costing you both time and money. Taking care of this component now can save you a lot of hassle once winter arrives.
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