Construction Tips for Operating Equipment in the Winter

Dealing with harsh winter weather is tough for everyone on a construction site. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let it have an adverse effect on your construction equipment. Following these four maintenance tips will help keep your construction projects running smoothly all year round.

Plug it in

While keeping machinery stored in a heated facility would be your best option, it can be too costly for some companies. Plugging in the block heater is a simple way to alleviate the stress put on the engine by the cold. If you don’t do this, then the engine oil will thicken, forcing the starter to work harder to turn the crank engine. Plus, thick oil means that the engine components won’t be properly lubricated when it starts. This causes those parts to scrape against each other, wearing down the engine faster. A block heater keeps your machine engine warm so that you can start it quickly on even the coldest of days.

Warm the control box

As an equipment rental company that’s there for you 24/7, we get our fair share of calls from customers needing help. One major problem our clients face in the winter is a frozen aerial work platform control box. When left outside in extreme conditions, the components inside the box can freeze, rendering it useless. This is why we always recommend keeping the control box as warm as possible. Keeping it inside a heated site trailer will do the trick. At the very least, you should always keep it inside your vehicle after the workday is done to protect it from the elements.

Practice proper warm-up procedure

You may already use a block heater, but you still need to allow your equipment to warm up properly at the start of the day. The necessary time can vary depending on how cold it is outside. However, warm-up procedures can also vary between equipment. You should therefore always consult the operator’s manual for more specific instructions. A proper warm up will ensure that your equipment is 100% functional and will keep it from operating inefficiently. Not skimping on this tip will provide you with a more productive machine that’s ready to tackle the job.

Awareness is key

Knowing your job site is integral to operating your construction equipment safely in the winter. Otherwise, the snow can hide obstacles that can be damaging to your equipment. There’s nothing worse than puncturing a tire while on the job, so always be aware of your surroundings. Not only will this tip help protect your machinery, but it’ll also ensure the safety of your personnel on-site. Awareness at all times is key to keeping accidents from happening on the job!

What other construction maintenance tips do you follow in the winter? Let us know in the comments below!