Spring has officially arrived, which means it’s time to start preparing your equipment for the season. Whether you worked through the winter or are just now taking your equipment out of storage, taking the right steps now to get your machine into tip-top shape for the summer will ensure you’re ready for the busy season when it arrives. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the season and minimize downtime when you least want it.
A huge component to ensuring that your fleet is always in optimal operating condition is taking the time to perform regular maintenance on your equipment. When you regularly check your machines, you can often catch problems early and prevent more costly issues from happening down the road. Here are some suggested items to check in preparation for the summer months.
It’s good practice to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance on your equipment. Regularly changing filters, checking oil levels and even correctly greasing the unit will allow your equipment to operate at its best.
Some estimates blame 40% of warm weather equipment downtime on problems with the cooling system. In addition to checking that there are no leaks in the water pump and that your coolant-to-water ratio is correct, you should also check that the radiator is clean and the fan and drive belt are adjusted correctly. Furthermore, this may be a good time to flush the system and replace to coolant, check for impurities, perform a pressure test and check that the hoses are in good working order.
High temperatures can cause overinflated tires to swell and create dangerous amounts of pressure. Over or under inflating your tires can compromise traction and cause the tread to wear down faster. You should spend a little time at the beginning of the season to dial in your tire pressure. Making sure your PSI falls within the manufacturer’s guidelines will leave some wiggle room for expansion while also ensuring the best performance from your tires.
Warmer weather can lead to the electrolytes in a lead-acid battery evaporating. If you aren’t regularly checking and watering your batteries, you might find yourself with a premature battery failure. And even if you don’t have any problems this summer, a battery weakened during the heat can lead to unplanned downtime during the winter.
For an operator who spends upwards of 10 hours a day in the cabin, interior conditions are extremely important. If present, check that the air conditioning system is in good working order. You should also ensure that other equipment such as fans and sun visors are available and in good working order.
Mud, dirt and debris can all prevent cool air from flowing into the engine compartment and hot air from escaping. These containments can also get into and build up in your hydraulic, air and fuel systems, leading to equipment failure if they’re not checked regularly. By removing mud and dirt from your equipment, you can ensure that your prepared for anything summer has to throw at you.
Protect Your Staff
Your employees are your most important asset. In addition to ensuring that your equipment is ready for summer, it’s also important to review safe summer practices with your staff. If possible, adjust your work hours so that you’re not working in the sun during the hottest part of the day. Your staff should also be reminded on the importance of hydration and recognizing the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion. Other protections to consider for your staff include noise pollution and air contaminants. By treating your employees as important assets, you can make sure that they are operating at their best, just like your equipment.
Your Partner for Summer Preparation
While we can’t provide you with staff, we do offer over 600,000 light construction equipment part numbers to help you prepare your fleet for summer. From water pumps and coolant to tires and battery watering systems, we have replacement parts and accessories for use on some of the most popular brands on the market; include Bobcat, Case, Caterpillar, John Deere, Kubota and Takeuchi. With multiple distribution centers located throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico and South America, next day delivery on the majority of our parts and expert research assistance, TVH is your first choice for all of your light construction equipment needs.