Artisan Contractors are putting in long hours to get as much work completed before the weather turns cold in Northeast Ohio. But don’t forget you will need to prepare your equipment for winter before it is too late. Below is a list that every contractor should address to avoid a mechanical breakdown that probably will not be covered by your insurance contract!
- Install the correct engine, hydraulic and transmission lubricants for your equipment and change your hydraulic fluid to one manufactured for arctic use.
- If possible, store your equipment in an enclosed facility. This will make starting easier and you will avoid man hours cleaning off snow and ice from your equipment. If your equipment is not going to be used during the colder months remove any attachments. This will prevent hinges and joints from freezing.
- Keep the tires properly inflated. Cold air causes tires to lose air more quickly. While more expensive, consider using nitrogen in your tires.
- To assist in starting your equipment make sure the battery is fully charged and if possible, at room temperature. Use a block heater which will keep the engine temperature and the hydraulic fluid warmer making for easier starting. Use starter fluid with great caution. While it can assist you in starting your equipment, it is flammable and inhalation can cause lightheadedness, loss of coordination and paranoia.
- Run the engine until it reaches operating temperature. Waiting to use your equipment until it has reached proper operating temperature will help prevent intake and exhaust valves from sticking. In addition, by letting your equipment warm up, oil will reach all parts of the equipment before it is used under stress.
- Do a walk around of the equipment to visually check hoses, wiring and hoses for cracks and damage.
- Fill the fuel tank at the end of the day to avoid a frozen fuel line in the morning.
By preparing now you will be able to work through the winter months and continue to operate your business. Just like your equipment, now is a good time to review and prepare your contractor’s insurance program and the easiest way to do that is to contact your Trusted Choice Insurance Agent at Richey-Barrett.