The winter season can be an excruciating experience for all of us. What more on our equipment, right? So if you are looking for ideas on how to protect your mini excavators during winter, then you are on the right path.
Thankfully, there are a lot of tips that you can follow to maintain idle mini excavators during this time. But first, make sure that you are aware of the nitty-gritty of your machines. Mini excavators can differ in their systems up to their parts. Ensure that you are following the best approach for your machine.
Other than the maintenance tips, you should also know why you need to do them in the first place. So read until the end of this article. You will learn a lot of information that will be useful for your mini excavator when the winter comes.
Choose the Right Diesel
The main reason for carrying out regular maintenance is to reduce machine failures. It will also prolong the service life and improve the work efficiency of mini excavators. Carrying out maintenance services on mini excavators will reduce operating costs. It can even shorten machine downtime. If you are responsibly managing the lubricants, water, fuel, and air, you can reduce failures by 70%. Yes, you read that right! 70% of mini excavator failures are caused by poor management.
With that, it is only right that you should maintain mini excavators in the winter. You can start by choosing the best diesel for them. Suitable diesel and engine oil must be changed in winter. Contrary to popular beliefs, different brands of diesel are used in mini excavators. It is dependent on different temperatures. If the temperature is low, the viscosity of oils increases. That will make it difficult to operate the engine again. At this time, there is a need for you to switch to an engine and diesel oil with low viscosity.
Another thing to remember is not to mix the oils with impurities. Impurities like water and lime soul will wear out the fuel pump. The sulfur content and high paraffin will also damage your damage. And we do not want that to happen, right? So make sure that you are pumping your machine with pure diesel and engine oil to get them through the winter days.
Light diesel oil with a low freezing point and good ignition performance must be chosen. In general, a diesel engine has a freezing point of 7 to 10℃ lower than the local minimum winter temperature. If you were not able to switch to an appropriate diesel oil with the proper grade, things would go downhill. The viscosity of diesel oil will increase and the fluidity will become worse. This will result in combustion deterioration and poor atomization. In the end, your machine will decline in power and performance before the winter ends.
Do not forget daily maintenance for other parts of the machine
Filters play a vital role in separating impurities in gas or oil circuit. This will prevent foreign elements from invading your system and causing failure. Especially during winter, various filter elements must be replaced. Of course, replacements should be based on what’s compatible with your mini excavator. You can see this in your operation and maintenance manual. If you choose an inferior filter element, that might affect your system. It will downgrade the normal use of your mini excavators.
But not only filters, you must also clean your engine coolant before the winter arrives. If the mini excavator has been out of use for a long time, it is a must to empty the cooling water in the engine. If the hose of your cooling system is damaged, you must also replace that in no time.
In cleaning inside the cooling system, loosen the water injection port cover. That will release the internal pressure of the water tank before water is discharged. Also make sure that you did not release the cooling water prematurely. If the body is at a high temperature, it will shrink and crack when meeting with the cold air. The remaining water in the body should also be fully discharged. It will help prevent freezing, splitting, and expansion of the body.
Do not also perform cleaning work in the winter when the engine is running. That will only lead to further problems. It might sound like a tedious job, but remember the benefits that you will reap in the long run.
Buttering might be a foreign word to some, but not to mini excavator owners. If you already know this, then you can skip this part. But, for new owners, make use of this information.
Buttering is an essential daily maintenance tip, not only during winter. If you decided to finally use your mini excavator after a long time—for snow clearing—this is a good suggestion. It actually looks like simple work, but it can affect the life of your mini excavator. If done right, it will reduce the lubrication of various parts of your machine. This will prevent dirt like sand from entering the connection of the working device. It will also reduce the lubrication of the working parts of the excavator.
If the grease is not filled on time, it will not be able to play its sealing role. This will increase the wear between friction parts. It can also reduce the service life of your mini excavators. In choosing the correct grease, consider the temperature and working condition. If the temperature is low, grease with low viscosity and thicker release is the best option.
The battery is one of the lifebloods of your mini excavator. If it does not function properly, you cannot even start your engine. When the temperature decreases, the storage capacity of your battery will also decrease. The best thing to do at this point is to cover the battery with quilt or clothes to keep it warm. You can also opt to remove it from the machine and keep it indoors.
If you want to use your mini excavator the next day, you need to add distilled water or electrolyte. Doing that will prevent it from freezing at night. It will also keep the electrolyte level at normal status.
Store your machine in a suitable area
Winter is already a harsh season for mini excavators. If you park them in improper places, that will even increase the chances of machine failures.
Before storing them, clean your machine by rinsing the sand on its walking part. Put the fuel control lever of your mini excavator in an idle position. All control levels should also be in a neutral position. Always check if other parts are damaged. You must replace them immediately before long-term parking. If the paint on your machine is peeling off, have it repainted to prevent rust.
The storage site must have solid and flat ground, away from harsh humidity, dust, and salinity. If parked in the open air, your mini excavator must be coated with a protective cover. When mini excavators are parked for a long time, the old oil will corrode the engine’s metal parts. As mentioned earlier, it is best to remove the battery and store it indoors. You can also remove the battery cable or turn off the battery key at all times. It is also necessary to remember to start the engine at least once a month to lubricate all moving parts. That will keep the condition of your mini excavators even after long-term storage.
Why Take Care Of Mini Excavators During Winter
Especially during the pandemic, the construction industry had a sudden boom. The money that was supposed to be used for traveling was mostly spent on other areas. The construction business then benefited from that. Renovating or building became a norm. With that, the demand for mini excavators also increased. But like everyone else, this hardworking equipment also needs some health care. After operating throughout the year, mini excavators must also be taken care of. Especially when the winter comes.
When the cold winter comes, we are mostly stuck in our houses. It is hard for us to go out and do all our outdoor activities because most of the time, the cold is unbearable. That is also the case for machines like mini excavators. During this season, mini excavators are in working condition but not properly operated. If owners leave them unattended, that will cause failures in various aspects. That will then impair your business.
It is already an open knowledge that repair costs can be expensive. Doing the following tips above will not only help you save money but will also retain your investment for a long time. Just remember that patience and hard work are important here. Consistently maintaining your mini excavator during winter will definitely lead to optimal results.
Winter is a phenomenon that we cannot escape. The only thing that we can do is to do preparatory and preventive measures. We must make sure that all our machines and equipment are still working despite the weather. If you continue to turn a blind eye, you might even incur unnecessary expenses. Instead of paying for repairs after, the tips above will help you survive the season at less cost.
The coldest season of the year is months long. Doing these maintenance tips regularly can be difficult at times. But like what we keep on saying, all of your efforts will be worth it. Leaving the winter season with no repair cost is the ideal goal. It is much better than spending money on something that is avoidable.