Winterizing your equipment is common sense. Don’t neglect it. It takes only a few hours and is much easier to do in your garage or workshop where you have all the right tools. Spending just a few hours in your shop can easily save you many more hours trying to fix a dead battery or blown hose out in the middle of your property.
Be sure to refer to your operator’s manual for complete details. Here are the key items you need to add to your list.
- Make sure you use the proper fluids – Consult your operator’s manual to ensure you have the proper fluids and lubricants in your machine for your particular temperature conditions.
- Batteries that will be used in machines that need to work during the winter months must go into the season with a full charge, otherwise, they could struggle to crank a cold engine.
- Remember, batteries that are below a 70% state of charge will tend to have difficulties starting a cold engine. This is because batteries produce less energy at colder temperatures and the overall state of charge is lowered as well.
John Deere equipment owners should invest in a quality battery charger if they do not have one to prevent the battery from going into the winter season less than fully charged.
Tips if your machine will be dormant for part of the season
Batteries installed in equipment that will be dormant during the winter should be cared for as follows:
- Batteries should be fully charged before being put into storage.
- Batteries discharge over time, however, lower temperatures slow the process. So, if you won’t be using your equipment, it’s a good idea to consider storing in a cool location.
- Operators should disconnect the negative ground cable. This will also help to reduce discharge . Remember to restore the cable before the end of the season.
Important general maintenance tips
- Inspect rubber tires, hoses, and belts for cracking and dry rot. Rubber becomes harder and more brittle in cold temperatures, which can lead to failures that would otherwise not occur during warm temperatures.
- Ensure proper tire pressure. When the temperature falls, check and fill tires until they reach the proper pressure labelled on the sidewall. If tires are equipped with tracks or chains, use pressure defined by the track or chain manufacturer.
- Inspect fluids and filters for water and sediment. This is especially important during the winter because there will be greater condensation buildup. Water will settle at the bottom, so allow fluids to sit for several hours or overnight. Drain a small amount of fluid from tanks, reservoirs, and oil pans to check for water, and remove any water and sediment that may have accumulated.
- Thoroughly clean and pressure-wash the machine. Remove belly pans and service guards to clean mud and debris buildup within the frame.
As we head into the winter months, it’s important to think about machine maintenance. Both active and dormant machines should be given attention to reduce any issues and to keep you moving through the cold weather. For more information about general equipment maintenance heading into the winter, contact the Service or Parts team at Agriquip Machinery.