Posted by Rob Leib on Sep 16, 2010 in Bobcat, Bobcat Skid Steer, Bobcat skid steer loaders, Bobcat Skidsteer, Skid Loader Attachments, Skid Loader Tracks, Skid Steer, Skid Steer Loaders | Comments Off
At Skidsteer Solutions, we get a lot of calls from skidsteer owners who want to know about winterizing their skidsteer loader. And as we start heading into fall, it’s not too early to have a winterizing plan.
Depending on where you live, they won’t stay that way for long. Here at the Skidsteer Solutions offices in Bellingham, WA, we’re lucky because our average lows for winter are around the mid-30s, so we don’t have the same issues. But many of our Skidsteer Solutions customers are in climates that suffer brutal winters.
Five Winterizing Tips from Skidsteer Solutions
Winterizing your skidsteer loader focuses on a few, easy maintenance factors.
1. Tire pressures decrease with falling temperatures, so make sure your skidsteer tires have the right pressure. And a slow leak will turn into a fast leak in colder weather. So make sure nails and screws or bent rims are remedied. (Of course, Skidsteer Solutions’ flatproof tires would have prevented those. I’m just sayin’.)
2. Winter weather will also require up to twice as much initial cranking power from a skidsteer battery on start-up. So a load test is in order for anything less than a brand-new battery. Unfortunately, Skidsteer Solutions doesn’t sell batteries, so you’ll have to contact a local battery shop or skidsteer dealer.
3. Just as with your car, all the fluids in your skidsteer loader need to be checked on before it gets cold outside. Your owner’s manual will give you the specs for your machine, but be prepared to use lighter-weight oil in the motor. Don’t overlook your hydraulics either. Hydraulics take a beating throughout the year, and cold, dry weather can increase the likelihood of cracked seals, higher viscosity and leaks. And check your filters too. Most engine coolants double as anti-freeze fluid as well, so it is crucial that your skidsteer loader be topped up.
4. If your region is especially cold, you may need to consider mixing your normal #2 diesel fuel with a lighter version that resists gelling. At around 30º Fahrenheit, #2 diesel fuel begins to gel, so if you regular operate your skidsteer loader in the cold, a mix of 90% #2 and 10% arctic fuel could help. Check with your manufacturer to make sure you use the best fuel mixture. (Visit the Skidsteer Solutions website for their information.)
5. Your machine may be mechanically ready to go tackle the drifts, but don’t forget about your own safety and comfort when the temperatures get low. A quick check of your skidsteer loader’s heating, defrosting, and defogging equipment could save you from dangerously reduced visibility, and a miserably cold ride. Also, consider a cab heater from Skidsteer Solutions if yours isn’t working properly.Read More