With winter just around the corner it is safe to say that your outdoor construction projects are going to be coming to a halt. If you do not have plans to use your Bobcat machine for snow removal then you can safely store it until warmer weather arrives. If you do plan on making snow removal easy with the help of a Bobcat, then you will want to complete a few maintenance tasks to winterize your machine. This way it will preform at optimal levels throughout the winter. Your manual will have seasonal maintenance items, but there are major aspects to keep in mine. Below are five of the most important items to check on our Bobcat in preparation for the summer.
Check Fluids, Oils & Fuels
It is very important to check your machine’s fluids to make sure that any fuel is filled to the correct levels. You can look at your manual to double check which levels are proper for optimal performance. When the temperature drops, it’s important to have your engine oil viscosity match the outside climate. One of the most important fluids to check is your engine coolant, or anti-freeze. You want to make sure they are up to proper levels and other manufacturer specifications.
Change the hydraulic oil filter, as it could have collected water and debris over the warmer months. This will help reduce future maintenance problems as well as give you the best performance possible in the snow. In cold weather, diesel fuel can gel, so operators will want to consider an alternative diesel fuel (No.1 grade) or anti-gel additives. In warm temperatures, No. 2 grade diesel fuel can be used.
Keep Tires Inflated
One of the first signs of cold weather with your machine will be low tire pressure on your skid-steer loader. Low tire pressure can translate into lower lift and push capabilities while you are operating. Check the owner’s manual for the proper psi and inflate tires to the proper levels to prevent any limitations this winter.
Check The Battery
If you have a dead battery, you are going to experience downtime and you will not have the assistance of your Bobcat to complete your task. Take time for a test on your batteries before the first snowfall. Check battery wires and connections for any wear or corrosion. As these defects could result in loss of available cranking power. To help out during your job, keep the battery at full charge with a battery extender charger handy with you.
Attachments such as snow blades, snowblowers, and spreaders are some of the most popular and hardest-working tools in the winter months. They deserve the same attention as the machine itself when it comes to maintenance. Visual checks of attachment components such as hoses, cylinders and guard can help determine if wear is developing or damage has occurred.
Stay Warm & Productive
Popular features found on skid-steer loaders in colder temperatures include heating and defrosting systems. To keep your cab warm and comfortable as well as keeping your time productive, inspect each system to make sure all of the components are working properly.
Also, inspect the cab’s door and window seals to ensure that heat won’t seep out while in use. Be sure to install a new windshield blade and anti-freezing washer fluid if necessary.