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Keeping your Equipment Running in the Cold

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With cold weather finally settling in across much of the country, it is important to make sure you are ready to continue operating in the cold. A few helpful tips will keep not only your crusher, but also other heavy equipment running when the temperature drops.
  1. Cold weather means the possibility of diesel fuel gelling. Diesel that has gelled can cause the engine to not start at all or shut down mid-operation. Make sure that glow plugs are functioning, your fuel filter is clear and if temperatures are very cold, make sure your fuel is warm enough to reduce gelling.
  2. Since diesel engines need to be warm to induce combustion, if temperatures dip, installing a block heater and covering the radiator fan may be necessary for startup.
  3. Make sure your coolant, oil and fuel mixes are temperature-appropriate. Many fluids have specific operating temperature ranges so it is important to make sure your fluids will continue to operate normally when it is cold out.
  4. When starting equipment up in the cold, make sure to give the engine time to warm up before operating the equipment.
  5. While you should always conduct a visual inspection prior to starting up, it is especially important in cold weather. Look for anything broken, cracked or missing. This is especially important when temperatures go above and below freezing frequently. Water can leak into spaces and constant refreezing can cause premature failure or cause parts to break.
  6. Make sure your batteries are full charged. It takes more amps to get an engine to turn over in the cold. If a battery is nearing the end of its useful life, replace it. If possible, install a battery warmer. If shutting down for an extended period, it may be appropriate to remove the battery and store it indoors.
As always, it is important to review the operator’s manual for each piece of equipment you operate so you are aware of any equipment-specific tips for cold-weather operation.