The early months of the year are considered the offseason for many industries, including construction and farming. But despite the slower pace of work during this time of year, there is still plenty that can be done to ensure you’re ready for spring and summer.
Here are three tips for proper maintenance of your equipment to help you hit the ground running when the weather warms up and things get busy.
1. Clean Heavy Equipment and Tools
Keeping your heavy equipment and tools clean is essential to ensure they continue to operate correctly. The offseason is a perfect time to tackle your big cleaning jobs, before you bring your equipment back out for heavy use.
There are many ways to clean your heavy equipment and the best method will depend on the specific item you are maintaining. While soap and water, or a degreaser, can get the job done for smaller tools, a pressure washer will likely be required to tackle bigger jobs, such as cleaning a tractor, backhoe or excavator.
Remember, grease hardens over time, so pressure washing alone will not be enough in many cases. You will need to remove the grease manually in certain areas, and be cautious not to push out too much grease in high-wear areas, as this could lead to problems down the line.
2. Check for Signs of Wear
In addition to cleaning your heavy machinery and tools, the offseason is also a great time to look over your equipment for signs of wear and to identify parts that may be damaged or need to be replaced. Things like fluids, tires and electrical systems should all be maintained regularly.
Develop an inspection calendar and checklist to help guide you through the process. Following a detailed calendar will make sure you are inspecting your equipment at regular intervals throughout the year – not just in the winter. A checklist of the areas that need to be inspected helps make sure critical items and components aren’t missed. Keeping good records and inspection reports will also help facilitate the maintenance and repair process, as well as save time and money.
3. Lubricate Your Equipment
A good lubricant can help extend the life of your equipment by reducing wear and tear around moving parts. Checking and replenishing lubrication as needed should be part of your regular inspection checklist to prevent problems.
Like anything else, there are specific types of lubricants for different components, so follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to make sure you are using the appropriate lubricant for the job.
TIP: Looking for an all-in-one grease that will protect your equipment from corrosion while delivering superior performance under pressure, high temperatures or damp conditions? Add WD-40® Specialist® Superior Performance True Multi-Purpose Grease to your toolkit to help with heavy-duty applications.