An excavator is a heavy piece of equipment that can be found on many large-scale construction sites. Unfortunately, these machines are not necessarily built for Ontario winters, and they require winter-specific excavator training for safe and effective operation.
Our knowledgeable excavator training team at 5th Wheel Training Institute has provided a few pieces of information to help you navigate the winter. Continue reading to learn how to prepare your excavator for the winter and how best to utilize it in the ice and snow.
Tips for Using Your Excavator During the Winter
Preparing your excavator
During the winter, it is essential to prepare all of your construction equipment so that it does not break down during an important job. The best way to ensure your excavator runs properly as temperatures drop is by selecting an oil that can withstand the change in temperature. Synthetic oil and multi-grade oil are two great choices given the changing seasons in Ontario. However, during extremely cold temperatures you will need to switch to a winter diesel in order to prevent freezing. Another way to prevent freezing in your oil tank is to maintain a nearly full tank at all times. This will prevent snow and ice from condensing and freezing inside your tank. It is also important to add coolant to your excavator as the temperature dips during the cold months. Approximately 50% coolant will help you combat even record low temperatures in Ontario. Our final tip for preparing your excavator for the winter is to ensure your batteries are working properly so that you do not need to call a mechanic in the middle of a job.
Preventing winter-related problems
There are a few great additions that you can implement in order to prevent your excavator from running into problems during the winter. Consider installing engine block heaters and coolant heaters to warm up the engine before use. During our excavator training in Ontario, students will learn the importance of allowing this piece of equipment to warm up for a few minutes before tackling a job. Another great addition to your excavator is a water separator, which will prevent wax from accumulating in your oil tank. Operators should also stay on top of clearing their equipment of ice and snow to prevent damage.
How to operate an excavator during winter
At 5th Wheel Training Institute, we are dedicated to protecting our students by educating them on how to safely operate heavy equipment throughout the seasons with excellent Ontario excavator training. It is important for excavator operators to be mindful of traction, and ensure the machine is not sliding in the ice or snow as this could lead to serious damages and safety issues. Operators should also allow their excavators, trucks and any other heavy machinery to warm up for 1-2 minutes before using them.