When it comes to preparing equipment for harsh winters, brutal temperatures and chilly conditions, the most important thing to consider is preventative maintenance (PM). Preventative maintenance is the regularly performed care to maintain a machine’s prime operating condition and the correction of failures or breakdown before they occur.
Here are some routine methods to help prepare your equipment for a successful winter season:
1) Tune-up Kits. Falcon offers a full tune-up kit specific to single and dual burner machines that includes CAD cells, fuel filters and gaskets. A kit such as this could save a lot of trouble later.
2) Clean the floor and the walls of the machine of any excess material that has built up. Residual material has a direct effect on the efficiency of the machine and can affect the heating system, so make sure to keep your machine as clean as possible.
3) Tires. It’s extremely important to check the tread wear on your equipment’s tires. If a machine is not properly leveled to the tow vehicle, it can cause premature tire wear and cause unnecessary downtime.
4) Double-check all of the safety features. Falcon Asphalt is the leading manufacturer of asphalt hot boxes that are designed to keep workers safe. However, it’s always important to double-check safety features, especially in the winter when there’s inclement weather and low temperatures.
Inspect all hazard and warning lights for operation and maximum visibility. Check to see if there is any material clouding them and either remove it or replace the lights. Lower the rear stabilizer jacks, raise the dump bed on trailers, secure the cylinders with the yellow cylinder block located between the battery box and the hydraulic tank box, and inspect the frame of the trailer and belly of the hot box for any wear or damage.
5) Check tack tanks and spray systems. If your machine has a tack tank and/or spray system, winter is the perfect time to service them as well. Inspect and flush the tack tank with an approved chemical release agent to ensure the bottom is free from any build up of residual material to ensure complete and efficient operation. If you have a spray system, you should cycle it more times than usual with an approved release agent to completely clean the lines and free them from any blockage from hardened material. Also, replace the spray nozzle on the spray wand.
6) Treat the tank. Make sure to treat the diesel tank with an additive that prevents gelling and ensure the tank is full. Make sure to also treat the gasoline motor of the spray system, if applicable, with a preservative to prevent any starting issues later.
Also, you should treat the tank with an approved, high quality, high flashpoint release agent like Soy Solve – making sure to avoid any contact with painted surfaces – to loosen any of the residual asphalt that may remain. If you get any release agent on a painted surface, immediately rinse it with water to protect the paint finish.