This heat wave is no joke – welcome to summertime! Summer heat is not often thought of as an equipment killer, but hot weather can cause just as much damage as cold weather and snow. Fortunately, at Eagle Power and Equipment we have plenty of experience in protecting equipment from harsh conditions.
Today, we want to give you some tips and tricks to save your equipment from damaging weather this summer. It can be simple to keep your machinery safe, but certain precautions and inspections should be followed to ensure a quick startup every time.
Inspect the Coolant System
When you’re in the middle of a construction project, the last thing you want is an overheated machine. In fact, nearly 40% of equipment downtime in the warm summer months is related to equipment cooling system malfunctions. Remember, coolant should be flushed and replaced at least annually, though equipment that is run frequently should be inspected more frequently. Keep a close eye on the hoses as well, since they can become dry and cracked under direct sun exposure.
Avoid “Peak Heat” Times
Your equipment will perform its best if you avoid use between 10am and 3pm. These are considered “peak hours”, when the temperature will be at its worst and the sun its most damaging. Besides damaging your equipment, you’re doing the most damage to yourself and your workers during these hours as well, since these are peak times for skin damage with the sun directly overhead. We recommend achieving heavy equipment use either before or after peak hours to minimize damage and create the most comfortable work environment.
Store Equipment Properly
This tip isn’t just for summer – proper equipment storage is essential year-round. However, in the summer, storage in direct sunlight is a perfect way to cause premature breakdowns and slowed production times. Storage in a shed or garage is ideal to keep the machine cool and dry when it’s not in use; if you’re particularly pressed for indoor storage space, a tarp over the equipment works just as well to limit direct sun exposure.
Check Your Tires Frequently
Tires may not seem like something that would be affected by the heat, but blowouts are actually at an all-time high during summer months due to over-inflation and improper care. For every 10˚F the temperature rises, the pressure in your machine’s tires increases by 1 PPI. Tire blowouts, especially in equipment with oversized tires, can be extremely dangerous for workers and machines alike. Spend some time this summer checking your tire pressure and adjusting it to fall within manufacturer specifications, particularly with some wiggle room upward in the hot summer months.
Whew! We need a cold drink after that list! For more information or to pick up some equipment for your summer projects, give us a call at 215-699-5871 or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!