Winter Care Tips for Your Heavy Equipment

While heavy equipment is built to run all year long, weather definitely affects not only your machinery, but also your ability to do your jobs. Let’s face it, when it’s sub-zero wind chill, it’s extremely hard to dig no matter how great your excavator is. In addition, due to extreme heat and extreme cold, your heavy equipment, if not cared for, can suffer undue wear and tear and/or need a costly major repair job. It’s important to care for your heavy equipment during the winter months when Mother Nature can be at her harshest.

Wagner Equipment Co offers the best new and used heavy equipment, as well as Cat equipment rentals. We offer dozens of Caterpillar dealers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, and far west Texas. Our Caterpillar machines are backed by over a century of pioneering spirit, innovation, and high-quality products that will last decades with proper care and maintenance. We offer heavy equipment for many industries, including agriculture, forestry, mining, construction, and more. Guided by our values in action, which consist of teamwork, excellence, accountability, safety, integrity, and communication, we can’t wait to serve you. Below, we’ll offer up winter care tips for your heavy equipment. Contact one of our Cat dealers today!




Check Your Fluids

Fluids, such as oil and coolant, are vital for the smooth operation of your heavy equipment. Odds are, you have fluids that are perfect for the summer, not for the winter. Wagner Equipment Co recommends that you check all of your fluids, including your engine oil. The oil needs to match the outside temperature. You’ll want to invest in and use a low viscosity engine and hydraulic oil so that it will flow faster in the cold weather, rather than waiting for high viscosity engine oil to warm up in order to flow properly. You’ll also want to do an oil change for the season, incorporating this type of oil in all of your heavy equipment.

This same advice holds true for coolants as well. Normally, you run at a 50/50 ratio of coolant and water for your engine. However, when the cold weather hits, you’ll want to make the switch to 30 percent water and 70 percent coolant. This will help prevent your coolant from freezing. However, this could add stress to your water pump so check with your certified Caterpillar equipment service department before making the switch. Also, ensure your radiator fluids are filled as well.


Take Care of Your Battery

If you are storing your heavy equipment for the winter, Wagner Equipment Co recommends that you remove your battery and store it indoors anywhere. This will not only preserve its charge (as long as you have it connected to a battery charger), but it will prevent moisture from getting to it. If you intend to use your heavy equipment during the winter months, you’ll want to test your battery and ensure it has appropriate charge. Check to see if its terminals are free from debris and rust.


Check Your Tire Pressure

You’ll want to be doubly vigilant about your heavy equipment’s tire pressure during the cold winter months. The cold causes your machine’s tires to lose pressure more quickly. Before every use, you’ll want to check your construction equipment’s tires and refill the tires if too low. We recommend that you refill your tires inside a heated facility so that the tires receive the right amount of air. You can also use dry nitrogen to help fight ice crystals that can build up inside your heavy equipment’s tires during cold periods. You’ll also want to replace any worn or balding tires so your heavy equipment does not slip in the cold or on the ice due to less traction.

Check Your Fuel Levels

During the cold winter months, it’s a good idea to maintain full fuel tanks to prevent condensation inside the tank and fuel lines. Your fuel can freeze if left to sit all winter, which will cause you problems the day you decide to start your heavy equipment come spring. Consider a fuel additive to help thaw out frozen fuel filters and remove any of this condensation moisture from the fuel lines. Having spare fuel filters on hand is prudent during the cold winter months as well. For all Caterpillar equipment, you can acquire all of the Cat parts you need, including a fuel filter, from our Cat Parts Store or your local Cat parts dealer.


Store Your Heavy Equipment Inside

While not always possible, it is a good idea to store your heavy equipment inside or at least under a covered structure. This will keep the elements and the harshness at bay somewhat. Let’s face it, having your machine that is worth thousands of dollars sitting out covered by snow all winter is not the best thing. Not only will it be harder to get your machinery going when the spring comes, but your heavy equipment may sustain damage due to the cold and snow.

In fact, if your heavy equipment sits out in severe weather, it can freeze to the ground, which can damage your machine if you need to move it. Wagner Equipment Co recommends that you park your equipment on some sort of raised platform, such as planks, old tires, or bare ground. Remember to raise your attachments off the ground as well when parked in the cold weather.


Warm Up Your Heavy Equipment

Like your car, it’s best to warm up your heavy equipment before use. Hydraulics need to warm up before they will function so the oil can circulate properly. Pipes and hoses need to warm up, and the warmth helps prevent valves from sticking. They can become brittle and break if not. Let your machinery idle for a few minutes before beginning work. This will also allow you to defrost the cab and warm it up as well. You’ll want to ensure that your lights and wipers are working too before you head out for the day.




Wagner Equipment Co has been a leader in offering Caterpillar heavy equipment for purchase or for rent in Colorado, New Mexico, and far west Texas. Our Cat dealers offer the best in customer service, from the moment you reach out to us online, walk through our doors, or give us a call. Our mission is to serve you and your needs, whether you are looking for a Cat part from our Cat Parts Store, or you are interested in learning about Cat attachments for your skid steer loader. No matter your need, we’ve got you covered.

Wagner Equipment Co specializes in more than just the best heavy equipment. We have over 235 certified field service technicians who can come out to your location and service your Cat machine. Through Wagner Parts Exchange, we’ll exchange component parts for you, saving you time in having to wait for repair. We offer on-highway engine and truck service, which include emergency after-hours service to better serve our on-highway customers. We also offer training on our Caterpillar machines so you will be better able to service them yourself. We utilize technology to the fullest by offering fluids analysis service and online payments. You can search our Cat Parts Store inventory online, and shop online as well.

We offer hundreds of agricultural and new and used heavy equipment for you to use personally or for your business. From construction and forestry to mining and road building, we’ve got the heavy equipment for you that will get the job done. Our team is committed to serving you in every aspect of your business, which is why we offer power systems as well to supply you with generators and power equipment to keep you and your buildings up and running in remote locations, or where there is no readily available power source. We offer trailer rentals so you can get your heavy equipment to location, as well as truck rentals. We have over 40 years in this business, which is why we can accommodate your every need. Check out our heavy equipment financing offers as well.

Our team strives for excellence in all that we do, staying safe and accountable to each other and to our customers. We operate with the utmost integrity and communication. We do everything we can to help your small business succeed. Reach out to one of our Cat dealers in Colorado, New Mexico, or far west Texas to get started today!