Winter Crushing and Screening Tips

As a mining or mineral company or a recycling, rock quarry, or mechanical and metallurgical company, your operations run all year long no matter what Mother Nature brings. Due to the very nature of digging in dirt, you will face many challenges brought about by being outside, from hot, intense heat to cold, windy winters. It’s important that your company be prepared when weather extremes hit in order to continue to serve your customers.

Wagner Equipment Co offers the best new and used crushing and screening equipment. We have partnered with top-rated crushing and screening manufacturers, such as Metso and McCloskey, in order to ensure you have the equipment you need to get the job done. We are an authorized Caterpillar dealer with offices in Colorado, New Mexico, and far west Texas. We offer heavy equipment in addition to our crushers and screeners, which includes tractors, skid loaders, asphalt pavers, backhoe loaders, dozers, draglines, and more. Our entire fleet is backed by our dedicated team who offer you comprehensive repair and maintenance services, genuine Cat parts, and technological solutions, such as fluid analysis. We are here to help answer your questions and find the perfect fit for your needs. Below, we’ll offer up some tips to keep your crushing and screening operation in full swing during the winter months. Contact one of our Cat dealers to get started today!


Allow Your Crushers and Screeners Time to Warm Up

Machines that use a lot of fluids, such as those powered by hydraulics, need some time to warm up and get the fluids moving smoothly. One great piece of advice is to not start your entire machine at once. Instead, choose one part of your crushers and screeners to start first. Often, this is the conveyor belt. This will ensure no damage is done to any of your components if you try to use them and they are too cold.

Ensure Your Fluids Are For the Cold Weather

There are specific types of fluids that are made to handle winter weather and the challenges the cold brings that are different than warm-weather fluids. For example, oil made for the winter has a lighter viscosity (or thickness), which allows the oil to flow through your machines much easier. Summer oils may not be able to flow, which could either damage your crushers and/or screeners or have them not work at all — both scenarios are far from ideal. You’ll also want to make sure your fluid levels are topped off at all times as well during the winter months.

Keep Your Conveyor Belts Moving

You’ll want to ensure your conveyor belts are free from debris, especially ice, before you start them up. Ice can not only freeze your belt, but if you try to move a conveyor belt that has enough ice on it to freeze it to the metal of your equipment, you can cause damage, such as a rip, to occur. Ice also can cause load slippage and plug the chutes. This would necessitate a replacement of your entire belt. Belt scrapers or belt de-icers are great at keeping your belts moving in the cold winter months. Another solution is to always keep your conveyor belt moving, not giving it a chance to freeze at all.

Heat is Your Friend

Just like using heat for your conveyor belt can help keep it moving, using a heater system to warm up the engine of your crusher and screener can help prevent freezing of board fluids. These heating systems also help to reduce idling time, saving on fuel costs, and they keep your crushing and screening equipment moving. Another option that may be possible is to move the delicate parts of your crushers and screeners into indoor storage areas at night. You can also cover them up with a tarp or another material to not only keep the elements out, such as snow, but to also keep them warmer as the night temperatures fall. This is especially prudent with the jaw and cone. In addition, you can wrap your hydraulic lines in heat tape, which is an electrical cable that applies heat to prevent freezing.

Invest in Regular Maintenance

If your crushers, screeners, conveyor belts, and the like are already in bad shape or poorly maintained before the winter hits, the winter will only exacerbate any problems or issues you’ve been having and make them worse. Not only will this increase the amount of headaches for your operators, but you could also increase your repair bills if the cold causes something to break.


Winter is a beautiful time of year for many reasons. Life slows down a bit for everyone since outdoor activities are difficult to do. The days are shorter, so many people go home after work and relax for longer, helping with stress levels and family time. The weather can be beautiful when it snows and you’re tucked up inside with hot cocoa. And, of course, some of the best holidays arrive with winter with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Wagner Equipment Co offers crushing and screening equipment for your needs. We’ve partnered with the top names in the industry, such as Metso and McCloskey, in order to ensure your crushers and screeners stay running all year long, even during the long winters. We are an authorized Cat dealer serving Colorado, New Mexico, and far west Texas. Since 1976, we’ve been offering a whole list of comprehensive services to meet your heavy equipment needs, from sales to service and parts. Our team of highly-trained technicians love to help you find what you need, from Cat attachments to the right Caterpillar part. We can help you with heavy equipment rentals or send out a field service technician to your location. Our mission is to partner with you for your success by ensuring your heavy equipment, crushers, and screeners are taken care of.

If you are interested in our crushing and screening equipment from Metso, McCloskey, or any of our other partner brands, call one of our Cat dealers today!