You may not want to think about it but winter is coming. That means it is also time to start thinking about how to keep your employees and construction equipment safe during the cold weather months.
When driving construction equipment on the roads it is essential that you do all you can to prevent accidents. This includes keeping your headlights and tail lights clean and making sure you always have enough windshield washer fluid.
Of course the best way to stay safe on the roads is to slow down. Ramps and bridges freeze more quickly than other road surfaces so it is imperative that you take extra care when traveling on these types of roads. You also should increase your following distance, especially when you are traveling behind snow plows.
In order to keep your equipment running well when temperatures drop dramatically, here are some important safety reminders for vehicle maintenance:
- Dirty air, fuel, and hydraulic filters can lead to power loss so make sure that they are cleaned or replaced on a regular basis.
- Keep in mind that tire traction decreases on icy or frozen ground. Drive as slow as necessary to maintain control of equipment.
- Use extreme caution when charging batteries when temperatures drop. A frozen battery is likely to explode.
- Make sure your heat and defrost systems are in good working order.
- Warm up your equipment slowly to give hoses and wires to time reach the proper operating temperature.
- Equipment that sits for long periods of time can freeze to the ground, which can lead to damaged tires or drive train when it is moved. Parking equipment on raised surfaces will help prevent such damage.
- Always look for snow-covered objects that could damage equipment, especially below the undercarriage. When possible, remove snow on equipment before using it.
There are days when you will be short on time and in a rush but failing to take the time to ensure your equipment is ready to go can lead to disastrous consequences. That includes damaged equipment and even worse, injury or loss of life.