The end of winter is near, and that means storing your winter equipment is something that maintenance managers need to start thinking about as we get closer to spring. It’s not just about where that equipment will be kept, but proper indoor storage involves preparing the equipment to stay inside and out of use in the off-season.
Properly storing your winter equipment is important to extend its lifespan and avoid preventable repairs. As well, if your equipment is new and you have a warranty, storage may well fall under a maintenance clause in the agreement.
When it’s time to store your winter equipment, you want to be sure you leave it ready to be used as soon as you need it next year, so be sure to conduct a thorough inspection and address any issues before you put it away.
Fuel and oil
Leaving fuel in a machine over the spring and summer can cause breakdown, deposits, and buildup that can permanently damage your fuel system. To avoid this, you can drain the fuel system or add a stabilizer to the tank. If you are going to add a stabilizer, it is recommended that you add it to a full tank and then run the engine for a few minutes to ensure that the stabilizer runs through the entire system. Also, check fuel lines for cracks and replace them where needed so everything stays in good working order.
This is also a great time to change the oil, as old oil can contain moisture and contaminants, causing damage over time.
If your equipment needs a battery that will not be used for spring or summer jobs, remove the battery, check its efficiency, and clean any grease or debris. It is not recommended that your store your battery directly on the ground, as it can lose its charge, so store it in a clean, dry place where you can easily access it when you need it next.
Snow removal equipment
Cleaning the underside of your snow removal equipment is a valuable step in extending its lifespan. Be sure that it is clean when you put it sway, free from debris, salt, moisture, or anything else that may cause rust. Scrape away dirt and debris and wash the underside with soapy water to get it clean. As an extra step, you may want to use a silicone spray to help repel water during storage.
Want to store and reuse your de-icer or salt? Simply sweep it up and put it in an airtight container to use again next year.
It’s important to take the best care of your equipment possible, even when it’s being stored for the next season. Check on the equipment periodically through the off-season for damage so that you can be sure it’s ready for you when you need it next winter.
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