The winter season is a booming one for the forestry industry, as it’s widely recognized as a good time of year for logging. In fact, the frozen ground makes logging easier, and often safer, for John Deere skidders and other forestry machinery. However, the same conditions that create an optimum logging season can wreak havoc on forestry equipment if it is not properly cared for. Read on for helpful guidelines to winterizing your machines and keeping you and your gear safe.
Properly winterizing your machine at the start of the season and perform routine upkeep, can prevent winter conditions from becoming bleak and frustrating for you and your crew. Winter upkeep focuses on keeping your workhorse healthy in fluctuating weather conditions, free from ice and snow that could damage pipes and undercarriages, and keeping your engine and gas tanks safe for use.
The first step of winter maintenance is to consult the operator’s manual for guidelines regarding engine oil and coolant, and fuel. Check your battery before the season begins, and periodically through your work season. Your owner’s manual will also advise you to check the hydraulic and fuel filters, and give you specifics as to when they should be replaced for optimum performance. Check electrical wiring, inspect rubber hoses and parts, and remember to refill your fuel tank daily. Grease up any unpainted metal parts on the exterior to protect them from the elements.Inflate your tires to the recommended PSI for maximum stability. Be sure to remove any debris (ice, snow, branches, etc.) before taking your equipment on the road. Finally, if possible, store your equipment and attachments in a storage facility when not in use to keep them out of the elements.
As any good operator knows, it is incredibly important to warm up your diesel engines in the mornings before beginning your work. Skipping this step could result in leaks or gasket failures. By taking the time to wait for the engine oil and coolant gauges to indicate they are ready and in the right operating range, you allow both the hot and cold engine parts to fully expand and ensure that you won’t damage the engine.
The number one priority for any logging site is safety. Regularly obtain a full safety inspection of your equipment to avoid failures that could be hazardous to the operator or ground crew.
If you purchased a John Deere skidder or other forestry equipment through us, you can rely on the John Deere Uptime Services we offer to help you manage your fleet of machines. This special fleet management program allows you to increase uptime by working with professionals who can diagnose issues remotely (before they impact your work), conduct machine-health prognostics, optimize your machine, and more.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional with 30 years under your belt or this is your first logging season, you work hard and you rely on your equipment to get the job done. Keeping your forestry equipment in top shape during the harsh winter months protects your machine and your investment, and keeps you moving.
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