Winterizing Forestry Equipment

Topic: Forest Products
Date: November 21, 2023

Nancy Rigby, BITCO Home Office Technical Specialist, Risk Control

Keep Your Equipment in Top Shape During the Winter Season

Winter can be a harsh season, and taking proactive measures, like winterization, regular inspections, and safety training, can help mitigate risks and keep forestry equipment safe and operational during winter. Taking action today will protect your equipment and improve productivity and peace of mind when facing the winter elements.

Risks of Winter Weather on Forestry Equipment

Winter weather brings additional risks to forestry equipment. Cold start issues, icy terrain, frozen fuel and fuel lines, battery problems, hydraulic fluid thickening, snow accumulation, icy branches and trees, cabin-heating issues, and maintenance challenges can all make it difficult for equipment to operate safely.

Best Practices for Winterizing Forestry Equipment

Winterizing your forestry equipment helps protect your investment and ensures optimal performance and efficiency during the colder months. Use these best practices to help keep your equipment in top shape during the winter season.

  • Change the Oil – We recommend using a winter-grade oil that can handle colder temperatures.
  • Check the Battery – Cold weather can significantly affect battery performance. Ensure your equipment's battery is in good condition and fully charged.
  • Inspect the Fuel System – Make sure there is no water in the fuel, and consider using winter fuel additives.
  • Grease All Joints – To prevent freezing, lubricate all moving parts.
  • Clean the Air Filter – A clean air filter helps your forestry equipment run efficiently.
  • Check the Coolant – Ensure the antifreeze levels are suitable for cold weather.
  • Inspect Belts and Hoses – Replace any worn-out belts or hoses.
  • Replace Worn Wiper Blades – Install winter-specific wiper blades to handle snow and ice.
  • Examine Tires and Tracks – Ensure tires have good traction for icy conditions. Chains can improve traction on snow and ice, reducing the risk of sliding or getting stuck. Inspect tires for any signs of wear, damage, or low tire pressure.
  • Protect Electrical Components – Cover or insulate exposed electrical parts.
  • Store Indoors - If possible, store your forestry equipment indoors to protect it from harsh winter conditions. This is the best way to protect your equipment from winter weather.

Using these best practices will help you tackle any challenges winter may bring – saving you time, effort, and possible repairs down the road. For best results, consult your equipment's manual and consider the specific conditions for your area. We are here to help you run a safer operation. For more forestry-related safety tips, contact your BITCO Risk Control Consultant. Click the button below to find a local agent near you.

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.


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