Although we would like to continue our snow removal activities year round, winter always comes to an end. And as the weather changes over the seasons, we too have to adapt.
One of the important things to do in late spring, when all risk of snow has been eliminated, is to prepare your snow removal equipment for the summer.
Here are some tips on how to properly store your equipment and make sure it is in good condition to start the next winter season.
1- Find the ideal place for storage
Your snow removal equipment should be stored in a sheltered place, protected from the weather and the sun, preferably on a concrete surface. Heat, cold and humidity can all damage pipes, fittings, electronics and paint. Clear all debris from the ground, as storing the snow plows on straw or dirt can cause corrosion and rust. Do not put a tarp over your snow plow. This traps moisture and heat and can damage the plow. Even if you protect your equipment from exposure to ultraviolet light, good ventilation is essential to prevent moisture.
2- Properly position the blades
To keep your hydraulic systems in good condition, put the blades back into their optimal position. For a straight blade system, angle the blade completely. The idea here is to put as many of the chrome or nitrided pistons inside the cylinders where they are protected from corrosion. The exposed cylinder rod should be coated with a spray applied grease for protection.
3- Wash your equipment well
Make sure your equipment is thoroughly washed to remove salt and other corrosive materials. Use a garden hose to remove any particles. Make sure the equipment is completely dry before putting it away.
4- Check the fluid level
The oil and hydraulic fluid levels in your equipment may be lower at the end of the season. Although the system is technically closed, if there is any air trapped in the system, it can cause problems within a few months.
Make sure that the levels of hydraulic fluids and oils are at the maximum so that there is no air in the system.
Regarding the oil, there is no need to drain and replace the oil in your snow plow if it is stored during the summer. However, make sure there is enough.
5- Address paint chips
Touching up the paint is not only aesthetic. Even though your snow plow is made from the most resistant materials, it can happen that the paint flakes in certain places. Even if those spots without paint are small, rust or corrosion can quickly occur.
6- Grease the elements
Any element susceptible to corrosion, or which could be sensitive, should be protected. Your electrical connections may be exposed to moisture during the storage period. Avoid this scenario by cleaning the electrical connections and covering them with dielectric grease.
Before applying grease to electrical components, be sure to thoroughly clean all of the electrical connections, removing dust, dirt and any build-up. Be sure to coat all electrical connections with dielectric grease.
After all these steps, your snow removal equipment is well prepared for summer. No one can guarantee that nothing will happen in those 7 or 8 months, but we know from experience that these storage steps will help your plow last longer.
For more information, or if you have any questions on how to protect your plows in the summer, please don’t hesitate to ask to contact us. Our team can answer all questions regarding snow plows and their operations.