Cold Weather Crane Operation | The Ultimate Checklist
Authors: Walter Payton Power Equipment Digital Team, Under the Direction of Brian Lynch
Cold weather can have a huge impact on cranes. From the hydraulics, rigging devices, and hoists, cold temperatures can impact the performance of the crane, potentially leading to a downed piece of equipment on a job site. We all know the importance of keeping equipment operational on a job site, as this could shut the entire job site down. During these cold months, it is important to follow proper procedures to ensure safety and a job well done, and ultimately keeping the job site operational. Learn more in our ultimate checklist for cold weather crane operation.
- Protect your machine: If your machine can’t be kept inside when not in use, make sure to keep a weather-resistant tarp over the engine. Snow will cause condensation, leading to problems for the entire engine.
- Manage daylight hours: Winter months have shorter days, so manage your time wisely.
- Keep the jobsite clean: In order to avoid potential mishaps, make sure to clear all ice and snow from your jobsite. During winter months, it is essential that jobsites are kept neat and clean.
- Clean areas before snow removal: Make sure you clean any debris or equipment that will be hidden by the snow. Designate areas of concern with reflective stakes so that snow removal crews can easily recognize and avoid those areas.
- Use the best fuel: Only use high quality, diesel fuel.
- Check starting devices: Make sure that block heaters and cold weather starting devices are functioning properly.
- Have a spare fuel filter: Keep your extra fuel filter in the cab and make sure to follow installation instructions in your operator’s manual.
- Monitor ice buildup: Check exhaust or intake for ice or snow buildup. Clear any ice or snow from throttle and brake area.
- Warm up to improve steering response: Even when correct oils are used, low temperatures can cause hydraulic steering systems to slow down. Once your engine is started, allow the machine to idle until the engine reaches operating temperature.
- Be mindful of safety: When working with snow and ice, slips and falls are common cause of injuries. Wear your seatbelt when operating equipment and maintain three points of contact when mounting or dismounting your machine.