It's officially fall, and time to check your winter equipment for the upcoming winter season. It is crucial this is done during the fall and not when the first snowfall hits. Snowplows and spreaders should be inspected, cleaned and service now to save money and reduce maintenance costs later. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your winter equipment works properly all season long.
Replace all damaged or worn parts
Check all fasteners: with regular usage, they may become loose, so tightening them up is necessary
Check cotter pins and welds: read your owner's manual for instructions on how to do this properly
Adjust trip springs: you must adjust the trip springs to confirm they are set correctly. You should be able to slide a piece of paper between the second and third springs
Look the plow over for areas that may need to be greased. Greased areas may differ depending on the plow, for example, the Western PRODIGY has two areas
Cutting edges should be inspected for uneven wear: the length of the cutting edge should depend on the driver's experience, ground surface type, etc. If it is worn too far, it will begin to wear on the actual blade
Check electrical routing and connections for bends, rubbing or cuts: replace or adjust these prior to usage as needed
Add dielectric grease to all connectors: this will prevent corrosion and attain a proper seal. If this is not done, it could be costly down the road.
Check all hydraulic hoses for leaks, cracks or damages. Also, verify that they are hooked up correctly
Drain and replace hydraulic fluid in the unit yearly. This will ensure the quality of the fluid is always at its best
Verify all snowplow functions are working properly, including the raise, angle left, angle right and lower
Ensure headlamps are providing ample illumination
Test the battery and charge or replace if needed
Make sure the plow mount is correct
Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained as well. Ensure oil changes are performed, and the brakes, etc. are all in working condition
With the hopper spreader in the upright position, lubricate the bed chain and ensure that it is set to the proper tension by grasping the bed chain and checking for one to three inches of chain deflection.
Once the spreader is in the vehicle, attach the shoot (check your manual for proper positioning). Bolt it to the frame of the vehicle.
Make sure bearings are greased on the spreader and chute and lubricate before each use.
Change gear oil in gear box annually to prevent buildup of moisture in the gear box.
Check the drive motor chain to ensure it is lubricated and set to the proper tension. Verify there is sufficient clearance between the gear box and drive motor sprockets.
Under the hood of the vehicle, verify the power cables are installed directly to the battery. Ensure the terminals are clean.
Inspect the 100 amp fuse and apply dielectric grease.
Inspect harnesses to ensure they are well-secured and remain away from hot or moving components.
At the rear, inspect the electrical harnesses are routed free from sharp edges, heat source and moving parts. All connectors should be checked for damage or corrosion. In season, apply dielectric grease after each use.
Inspect electrical connections to ensure they are tight.
Test run your hopper spreader to ensure it's running properly.
Happy winter preparation!