It's that time again, so we've decided to republish the article about the best practices for preparing your winter equipment for spring through fall. See below for a refresher.
Snow and ice are so last season. Like much of your equipment, plows and spreaders are a seasonal and expensive necessity. Proper equipment storage and maintenance is not only essential to ensure your investment works effectively, it's also a quick process. Check out these steps and helpful tips for preparing your equipment for storage.
SNOWPLOW MAINTENANCE & STORAGE
Clean your snowplow. Your plow worked hard this winter season. It's probably dirty and covered with remaining salt and sand residue. While it may seem like a small step, it is crucial to wash this off. Doing so before storage ensures optimal performance the following season. Additionally, remove any rust from your plow's finish. You may also apply a wax coating to further protect the plow.
Change the plow's hydraulic fluid. Ideally a plow's hydraulic fluid should be changed twice a year - once when taken out of storage and again before storage (especially if you suspect a hydraulic fluid leak). This ensures there is no corrosion promoting moisture sitting within your plow.
Thoroughly look over your plow. Look for hydraulic fluid that appears after washing your plow to check for potential leaks. Visually inspect the frame for cracks, buckles or any bowing.
Disconnect plow and protect electrical connections. Disconnect your plow per manufacturer instructions. Follow this up by putting dielectric grease on all electrical connectors (truck AND plow). This prevents corrosion. Put caps on or plug together all electrical connections.
Grease your plow components. Use grease to protect and lubricate joints, hinges and pins. Doing so increases the protection against corrosion.
Remove spring tension. While it is necessary that the springs are tightened during operation, it is unnecessary during storage. Release the tension so the coils touch one another, but not so much that they hang loosely.
Move your plow to its storage location. Storing your snowplow inside keeps it dry and safe from theft and vandalism. For extra protection, you may choose to put a padlock on it. If you must store it outside, park it on concrete, asphalt or gravel and not on grass or dirt, which hold moisture and can corrode your plow. Additionally, if you store it outside, you may cover it, but don't attach a tarp too tightly (moisture will get trapped).
SPREADER MAINTENANCE & STORAGE
Wash it down. A simple step, but one of the most crucial for reducing rust and corrosion, is washing your spreader. Prop it on its side and hose it out, thoroughly cleaning the whole spreader.
Grease your spreader. Lubricate bearings, chains, conveyors, rollers and augers with grease or oil. In addition, you should apply dielectric grease to electrical connections to prevent corrosion and ensure easy reconnection.
Increase the tension (skip this step if your spreader has no belts or chains). Unlike your snowplow, tension on your spreader's belts, chains and conveyors should be tightened. Before tightening, ensure there is no deicing material or sand trapped underneath.
Check the engine. Some spreaders have engines that require routine maintenance. If your spreader has an independent hydraulic system, change the fluid and check the hoses and fittings.
Store your spreader. Ideally, you want a location that's dry and protected from the elements.
You can learn more about spreader storage at www.snowexproducts.com.