10 Major Misconceptions in Winter Construction of Excavators
In winter, operating excavators demands careful attention to avoid common pitfalls that can lead to machinery damage or accidents. Here are ten misconceptions that operators should be aware of:

Insufficient Engine Preheating:
Starting the excavator engine in extremely cold weather without adequate preparation is a common mistake. Before ignition, ensure the safety lock control lever is in the locked position, adjust the fuel control knob to low speed, and keep the ignition switch key in the preheat position. After starting the engine, refrain from operating the travel pedal and control levers if the engine oil pressure indicator light is on.

Ignition Assistance with Open Flames:
Using open flames to assist ignition is strictly prohibited. This method involves removing the air filter, soaking cotton yarn with diesel, igniting it, and placing it in the intake pipe to aid ignition. However, this practice can introduce impurities into the cylinders, leading to piston and other component wear, thus damaging the machinery.

Immediate Engine Start without Preheating:
Starting the engine without preheating is harmful to the excavator. Proper preheating involves activating the preheat switch, preheating the engine for 10 seconds, and then starting it. Ensure the engine runs smoothly and check all gauges and indicator lights for normal operation.

Operation Without Engine Warm-up:
Immediately operating the excavator after engine start-up without warm-up is strictly prohibited. Warm-up is essential for both the engine and hydraulic oil. After starting the engine, allow it to run at low speed for no more than 5 minutes, followed by approximately 5 minutes of mid-speed operation in unloaded conditions. Remember to commence construction work only after warm-up is complete.

Oil Pan Heating with Open Flames:
Heating the oil pan with open flames during winter operation is hazardous. This practice can cause the engine oil in the pan to deteriorate and burn, resulting in decreased lubrication and severe machinery wear or even catastrophic failure.

Inappropriate Diesel and Oil Selection:
Choosing diesel, engine oil, and hydraulic oil arbitrarily during winter operation is a significant mistake. Using improper fluids can adversely affect the longevity of the excavator. Opt for low pour-point and high ignition performance diesel for winter use, and ensure the engine oil filter is replaced with one suitable for the lowest local winter temperature.

Premature Cooling Water Release:
Determining when to release cooling water is crucial. Releasing water too early or not at all are both incorrect practices. Failure to fully drain water may cause residual cooling water to freeze and expand, leading to potential engine cracks. Correct procedure involves idling the engine until the cooling water temperature drops below 60°C before draining.

Neglecting Equipment Insulation:
Believing that excavators do not require insulation in winter is erroneous. Properly insulating your machine after completing work is essential for its longevity. Cover the engine with insulation curtains or sleeves, and if necessary, use cardboard to block airflow in front of the radiator.

Inappropriate Travel Operation:
Careless travel operations can lead to accidents, especially in winter conditions. Maintain a steady and slow pace to avoid slipping or sliding. Avoid sudden steering maneuvers or abrupt body swings, as these actions can cause lateral slippage and endanger safety. Keep a safe distance from surrounding obstacles while traveling to prevent collisions.

Neglecting Post-Operation Maintenance:
Completing work does not mean neglecting the excavator afterward. It is essential to clean mud and water from the machine's body to prevent foreign matter and moisture from entering sealed components and causing damage. Proper storage on a firm, dry surface is crucial, along with draining accumulated water from the fuel system to prevent freezing.

These are just a few aspects of excavator maintenance during winter operation. Remember to perform routine maintenance tasks such as greasing, fuel filter replacement, and hydraulic system checks to ensure the excavator operates efficiently.

Excavators play a crucial role in construction, but their performance can be severely compromised without proper winter maintenance. By avoiding these misconceptions and adhering to correct operating procedures, operators can ensure the safety and longevity of their equipment throughout the winter months.
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