Winter Maintenance Operations for Small Excavators

As the coldest days of winter approach, using and maintaining mini excavators in such harsh low-temperature conditions becomes a test for both the equipment and the proficiency of the user in maintenance. Here are several maintenance methods for mini excavators in the cold winter environment:

After daily use, pay attention to the timing of draining the engine's cooling water. Before shutting down, idle the engine until the cooling water temperature drops below 60°C and is no longer hot to the touch. Then, turn off the engine and drain the water. Draining the cooling water too early may cause the machine to contract abruptly when exposed to cold air at higher temperatures, leading to cracks. Ensure all residual water inside the machine is thoroughly drained during this process to prevent freezing and expansion, which could result in damage.

Use fuel suitable for the local operating temperature. In winter, low temperatures cause diesel to have poor flowability, increased viscosity, and difficulty in atomization. This results in poor combustion and reduced power and economic performance of the diesel engine. Therefore, in winter, it is advisable to use light diesel with a low cloud point and good ignition performance. Generally, the cloud point of diesel engines should be lower than 7-10°C below the lowest local temperature of the season.

In low-temperature environments, equipment starts with heavy-duty work. After igniting the diesel engine, some operators are eager to immediately engage in load operations. For a diesel engine that has just ignited, the low body temperature and high oil viscosity make it difficult for the oil to enter the friction surface of the moving parts, leading to severe wear. In addition, due to cold and brittle conditions, components such as plunger springs, valve springs, and injector springs are prone to breakage. Therefore, after igniting the diesel engine in winter, idle at low to medium speed for a few minutes. When the cooling water temperature reaches 60°C, engage in load operations.

Pay attention to body insulation. In extremely cold areas, if conditions permit, insulation for the machine should be considered. In winter, low temperatures can lead to excessive cooling during the operation of diesel engines. Therefore, insulation is crucial for the effective use of diesel engines in winter. In northern regions, diesel engines used in winter should be equipped with anti-cold devices such as insulation sleeves and curtains. Additionally, the thermostat plays a crucial role in warming up the diesel engine during operation. Therefore, before winter, check whether the thermostat is working properly. If a thermostat is found to be malfunctioning, it should be replaced promptly.

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