Winter Maintenance Tips for Excavators in Cold Environments

In the harsh winter season, low temperatures pose a significant challenge for excavators, impacting their normal operation. Common issues include difficulties in starting the engine, increased wear and tear, and sluggish hydraulic systems. To address these challenges, several maintenance measures should be taken during the winter season.

  1. Select Suitable Diesel: In winter, it is crucial to use appropriate diesel fuel. Due to lower temperatures, diesel viscosity increases, affecting flow and atomization, which results in decreased engine power and efficiency. It is advisable to choose diesel with a lower cloud point, ideally around 5°C below the ambient temperature.

  2. Engine Oil Replacement: Selecting and changing engine oil require special attention. In regions with severe winter conditions, such as Northeast China, it is necessary to consider changing to a higher-rated oil. In extremely cold areas, specialized anti-freeze engine oil may also be used.

  3. Battery Maintenance: Regular maintenance of the battery is essential during winter. Periodic testing, charging, and adjustment of electrolyte density should be conducted. Cold temperatures can lead to a decrease in battery capacity. When inspecting battery electrode connections, any green oxide should be removed with warm water, and a protective agent can be applied after drying. Additional measures, such as insulation with blankets or removal and placement in a warm environment, should be taken to prevent battery freezing.

  4. Cooling System Maintenance: For the cooling system, anti-freeze is typically added to the excavator's cooling system during winter. The proportion of anti-freeze added should match the lowest expected temperature. It is essential to note that the replacement cycle for anti-freeze is relatively long, typically 1-2 years. Regular checks during winter ensure the anti-freeze is functioning correctly and whether replacement is needed.

  5. Cleaning and Maintenance of Excavator Glass: Due to low temperatures in winter, excavators are often left unused for extended periods. During this time, it is crucial not to neglect maintenance. Windshield wipers should be lifted away from the windshield to prevent freezing. When cleaning the glass, anti-freeze should be added to the water tank to prevent freezing.

  6. Check Air Conditioning and Fan Belts: Although air conditioning is not frequently used in winter, periodic checks are necessary to avoid potential issues arising from prolonged inactivity. Additionally, inspecting fan belts and air conditioning belts for signs of aging helps prevent problems like belt breakage.

  7. Inspection and Maintenance of Undercarriage: Regular checks of nuts, bolts, and pipelines in the excavator's undercarriage should be conducted to identify any looseness, leaks, or other issues. Lubrication points on the undercarriage should be greased, and preventive measures such as rust removal and anti-corrosion paint application should be implemented.

These seven points provide a concise summary of winter maintenance measures. However, it's essential not to overlook routine maintenance tasks such as greasing, fuel filter replacement, and hydraulic system checks during the winter season.

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