It’s been a busy season, and now that winter is here you’re ready to store your equipment away for the upcoming seasons. Before you do so, it’s vital to remember to winterize your equipment. Although maintenance may be the last thing you had in mind, it will save you time and money in the long run.
Taking the extra time to check and winterize your equipment will ensure your business is prepared and ready to go once spring comes around. Contractors who put off winterization “until a more convenient time” quickly learn that there’s nothing less convenient than an unexpected breakdown—especially one that could have been prevented with good maintenance.
But, what does winterizing your equipment consist of? For items that will be put away for a few months, the task typically includes a thorough cleaning, inspecting and replacing parts, making sure all systems are functioning properly, lubricating, draining or stabilizing fuel and proper storage.
Below is a checklist for winterizing and storing your equipment:
- Drain or Stabilize fuel to ensure it moisture does not build up
-Drain: Best for small-engine equipment
-Stablize: Best for larger equipment
- Clean equipment to get rid of built up debris
- Inspect equipment
- Order replacement parts (wheels, bolts, blades, seals, belts, fasteners, o-rings, etc.)
- Tighten bolts, loose screws and nuts (after each use, ideally)
- Sharpen blades
- Lubricate and oil moving parts to prevent them from drying out in the winter
- Spray hinges and moving parts
- Wipe wooden handles with tung oil to keep them from drying out and cracking
- Drain engine oil and change oil filters (Note: Oil gets sludgy as it sits unused in an engine—this
- makes the engine work harder, wearing it out more quickly.)
- Change air filters
- Replace spark plugs
- Squirt some oil into the cylinder head, then replace spark plug with some oil around the seal
- Pull out the battery and store in a warm spot
- Hook up to battery charger if possible
- Clean dirt and debris any hand tools (rakes, shovels, clippers etc.) before they go into storage
Rely on Central to help, whether it’s questions about winterization of equipment and other systems, troubleshooting, or recommendations on the newest technologies. We stay at the leading edge of the industry and we’re ready to help you grow!