As we head into the coldest days of the year, it is important to winterize the job site so your team is safe and protected, the site is free of hazards, and the equipment operates correctly.
It may already be late January, but we are still waiting for winter here in the Northeast. It’s not too late to prepare and the coldest days may still be in front of us.
Here are our top 9 tips to winterize your job site.
Drain the gas or use ethanol-free gasoline in the tanks of equipment with small gasoline engines. Ethanol destroys the carburetors of small gas engines and while ethanol-free gas is expensive, the extra investment now will more than offset a costly repair or replacement when a tool doesn’t work in the future.
Bring all equipment with gas engines into the shop the day before it will be used. A gasoline engine that is not frozen will perform significantly better when needed.
Whenever possible store battery operated tools in the shop or a climate-controlled environment. This prevents batteries from draining on a very cold evening.
Remove caulks, glues and adhesives from the trucks or vans. Just one or two nights with below freezing temperatures will ruin these materials.
Make sure all vans and trucks have at least a half a tank of gas at all times. This reduces the potential for vapor lock when attempting to start on a frozen morning.
Make sure all tires on vans and trucks are well-suited for winter conditions. The cost for new tires on a regular basis is far less than an accident.
Windshield washer fluid in vans and trucks must be winter formula. Fluid that is not rated for winter can freeze on the windshield and in the reservoir, creating a much bigger problem. If you’ve ever had to change reservoirs for windshield fluid, you know what I’m talking about.
Protect yourself and your skin. Wear gloves and other protection when handling metal products and specifically metal studs which tend to get angry in winter and bite back more frequently in colder temperatures.
Dress accordingly; a good first layer is always a good idea. You can always take extra layers off but once you are cold it can be tough to get warm.
These are our top 9 tips, but there are plenty of other things you can do to protect your site and your team. What else would you include? Tell us in the comments.