Winter is Coming – How to Deal with Hydraulics in Extreme Cold Temperatures

Winter is Coming – How to Deal with Hydraulics in Extreme Cold TemperaturesSummer flew by, fall was almost non-existent and now we’re now into the month of December. You’re probably well aware of that fact by the number of Christmas Trees and holiday lights you see decking out the houses that you pass by as you drive about town. On top of that, holiday music is blaring through the speakers in stores as you make your regular grocery shopping or department store run. You can also see the decorations and massive lines at the mall to meet the one and only Santa Claus.

As exciting as the holiday time can be, it isn’t all glamorous. Aside from the hole growing in your wallet as you shop for your family and friends, the temperatures are also cooling off. Some areas have already seen snow and others have blizzards in the forecast. These storms are no laughing matter. Aside from burying whole cities under thick white blankets of heavy snow, these storms can also bring freezing temperatures and blazing winds.

Unfortunately, these inclement weather conditions can cause disturbances in your hydraulic systems if they are not adequately prepared. Here are three tips to keep your hydraulic machinery running smoothly even during the frigid winter months.

  1. Check Fluids
  2. It is important to always check the oil in your equipment before firing it up. Remove the dipstick from the engine, transmission and hydraulic system and check that oil drips from them. If the oil is too thick to drip from the dipstick, it is not fluid enough to start the engine and will cause malfunctions.

  3. Allow Time to Warm Up
  4. Like the human body, hydraulics also need time to warm up before being put through heavy paces. If you run the equipment cold without any warm up time, you can damage the system. This can lead to costly repairs. Instead, warm up the hydraulic system before operating any of the equipment attachments. It’s also wise to half throttle the engine and engage attachments for 10 to 15 seconds before going full steam ahead.

  5. Check Rubber Components Regularly
  6. Cold temperatures can wreak havoc on rubber components. That is why it is essential to check your rubber hydraulic components for tears or cracks before you start to operate the equipment. It is also wise to have spare rubber hoses, seals, mounts and fittings on hand if you are going to be operating in frigid temperatures.

Remember, Bernell Hydraulics is here to help!

If you need help with your hydraulic components, we are here to help! With over 40 years of experience in the hydraulics industry, we know the equipment inside and out. For those in Southern California, we offer 24/7 hydraulic repair services, along with preventative maintenance and retail store locations. For those outside of the area, we also offer full lines of hydraulic components on our website, Bernell Hydraulics.