In the winter months, when cold weather conditions set in, regular maintenance and a heightened awareness of how to keep vacuum excavation equipment operating properly is required to avoid costly repair expenses. In the oil and gas market alone, there are thousands of vacuum excavators at work in oil fields across North America, and a majority of these units are working through the winter in extremely cold conditions. As a basic rule of thumb, it’s important to follow any winter maintenance recommendations outlined in the operator’s manual. These tips will generally include the following:
- Check coolant and use recommended antifreeze/water mixture for the lowest temperature expected during operation.
- Make sure the water heater works properly.
- Use hydraulic oil and lubricants designed for the cold weather.
- Maintain the battery by removing and cleaning cables, cleaning cable ends and posts, and cleaning and tightening the terminals.
- Change fuel filters routinely.
Consider cold weather Vactor truck options
Make sure equipment is designed to operate in cold temperatures. Vactor vacuum excavation trucks are designed to operate in temperatures as low as minus 40-degrees F (minus 40-degrees C). Vactor Manufacturing offers a number of cold weather options, including heated storage, heated water pump and water heater cabinets, and heated warming cabinets. Vactor vacuum excavators featuring the new Kenworth T880 chassis can be equipped with an arctic package including a block and pan heater, heated fuel water separator, coolant tank heater, battery pad heater and arctic hose options for colder extremes.
Stay tuned next week for more winter vacuum maintenance tips from Vactor. To learn more about our Vactor truck and vacuum truck rentals, contact Haaker Equipment Company!