As the end of winter draws nearer, it’s time to start planning what the warmer months of your year are going to look like– for you, and also for your equipment! A snowplow that is improperly stored is a snowplow that isn’t going to last you a terribly long time, and you’ll end up pouring more time, money, and effort into repairs and replacements than you really need to. Taking the time to do some end-of-season maintenance on your snowplow can end up paying dividends down the line. Not only will it keep your equipment in good shape for longer, but you’ll be able to take the plow out of storage and be ready to start working quickly and easily at the start of the next winter! Here’s what your post-season maintenance for your snowplow should include.
Over the course of the winter, your plow is exposed to lots of different substances that you don’t want sitting on it for long periods of time. This includes not only dirt and debris from the roads, but also salt, sand, old grease, and other nasty things. The first step in your routine before you put your plow away for the year should always be a deep clean to ensure that it’s not covered in any gunk that will corrode or damage it during the off season.
Once your plow is clean, it’s a good idea to check over your paint job and touch up any chipped or worn spots. Depending on the material your plow is made of, unpainted spots could be prone to rust, and even if you aren’t using a plow that might rust, a good coat of paint helps to protect the base material from other corrosive substances that might damage it.
You should be doing this during your pre-season check and throughout the winter as well, but before you put your plow away for the warmer months, give it one last good check over the hydraulic system. Take a look at the pump and connections, looking for loose connections and damaged or worn-out hoses and fittings. It’s also wise to change the hydraulic fluid before the plow goes into storage.
While your plow is spending the off-season in storage, it doesn’t need to have the springs tightened up to a workable tension– after all, it’s not going to be working! Loosen up the spring tension before you put your plow away for the season, and retighten the springs again when it’s time to start plowing again in the winter.
A well-greased plow is protected from moisture and its requisite damage during the summer months, so make sure that you hit the snowplow’s moving parts, like pins, joints, and pistons, with a healthy layer of lubricant during your post-season maintenance. The electrical components of the plow need their fair share of grease, too– a coat of dielectric grease will help to protect them from corrosion.
Cover and Store
Once everything is all ready for a long summer’s nap, it’s time to cover and store your plow! Adding a cover creates one last layer of protection from anything that could damage your plow during the off-season, so it’s an important step and not one that should be skipped. You should always store your snowplows indoors if you can, so that they can be kept out of the high temperature fluctuations of the hot summer days and cooler nights and so that they won’t be out in the weather all season.
If you take the time to run through these steps before putting your snowplows away for the year, you’ll be making a wise investment in the future of your equipment, and doing yourself a favor for when it’s time to get back out on the streets again next winter! If you’re interested in learning more about snowplow maintenance and how to get the most out of your plows, you can continue to read our blog here at Levan Machine and Truck Equipment.