Aerial Equipment Winter Weather Prep – DC machines

Aerial equipment winter prep
Winter weather prep: DC machines

When temperatures drop, it is important to winterize your aerial lift equipment to keep them operating in extreme cold climates. This two-part series provides a general guideline for winterization on battery-operated and diesel-powered machines.

Follow these steps to prepare your DC, or battery-operated, machine for winter weather.

  1. Check Hydraulic Oil

    All Snorkel lifts globally are delivered with ISO 32 hydraulic oil that allows the machine to operate in temperatures as low as 0° F (-17° C). If operating or storing lifts in sub-zero temperatures for extended periods, check for oil contamination. The colder the temperature, the more likely oil will freeze and prevent operation.

    • A milky appearance indicates a high degree of condensation or the presence of water in the oil
    • Foaming means the oil is aeriated, and the machine must undergo troubleshooting to repair any opening
    • An unusual smell could mean the wrong fluid was poured into the machine

    If any of the above is found, the hydraulic fluid needs to be flushed and filled with new oil before operation.

  2. Check Batteries

    Flooded lead acid batteries on your battery-operated aerial lift could have an average life span of 48-72 months. If stored in climates below freezing, batteries could freeze and require replacement. Below are items to check while maintaining batteries.

    • Check the age of the batteries
    • Check the fill condition
    • Charge the batteries and perform a load test when the batteries are warm
    • Check all connections for cleanliness and tightness
    • In extremely cold temperatures, it is recommended to install a battery warmer

 Read the next part of this series for tips on winterizing gas- or diesel-powered machines.