Winter is around the corner. For services who use vacuum trucks, this means it is time to winterize. Colder temperatures can increase wear and tear on sensitive pumping equipment, reducing its lifetime expectancy and increasing repair costs. To avoid having to look for replacement vacuum trucks for sale, companies who use these type of vehicles should take the following steps to keep their equipment running well and reduce the damaging effects that winter’s chill can bring.
Use the Right Oil and Antifreeze
Oil is essential in keeping all vehicles running smoothly and preventing serious damage to the engine and other mechanical parts. It is produced in various viscosities for use in many different temperature conditions. When the temperatures begin to dip, engines should be protected by switching to a lower viscosity oil until spring. These thinner formulas heat up faster and flow easier, which is better protection for vehicles in colder weather.
It is also important to ensure the radiator is flushed and filled with the proper antifreeze to prevent freezing as low as the local temperatures are likely to get. Using a heavy duty oil designed for winter conditions is the most important way to prevent engine damage that could lead a vacuum service company to have to shop for more vacuum trucks for sale.
Switch to Snow Tires
Before the ice and snow arrive, switch the tires on the fleet so that operators have additional traction and will not be caught unprepared. Snow tires can be an essential aid when vacuum trucks are loaded down, making travel more dangerous on slick roads. Also, make sure each vehicle has a set of tire chains stored in a toolbox for locations where they are legal.
Check and Service the Equipment
Maintenance before the onset of colder temperatures is essential to ensure that all equipment is working properly and receives all necessary care. Special attention should be paid to the vacuum pumps and hoses, as well as hydraulics and blowers. All parts that require it should be lubricated so they do not receive any unnecessary wear and tear. All filters should be changed and fluids topped off. Check for system leaks that could become more problematic in cooler temperatures. Additionally, ensure the cab heater inside the vehicle is working, along with other basic essentials such as the windshield washers and the defroster.
Install Heated Valves
Besides the standard maintenance that all fleet vehicles should receive, heated valves can also be a great help on vacuum trucks to prevent valve freezing. Heated valves might be an extra investment, but the alternative of dealing with frozen gate and knife valves can be just as costly or cause the equipment to become unusable until the valves defrost. These should be installed before temperatures start to approach freezing so they will function when required.
Wash the Tank Frequently
When the weather gets bad, vacuum trucks are exposed to various chemicals and preparations used for de-icing the roads. These chemicals can be especially harsh on truck tanks, which often become coated with them. Prevent corrosion by washing vehicles often in the winter, paying particular attention to the underside of the chassis and tank.
Working outdoors in cold weather turns vacuum services into more challenging operations. To avoid equipment damage and keep job efficiency high, vacuum truck companies should begin to prepare now for chilly winter conditions. This vital seasonal maintenance can make the difference between unnecessary repairs or even the need to purchase new vacuum trucks for sale - and getting the full service life from fleet vehicles already in operation!