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Preparing Your Equipment for Winter Pays Off

Photo of frac rig in snow

Winter’s unpredictable weather and cold temperatures are upon us. To get the most out of your equipment and reduce downtime, it is vitally important to prepare for the winter months. This is the time to make an appointment with Western Branch Diesel for a tune up, which is designed to increase engine life and optimize fuel economy.

“A tune up is essential preventive maintenance going into winter. You have to take care of industrial equipment, just like a car,” says Mike McElwain, Regional Off-Highway Service Manager, Western Branch Diesel. “If you stay up on regular maintenance and get tune-ups, you’ll maximize your fuel economy, and your machinery will last longer.”

As part of the winter tune-up, Western Branch Diesel’s factory-trained technicians will check the batteries, transmission, lubricant levels, treat the fuel, and more. Depending on the application, other steps can be taken to prepare for colder weather:

  • In industrial applications, machinery should be kept clean and clear of mud and dirt in the wheels and pivot points, where it can freeze.
  • Oil and gas equipment can benefit from draining air, so moisture doesn’t buildup and freeze when the machinery isn’t running.

Regardless of the application, it is essential to keep valves adjusted and let the engine warm up properly, so it runs well in extreme temperatures, preventing unnecessary wear on the engine.

Fuel begins to freeze at 32 degrees, waiting for fuel to thaw out in the morning increases downtime. Adding a fuel additive will prevent overnight freezing.

“Block heaters are a great option to keep your engine in ready-to-start condition. We have many options available and can help you select the best one for your equipment,” says Robbie Stiles, Off-Highway Foreman, Western Branch Diesel. “Scheduling tune ups keeps your engines running to optimum clearances and set to specifications, and heating equipment can be added at that time.”

In South Charleston, Rick Hammonds, Foreman, Western Branch Diesel, has already begun winterizing equipment for coal companies in the area. During the year, he emphasizes preventive maintenance every 250 hours, with a bumper-to-bumper review. Technicians look the equipment over and if something is going bad or needs attention, it’s part of his commitment to customer satisfaction to let them know.

“I’m trying to prevent downtime for customers, and a visual inspection can do a lot. Not only is preventive maintenance highly recommended, but preparing for winter is as well,” says Hammonds. “In the coal mines, if there is no electrical available to run ready lines, it’s important to have a block heater or allow the machinery to properly warm up. If you run equipment before it’s warm, you can burn out cylinders. Western Branch Diesel can service all trucks and mining equipment and add block heaters to new and older machinery.”

To schedule a winter tune up, contact Western Branch Diesel to schedule an appointment: