At first glance, your heavy equipment looks like it’s indestructible. Whether it’s a lathe, saw, car, or machine, all that metal looks bulletproof.
While heavy equipment is most certainly built to stand up to harsh working conditions, there are countless intricate parts that need to be looked after and properly maintained.
A significant part of caring for equipment when it’s not being used is making sure it’s properly stored. At Lucky Horseshoe Storage, we’re experienced with storing heavy equipment, especially in Bend’s harsh winter climate. Keep reading for our best tips and things to keep an eye out for.
Understanding Climate’s Impact on Heavy Equipment in Storage Units
Even when you store heavy equipment indoors, it’s important to consider the affect the outside climate can have.
In Central Oregon, winter temperatures can remain frigid for days, even weeks, on end. One of the most common problems that cold weather can cause is the thickening of fluids like brake, radiator, engine, and hydraulic. When these fluids become too thick, they can cause certain parts to cease functioning as they should.
Battery discharge is something else to keep an eye on as it can keep engines from starting.
Lastly, tires that are left in cold air for too long can lose pressure (PSI). Before you start up any kind of machine or machine or vehicle, don’t forget to make sure all tires are adequately inflated.
If possible, it might also be a good idea to keep a space heater in close vicinity of heavy equipment to help prevent some of these problems.
While the effects of cold weather on heavy equipment might seem obvious, you might be surprised by some of the issues that can arise from dry, hot weather.
First, it’s easy for hardworking parts to become worn down or compromised when they’re used or stored in warm climates.
If the storage climate is especially dry, rubber parts like belts and hoses can become stressed. You’ll notice this if they start to crack or disintegrate altogether.
One more thing to keep an eye on is the water level in your batteries. In hot climates, water can easily evaporate. This causes batteries to short and can prevent the engine from starting.
How to Prepare Heavy Equipment for Your Storage Unit
Any piece of heavy equipment is going to have a complex network of working parts. As such, there’s some work to do before you put equipment away at the end of the season or when you complete a project.
While you surely want to keep your heavy equipment looking its best, it’s vitally important to clean all the parts, nooks, and crannies too. These are the spots where dirt and grime build up. If left uncleaned for a length of time, the debris can cause serious damage to parts.
Once you’ve cleaned out all the parts and gears, make sure you lubricate them before putting everything away. Your owner’s manual should have a detailed description of all the parts that need to be treated. The best part? Your equipment should run without issue next time you bring it out.
Check Screws, Nuts, Washers
As equipment gets used, it’s all too easy for screws, nuts, and washers to gradually rattle loose. Before you store your equipment, make sure all these necessary parts are in good shape and tightened down.
While it’s important to make sure these parts are secure, you don’t want to overtighten. This can cause parts to break or strip.
Make Sure You Have Enough Fuel
When you’re going to be storing equipment for a length of time, especially in a cold climate, make sure your fuel tanks are full. If they aren’t, it’s easy for condensation to get into fuel lines and cause intake issues.
Perform Routine Maintenance
While performing routine maintenance seems like common sense, it’s something far too many people overlook. Does the oil need to be changed? Now’s the time. Are there parts that need to be replaced? Don’t put it off.
By taking care of maintenance issues before storing equipment, you lessen the chances of something going wrong during the offseason.
Keep Everything Accessible
Once you’ve taken all the necessary precautions listed above, it’s time to put your equipment away. When you do, make sure you leave yourself plenty of room to get at it.
Chances are, you’ll need to access your equipment at some point to start it up or give it an inspection. By making sure it’s easily accessible, you won’t have waste time and energy moving a bunch of stuff out of the way.
No matter what kind of heavy equipment you have, it’s worth it’s weight in gold. Whether it’s an RV you use to tour with the family in the summer, or a CNC milling machine that’s the lifeblood of your business, making sure your heavy equipment is stored properly is paramount.
If you have questions about how to store your valuable tools, machines, and vehicles, or what options we have available, give us a call at Lucky Horseshoe Storage in Bend, Oregon. We have car storage, drive-up units, and indoor units to meet your storage needs.