SnowEx runs down checklist for preparing spreaders for winter

Updated Sep 30, 2019
Washing out your spreader will save you from trouble down the road. Photo: SnowExWashing out your spreader will save you from trouble down the road.
Photo: SnowEx

The first snow of the season may seem far off in some regions, but now is the time to take a look at your spreaders and make sure they are ready for what this winter will bring. Here are some preseason maintenance tips from SnowEx:

Keep it clean 

  • Spreaders can be propped up on their sides and simply hosed out with water to ensure they’re clean.
  • Avoid using cleaners containing acetone, benzene, leaded gasoline, or brake cleaner on hoppers made of polyethylene as it can compromise the structural integrity of the material.

Take a look 

  • After cleaning, check the hopper for scratches or chips in the paint. Touch up these areas to reduce the chances of corrosion and rust.
  • Polyethylene hoppers do not need this, as they resist corrosion.
  • Check to see if any components need to be replaced or repaired.

Treat with grease

  • Depending on the spreader, parts needing lubrication will vary, but you can be sure that bearings, chains and conveyors should be lubricated.
  • Spreaders with electrical connections for components should have a coat of dielectric grease applied to all terminals.
  • Check your owner’s manual to see which components require greasing.

Don’t tense up

  • Consult the owner’s manual to make sure the tension is right on spreaders with belts, chains or conveyors.
  • Make sure the drive belt or chain is never overtightened.
  • Remove any sand or deicing material trapped under the belt before attempting to adjust the tension.

Engine extras

  • If the spreader is powered by an engine, clean it prior to any work.
  • Spray it down to remove any residual salt.
  • Practice regular maintenance on it throughout the winter season.

Hint for hydraulics

  • Hydraulic spreaders should have their hoses and fittings checked for damage or leaks.
  • Change out the hydraulic fluid to the type and viscosity recommended by the pump manufacturer.
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