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.
- 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.