Shop Talk Blog

The Official Blog for Texas Final Drive

Winter is Coming - Tips for Machine Owners


Winter is coming -- and for many parts of the country, it feels as if winter's already here. But, as owner-operators of heavy machinery already know, winter brings a whole new set of challenges for the industry. In this Shop Talk Blog post, we are going to talk about a few of those challenges and some of the opportunities disguised as challenges that are waiting to be exploited.

Challenges of Winter Shipping

Getting shipments on time during the winter months can be an absolute nightmare because of increased shipping demands and changing weather conditions. That means that you can’t count on the usual shipping times for crucial parts and components. Delays become something that you just have to deal with. About the only thing you can do to reduce those shipping headaches is to try and avoid purchasing at the last minute. If you know you are going to need to replace a part during the winter months, get it ordered before you need it, not after. This will minimize equipment downtime and reduce your own stress levels.


Weather and Your Equipment

Winter weather issues, including snow, ice, and below freezing temperatures, obviously have an effect on winter projects and work schedules. It can also affect your equipment, and often means that you need to use a different type of oil or fuel to minimize cold weather issues. It may be more important to clean off your equipment in the winter to avoid having mud and debris frozen in your undercarriage overnight. In some parts of the country, cold temperatures can make it difficult to get your equipment started and the use of a pre-heater is necessary. If you don't plan on using your equipment at all, then there are some maintenance issues to address to prep it for storage.

Taking Advantage of Inclement Weather

Weather can bring certain types of work to a grinding halt. Depending on the type of work they do, many owner-operators take advantage of this time to perform much needed maintenance, cleaning, and tune-ups on their machines. Suppose you have a machine that has a leaking final drive, and you are pretty certain it’s the floating face seals that need replacing. If work is slow during the winter, this might be a great opportunity to get that final drive back in shape when it will impact your work the least. This allows you to start your next work season with your machines primed and ready to go.

Opportunities for Seasonal Work

Many owner-operators take the winter months as an opportunity to do some seasonal work. In some parts of the country, snow-related work can be quite profitable, and many skid steers find themselves temporarily turned into snow removal machines. Another seasonal opportunity is putting up (and later taking down) Christmas decorations, especially for multi-story buildings and homes.  Complex decorating schemes like the one shown below require more than just a few guys with ladders -- offering you a great chance to put your machines to work. Harvesting Christmas trees is another winter task that many people use their skid steers and compact track loaders for during the holidays.





Winter means both challenges and opportunities. With a bit of foresight and patience, the challenges -- like problems with shipping and cold-weather issues for equipment -- can be minimized. With some creativity and hard work, the opportunities for seasonal jobs and can be exploited and you can use the inclement weather to keep your equipment in prime condition (including catching up on final drive maintenance).


Texas Final Drive is your partner in providing new or remanufactured final drive hydraulic motors from a single mini-excavator to a fleet of heavy equipment. Call today so we can find the right final drive or hydraulic component for you, or check out our online store to find your O.E.M. manufacturer brand motor now.

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Topics: Heavy Equipment, Skid Steers, seasonal

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