Tag Archives: Equipment

Prepare for the Winter: Machine Winterization Tips

Winter brings shorter days, frigid temps, and slick, icy conditions. During this time of year, we need to take extra care of our equipment to avoid any damage the colder temperatures can bring. Read on to learn some tips on machine winterization!

MACHINE WINTERIZATION TIPS

Follow these best practices to make sure your equipment is ready for winter.

CHECK CHAIN TANKS, FINAL DRIVES, SWING GEAR BATHS, AND GEAR BOXES FOR WATER

Be sure that you are using coolant that complies with ASTM standard D-621, with a freeze point low enough for you climate. If coolant freezes, it can crack the engine block and ruin the engine.

ADD FUEL CONDITIONER 

Fuel conditioner prevents your fuel from freezing and ensures your engine starts in the cold. The amount of fuel conditioner needed varies depending on the brand and model of the machine. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the amount of conditioner needed. Lastly, always match the fuel conditioner to the type of fuel you’re using (e.g. low sulfur).

CHECK THE FUEL FILTER

If the fuel filter is clogged, moisture can build up and freeze in the winter, causing your machine to run improperly or fail to start. Empty the water traps in the filters before cold weather arrives. To avoid downtime, keep an extra set of fuel filters in your cab.

CHECK COLD START AIDS

Diesel engines spray ether into the air system to help the engine start in cold weather. For older machines that have ether spray bottles, check the bottle to make sure it isn’t empty. For new machines with an automatic ether system, inspect the connections and hoses for cracks or loose connections.

CHECK THE BLOCK HEATER

Block heaters keep fluids at the optimum temperature and viscosity. If the block heater isn’t working, oil can thicken, making it harder to turn the engine over and causes added stress on the battery. To test that it is working properly, plug in the heater then touch the hoses to ensure they are warm.

INSPECT AIR PRE-CLEANERS

Large dust particles and debris can build up during the summer and should be removed. Otherwise, snow and ice could collect around them, allowing moisture into the air system, which could cause engine failure.

CHECK BATTERY AND CONNECTIONS

Corrosion around battery connections causes less voltage to be transmitted, and increases strain on the battery. These corroded connections can drain the battery, preventing your machine from starting. Periodic inspections for corrosion can reduce the chance of having a dead battery.

If your machine is still giving you trouble after you perform these winterization tips, contact our service department!

WINTER STORAGE

DRAIN THE FUEL TANK IF POSSIBLE

If you have a diesel engine, either drain the engine or leave it completely full during the winter months. Draining the fuel tank can be time consuming, but this eliminates the possibility of condensation forming in the fuel tank and spreading. Condensation can clog the fuel filter, which can clog fuel lines, carburetors, and injectors.

RUN THE ENGINE AFTER CLEANING

Run your machine after cleaning the engine and replacing the oil so that a protective film of oil coats the internal parts. The oil coating acts as a rust preventative. Pour a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze into the coolant system before running as well, to protect the cooling system up to -34°F.

CLEAN & FULLY CHARGE BATTERIES, THEN DISCONNECT THE POWER LEADS

Never store discharged batteries. Colder temperatures slow the discharge rate of fully charged batteries.

START MACHINES ONCE A MONTH

Avoid starting machines in extremely cold weather. Find a time when the temperature is above freezing to start the machine and fully warm hydraulics after the engine comes to operating temperatures.

DO NOT TRY TO BREAK CRAWLER TYPE MACHINES FROM A BADLY FROZEN SITUATION

The result can be powertrain damage.

COLD WEATHER OPERATION

PROTECT YOUR MACHINE

If you can’t keep your machine inside when it is not in use, try to at least keep a water resistant tarp over the engine. Snow brings condensation, which can cause problems for the entire engine. 

MANAGE PRODUCTIVITY

Cold weather makes the earth harder, and frost can penetrate roadways and aggregates to make utility, road, and crushing jobs much more difficult and time consuming. Winter months have less daylight, so manage your time wisely.

CLEAN AREAS DESIGNATED FOR SNOW REMOVAL

Clean up debris or equipment that will be hidden by fallen snow. Mark any areas of concern with reflective stakes, so snow removal crews can easily identify and stay away from those areas.

PLAN FOR EARTHWORK PROJECTS

Frozen chunks of ground need to be placed in designated areas. The frozen chunks of earth contain water that can cause major issues in the spring, such as sinkholes.

WARM UP THE MACHINE/WARM UP TO IMPROVE STEERING RESPONSE

Let machines come up to operating temperature before working. Steering response on equipment with hydraulic steering may become very slow at low temperatures, even when the correct oils are used. 

CHECK  FOR ICE BUILDUP 

Check for ice or snow buildup in exhaust or intake if applicable. Inspect and clear any ice or snow from the throttle and break area.

STAY AWARE OF SAFETY

Mount and dismount your machine using three points of contact. Remember that you are working with snow, ice slips and falls are a common cause of injuries. Wear your seatbelt when operating equipment and stay alert. 

Prepare not only your equipment and jobsites; but your employees as well for these temperatures, to help avoid any possible personal injuries and downtime from work. Visit our blog to learn more winter safety tips!

Definition Recognition: What is ‘CFM’?

Defintion Recognition!

Every industry houses familiar terms and idioms, maybe not so familiar to others, and the construction and industrial equipment industry is no different. So, we’ve created our new Definition Recognition series to help those less familiar navigate industry terms/phrases, with the purpose to educate and facilitate informed decisions. What does telescopic mean? What does articulating entail? Telematics? We’ve got the answers in our new Definition Recognition series.


In our inaugural edition of Definition Recognition we delve into the ins-and-outs of air compressor “CFM” (cubic feet per minute), what it means for users/owners and how to choose a compressor with the appropriate CFM.

CFM is a measure of air flow and refers to the amount of air a particular unit can expel depending on the pressure valves in use and other considerations, like atmospheric pressure and humidity levels. Sometimes CFM is also referred to as standard cubic feet per minute, or SCFM, because of the potential for slight variation.

When selecting a compressor for the project at hand, CFM is an important consideration. If the compressor will be used to power continuous-demand tools, like pressure washers or similar apparatuses, users should search for compressors that feature a higher CFM.

CFM describes the volume of air a compressor delivers at specific pounds per square inch (PSI, a unit of pressure) levels. The CFM value changes as PSI changes. As you lower the PSI output, CFM increases. A compressor with a higher CFM rating can deliver more air and is better suited for heavier applications such as operating air wrenches and framing nail guns.

Generally, users should calculate the required CFM needed so that each tool/machine can operate then choose a compressor that features a CFM slightly above that number so as to support efficient operation and avoid downtime. Basically, it’s essential to know what the compressor will power before one can select the right compressor for the job.

To see our air compressor options, visit https://www.hugghall.com/air-compressors

ANSI A92: NEW STANDARDS TO REQUIRE CUSTOMER EDUCATION, TRAINING & ENGAGEMENT

ANSI_ NEW REGULATIONS WILL REQUIRE CUSTOMER EDUCATION & TRAINING

Hugg & Hall Equipment Company (Hugg & Hall) is committed to transparency and keeping customers informed of industry updates/regulations to ensure successful transitions and positive experiences.

The importance of educating customers on impact of new standards

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is expected to release new standards for boom and scissor-type lifts, in the coming months. The updated standards have significant implications for the construction, equipment rental and equipment sales industries and will impact prices, training and operations. An important aspect of the implementation will be equipping customers for the change; both for awareness and preparation purposes.

The new regulations are replacing prior ANSI standards A92.3, A92.5, A92.6 and A92.8 which covered manually propelled aerial, booms, scissors and under-bridge inspection machines. The updates are focused on moving North American equipment toward current global standards. The updates to regulation will include: terminology changes, platform load sensing technology requirements, new wind force requirements, new stability testing, new railing height requirements and new platform entry requirements. ANSI and their Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Standards Authority (CSA), are moving toward equipment design standards that will bring North American equipment up-to-date with the current standards implemented in Europe to reduce global variances in the industry.

Educating customers is particularly important because of the, plausibly, profound impact that the new standards will have on equipment operation and prices (on compliant machines). Manufacturers will be forced to invest in production to supply compliant machines within the one-year from implementation limit and the new features and production costs will raise the prices of machines for direct buyers, including rental companies.

The precise impact of the new standards is yet to seen, but it’s clear that the standards will have a significant impact on prices, equipment operation and training procedures. Thus education will be very important to ensure a smooth transition for companies and their customers.

How training will play a part in the implementation of the new standards

Training is expected to play an integral part in the successful implementation of the new A92 standards. New training and familiarization requirements will be implemented under sections A92.22 and A92.24. A significant change to prior requirements is in the new requirement of training occupants and supervisors along with operators. In addition, online theory will be available as an option for operator training.

Occupant training will include the use of fall protection, stability factors, safe use of accessories, work procedures, hazard avoidance, manufacturer warnings/instructions, site risk assessment, general knowledge and basic operation comprehension.

Supervisor training will include proper equipment selection, potential hazards training, applicable rules/regulations/standards and manufacturer operation manuals.

Recently, James Lennartz, Training Manager at Hugg & Hall, spoke on the importance of training as it relates to the ANSI A92 updates.

“We need to make sure that our customers are prepared for the changes so that they do not lose valuable time on their projects,” said Lennartz. “Every single one of our customers are on time schedules to complete their projects and if they are not aware of the coming changes they have the potential to fall behind on the completion date and lose money; their delays cost their customers time and money. A vicious cycle.”

The standards specify requirements for application, inspection, training, maintenance, repair and safe operation of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) formally known as Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs), according to Lennartz.

“Our task as trainers is to ensure that our customers are aware of all changes and how they will affect their daily processes throughout the work day on each jobsite,” said Lennartz. “No one jobsite is the same nor are the conditions at which the MEWPs are being used by our customers. We need to make sure that both operators of MEWPs and their supervisors are able to safely operate and evaluate the use of MEWPs.”

Lennartz elaborated on how Hugg & Hall trainers are strategizing to accomplish these important goals.

“We hope to accomplish this by providing the necessary information in regards to the features, functions, safety devices, equipment limitations and operating characteristics as defined by the manufacturer, utilizing both the standards and operator manuals,” said Lennartz.    

The new ANSI standards will require more customer engagement, which is a primary reason customer education/training, leading up to the implementation of the standards, is essential.

“From what we are seeing the customer is going to have a bigger role in how their operators are using the MEWPs,” said Lennartz.

Customers are expected to be more involved in areas such as safe use planning, records retention, personnel qualifications, training requirements and rescue from height plans, according to Lennartz.

“Personnel operating MEWPs will be trained based on the classification of equipment that they will operate as equipment will be divided into different types and groups,” said Lennartz.

Though the new standards are yet to be released, the Hugg & Hall team is committed to keeping customers educated on upcoming industry changes and is dedicated to providing the needed support and resources.

Optimize Engine Efficiency

Optimize Engine Efficiency

Engine maintenance is a constantly evolving subject which requires regularly updated tweaks to stay current with persistent advancements. Hugg & Hall is committed to supporting their customers and assembled this list of quick tips on how to optimize the efficiency of the most advanced engines.

Fuel

One can’t speak on engine viability without speaking on appropriate fuel usage. One way to improve engine productivity is to improve fuel usage procedures. An issue limiting engine efficiency is ethanol-based fuel. Ethanol is a water-alluring substance. This is bad news for engine longevity because water can inflict corrosive patterns and damage carburetors. This issue can be resolved in a couple of ways. One way is to use fuel stabilizers which work to keep fuel fresh, remove water to prevent corrosion and cleanse carburetors. Stabilizers may also protect engines from gum, varnish, rust and corrosion. However you look at engine maintenance, fuel stabilizers are a great option for better productivity. Another option is to use ethanol-free fuel. Having said that, even if you choose to use ethanol-free fuel, fuel stabilizers remain a great way to better engine longevity. Being mindful of the fuel you’re choosing is the first step in optimizing engine efficiency.

Oil

Another obvious indicator of engine health are the engine oil procedures used. Regularly scheduled oil changes are integral to engine productivity. Most engines require oil changes every 100 hours of operation. However, smaller utility equipment, which utilize air-cooled engines, require oil changes every 50 hours of operation. As improvements to oil and oil systems continue to develop, oil change intervals are expected to extend. It’s important to review the owner’s manual for engine maintenance recommendations and engine oil guidelines. In order to avoid wasting money or damaging your engine, it’s important to have an appropriate maintenance schedule. Another oil tip is to consider full-synthetic oil options as this type of oil is typically designed to accommodate longer usage intervals in higher-heat environments. Some synthetic oil options also include anti-wear components which may improve engine viability. Potential engine oil developments on the horizon include reservoirs which continually exchange oil from the engine to an external reservoir and vice versa. This process reduces the breakdown of oil, keeps engines cooler and thus extends oil change intervals. So be on the lookout for the enactment of this technology.

Air

Air is an important aspect of the efficiency and productivity of many engines. Smaller, air-cooled engines require fresh air in order to maintain a high-level of performance and longevity. Regularly changing engine air filters is an integral maintenance routine with disastrous implications if left undone. Another thing to consider is the use of OEM filters as opposed to cheaper options. OEM/cyclonic filters offer a higher-performing option that extends use by as much as three times. The higher-performing filters also better the productivity of machines and extend the overall lifespan of engines. Engine owners are encouraged to review manuals to ensure that comprehensive, appropriate maintenance is performed regularly.