Top 10 Cold-Weather Working Tips

Working in cold weather presents it’s own unique set of challenges that might not normally occur in warmer weather. While our equipment & components are heavy duty and weather proof, following the tips below will lead to the best diesel engine and lift operation performance, maximize your up-time.

1 )  When working on sites with snow or ice on the ground, clear all snow and ice where outriggers will be set up. Outriggers MUST be set up on solid ground, free of snow and ice. 

– Clear site where outrigger pads land with a shovel so area is totally clean prior to setting up lift. 

– Stabilize & secure all outrigger pads with a larger ground pad or plywood in case of the ground freezing and/or thawing. 

– When working on a slope, be sure the ground where each outriggers lands is clear and secure. This is mandatory and the responsibility of the operator.

2 )  Replace Kubota engine fuel filter every time you perform engine oil changes.  

The fuel filter is the very first place fuel clogs happen. Without fuel flow, the engine will not work. Filters are inexpensive and can be quickly and easily replaced. Call (978) 712-4950 ext. 3 to order new fuel filters today!

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3 )  Replace hydraulic filters regularly. Clogged filters reduce hydraulic flow and slow down lift operation. This is especially important during cold weather. 

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4 )  Spray light lube on ALL microswitches on a weekly basis, especially the switches activated by outrigger lock pins. Light lube will prevent any moisture from freezing on microswitches.

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5 )  Turn key switch on to glow plug position prior to cranking the engine. Light will light up, then turn off when glow plugs are hot.  

Always utilize glow plugs to start Kubota engine during initial start up. Glow plugs are activated by turning ignition key to the first position. Hold key in this position until light turns off, then crank engine. In extremely cold weather, turn key off and hold key in GLOW PLUG position again. If Kubota diesel engine is already warm, glow plugs will not activate. This is normal.

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6 )  Always use a multi-grade quality engine oil such as 15W-40. For extremely cold temperatures, check Kubota engine owners manual for manufacturer’s instructions. 

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7 )  Always add a small amount of fuel conditioner when air temperatures drop below 35°. Gas stations and fuel suppliers do not replace Summer fuel with Winterized fuel until their Summer supplies are exhausted.  

Adding a few ounces of fuel conditioner and replacing the fuel filter greatly effect a diesel engine cold start. If you can’t get fuel to the engine, the engine will not start.

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8 )  Clean battery terminals: Shut off main battery disconnect switch, disconnect ground (-) cables first, then wire brush ALL terminals. Every connection should be “bright and shiny”. Use dielectric grease on all terminals, then securely re-attach cables.

On older machines, disconnect ground strap on frame, then use a grinder to clean ground strap contact area. You want to make sure it is free of paint, corrosion or rust. Wire brush strap end and bolt. Apply dielectric grease and tighten. Cover connection with dielectric grease.

9 )  Allow Kubota diesel engine to run for a few minutes prior to placing maximum load on engine. This allows engine oil to warm up and also hydraulic fluid to circulate and warm up.

10 )  Always clean snow and ice from machine prior to operating lift.

Following the steps above will save you a lot of time and greatly minimize problems. 

If you have further questions about maintenance, service intervals, or products we would recommend, please reach out to our Service Team at (781) 222-0096.