Before it snows

With winter coming on strong and early in many parts of the country, now is a good time to be sure your snow-clearing equipment is ready for service when the time comes.

Trucks that will require snow tires or chains, or be equipped with plows, should have their maintenance logs updated, and oil, windshield washer fluids, and antifreeze checked and replaced as needed. Now is also the time to replace your crew’s shovels and ice scrapers, before the first snow flies and they start to sell out fast. And, if you can, stock up now on snow-melting materials while pre-season sales are still available.

If snow plowing is part of your company’s winter work routine, this is also prime time to renew contracts and sign up new prospects. Business start-ups in your area that weren’t around last winter are among the best places to canvass—they might not yet realize how important your plowing service will become when the snow starts piling up.

Plows and plow-equipped trucks are your most vulnerable winter equipment, so take extra care to get them in top shape. Plows should have their wear-point grease fittings cleaned and charged. Also check hydraulic pumps, hoses, and fittings for leakage, and to be safe always top up with fresh hydraulic fluid. Test and adjust the lights, if necessary, and other electrical connections. And closely inspect plows to be sure all nuts and bolts are tight and properly torqued, all metal welds are intact, trip edges are not too worn down, and the trip and return springs are functioning properly.

Finally, whether you do the maintenance yourself or entrust it to your plow or vehicle dealer, be smart and draw up your own pre-season plow inspection checklist to ensure that your gear will be ready and able when you roll out this winter.

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