With winter around the corner, companies operating machinery in outdoor or cold-temperature environments should consider the lubricants they use. Adjusting the oils, greases and fluids used to keep equipment running smoothly will ensure operations remain resilient when the cold starts to creep in.
Read on for some useful tips to head off mechanical trouble this winter.
Low-viscous engine oils in winter
It’s a smart move to adopt engine oils formulated using the latest technology available. These oils are made with modern engine need in mind. As part of this process, manufacturers from Mobil to Shell optimise oils for higher output and far lower consumption of fuel. These built-for-purpose and expertly developed oils must take on far tougher work than engine oils previously produced. They must typically manage a much broader temperature range and often work far more hours. They must also protect complex after-treatment systems, like diesel particulate filters.
As a rule, low-viscosity lubricants have long been used for lighter vehicle classes. Now, these specialist products are making a breakthrough into new sectors, servicing both heavy-duty vehicles and dedicated construction machinery. These oils enhance operational reliability during winter. The pumpability and low-temperature attributes found in modern oils reduces abrasion on bearings during cold starts.
The thinner oil flows far more easily, allowing it to reach every part of an engine at a more rapid rate. Using these oils offers engines the ability to run for longer between drain intervals and enjoy less maintenance downtime.
Rust preventatives on and off road
When iron alloys like steel are exposed to air and moisture, rust can occur. In winter, when the weather becomes poor, snow and ice can wreak havoc on vehicles working outside. Rust preventative oils can keep systems safeguarded, sealing parts and components, stopping this menace from taking root on mechanical equipment, from stationary plant machinery to heavy vehicles.
Modes of transport using winter roads will need extra protection. To safeguard highways and byways and reduce accidents, roads are treated with rock salt and other substances to provide additional traction for vehicles. When this treatment is kicked up by ongoing traffic, it comes into contact with vehicles, causing corrosion. Using oils that include additives designed to protect metal parts from corrosives and rusts will help companies avoid damage and disruptive repairs and keep their fleets operational over winter.
Extended service life and considerable fuel savings
Perhaps the most important rule for using lubricants in colder climes is to always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will offer advice designed to specifically suit their product and this will include the best solutions for lubrication under different temperature ranges.
Using the correct form of lubrication will improve mechanical performance. In the short term, this makes practical sense in terms of fuel economy, which leads up to significant savings. However, the long-term benefits are that equipment will enjoy a much longer active service life, allowing firms to see a substantial return on their original investment.