The winter weather is favorable for the grain industry. Why? During winter, grains such as wheat get enough moisture from the snow. The cold weather also helps to get rid of diseases. Also, the snow offers insulation to the grains since the temperatures aren’t as favorable. Since the grains do well during winter, what about the equipment?
Operating Equipment During Winter
During winter, preparing for harsh outdoor conditions and low temperatures is important. There are different measures you should take to protect equipment from damage. If the equipment isn’t protected and prepared, it may cease to be operational during spring.
There are companies in the grain industry that normally work during winter. Such firms need to practice proper and safe equipment operation. It is important to inspect the equipment daily while also adhering to regular maintenance to ensure the machines can operate optimally during winter.
The cold weather isn’t favorable for the equipment used in the grain industry. Before using any equipment, it should be inspected. If there is any issue, it should be addressed promptly before the problem escalates. The daily inspection involves checking different parts, including those below.
1. Battery Health
During winter, the batteries don’t perform efficiently compared to other seasons. The batteries pulling voltage will be minimal during winter. The engine will experience more pressure when starting up the mill rolls or other equipment. If the cold conditions weaken the batteries, it may be difficult to maintain power or start the equipment; to avoid such issues, it is important to ensure the batteries are fully charged. If the battery is frozen, you should avoid charging it. If the battery is charged when it’s in a frozen state, it may explode.
The batteries also charge slowly during winter, and they also die fast. Before using the batteries, ensure the cables on the battery aren’t corroded. Some of the signs that indicate the battery is dying include the following:
• Corrosion on the Battery’s Cables
• Slow Engine Crank
• Battery Being Unable to Hold Charge
• The Electrical Components in the Machine Experiencing Issues
2. Filter Replacement
Always check the filters. If they’re clogged or dirty, they will impact the ability of a machine to start. The equipment may also lose power eventually. When the equipment loses power when operating during winter, it may be stuck in the snow, which means it will develop further issues.
3. Defrosters and Heaters
To ensure the employees are safe and comfortable, the heaters and defrosters present in the machine should be functional. Deforesters help to improve visibility during winter. Maintaining favorable temperature levels also ensures the equipment can move well during winter. If the heaters aren’t operational, the employees will have stiff muscles because of the cold temperatures, and they may be unable to operate the equipment.
4. Tire Inflation
Before operating any machinery during winter, it is important to ensure the tires are fully inflated. It is difficult to maintain tire pressure during winter. If the tires aren’t well inflated, the fuel efficiency of the machinery will be affected, leading to higher operational costs. Also, low pressure means the tires will wear out more easily. The tires may also burst because of brittleness caused by low temperatures. To deal with tire inflation during winter, it is advisable to use dry nitrogen.
The winter weather affects the grain industry in different ways. Fortunately, there are measures companies in the grain sector can implement to deal with each of these issues, and some of them are listed above.