Preparing Heavy Equipment for Storage
Preparing Heavy Equipment for Storage
November 25, 2021
The cooler months can bring a change of pace for businesses, farms, and other operations that use heavy equipment. If you have large (and costly) pieces of equipment that will sit unused for a long period of time – weeks, months, or even years – it’s important to stow it away properly so it’s ready to go when needed without extra hassle. Read on below for some information that may come in handy if you find yourself packing away your heavy duty gear this winter.
Cleaning and Prep
You’ll want to do a thorough cleaning of the equipment before locking it away for the season. Depending on the usage, this may include dirt, debris, mud, grease, salt, or a host of other particles and substances to clear away. WD-40 Specialist® Cleaner & Degreaser is a water-based, non-flammable, non-aerosol formula that’s powerful to use and safe on sensitive surfaces. Use it to cut through grease and grime by either mixing with water for general use or spraying directly onto hard-to-clean areas.
Check the equipment for remaining pools of water or moisture, and clear fluid lines as well before storage. If the machinery uses fuel such as gas or diesel, empty tanks and clear the fuel lines as well. Depending on the type of equipment, you may wish to completely disconnect from power sources such as batteries or engage long-term storage settings (if unsure, check owners’ manuals or manufacturer recommendations). Certain types of machinery might also have tag-out or lock-out procedures to activate for safety.
Pre-Storage Checks and Maintenance
The last thing you want to encounter when you retrieve heavy equipment from storage is to find something broken or inoperable when it’s time to get back to work. Set yourself up for success by conducting pre-storage checks on the equipment to ensure you’ve identified and corrected any current issues. You’ll also want to lubricate moving parts, top off fluids that are not to be drained, repair exterior damage (such as chipped paint), add extra air to trailers, machinery or vehicles with tires. WD-40 Specialist Heavy-Duty Grease is an excellent choice for maintenance of farm and construction equipment as well as many types of machinery. Every piece of equipment will have different requirements, so again you may wish to turn to an owner’s manual or manufacturer-issued guidance on checklists to tackle before locking the equipment away for a few months.
Documentation and Accessibility
It’s possible that you may not be the person recovering the equipment when the season turns, so documenting maintenance procedures, checklists, and work completed before storage can be very helpful. Add information such as license plates, identification numbers, parts and components inventories, and contact info for who is responsible for the equipment. Knowing what items require access during the off season or what will be first in line to emerge can create opportunities for convenient placement during storage allocations.
Location, Location, Location
While you may have squared away your equipment with all I’s dotted and T’s crossed, the location remains a primary concern. If the business, property, or agency responsible for the equipment has a designated space, so much the better, but if you are renting storage or utilizing an unfamiliar space then you’ll want to conduct some due diligence before handing over the keys. There are some important questions to ask regarding security, environment, reputation, cost, and a host of other factors. ReadyMachinery.com offers some advice on selecting storage facilities and providing tips on what to know before you act.
Pro Tip: Protecting heavy equipment from rust and corrosion during storage is a big deal for preventing unnecessary costs and downtime when they’re recalled to the field. WD-40 Specialist Gel Lube can be applied on horizontal, vertical, and inverted surfaces for protection that lasts up to 6x times longer than the competition.*