How to keep your machines running during hot weather

12 December 2018

Hot weather can cause machinery and equipment to overheat, it can cause engine problems and unnecessary wear. But following these simple steps can overcome them problems.

Increased heat forces components to work harder than they usually would and wear faster, especially with a summer’s workload. Close monitoring of machines and preventative maintenance can help to prevent them costly repairs and breakdowns.

Daily inspections

It’s incredibly important to make daily checks of the hydraulic fluid and coolant, making sure they are topped off and effective for higher temperatures. The coolant expansion reservoir is to make sure it is to the full mark. The modern cooling radiators are made to run completely full to eliminate oxygen from getting into the cooling system. The radiator cap should be checked for check valve operation and proper relief pressure.

It’s also important to confirm the type of coolant used in the machine you are using. The newer organic acid technology is used in more recent machines, while the silica-based coolant is used in the older machines. But mixing the two together and they will start to gel which massively reduces the cooling efficiency. If the machine has OAT, there will be a tag on or around the coolant fill location that can help you identify it easily. You should also check the coolant concentration. It should be 50-50 for the best machine operation, since too much water can lead to much corrosion and a lower boiling point.

Finally, for your daily checks you should test the air conditioning before starting to make sure you will be comfortable in the heat. Make sure to check the windshield wiper operation, tires and tire pressure as the tires can wear out faster in the heat.

Checks for debris

You need to keep radiators and cooling packages clear of any debris. If the machines have auto-reversing fans, operators should manually reverse the fan much more frequently. Or another option would be changing the settings for frequent automatic reversing to assist on removing debris. You should also check the inlets and outlets of the engine hoods for debris build-up to make sure airflow is constant through the coolers. If it is left dirty, things like mud will become solid and difficult to remove. To remove this just used compressed air daily.

Proper operation

It is very important for you to avoid overworking the machine in the heat. Using it more than its capabilities can lead to expensive breakdowns and overheating of the machine. To avoid damage to the machine’s turbos, you need to let the machine be idle before shutting it down.

Service checks

If everything above looks good, but your machine’s temperature seems to be elevated, you should have it serviced to check the thermostat opening temperature.

Remote Monitoring

Most machines now come standard with telematics. One of the easiest things to do with telematics is monitor the engine temperature, get a fleet manager to do this. If there is a strange up in temperature it serves as a red flag for faults or defects on the machine. It helps to catch a failure before it happens

Safe storage

When equipment isn’t used it should be stored in a dry, sheltered place to keep it away from the sun and atmosphere. Moisture could create damage making rust which can affect other equipment systems.


If work is down in extreme heat, owners should make sure the machine is equipped with a high ambient cooling option when it is available. Each machine type and make offers different packages for cooling and certain tier 4 solutions run cooler than others. Please do your research before you purchase on ways to keep the temperature down.


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