Washing out your spreader will save you from trouble down the road. Photo: SnowEx
The first snow of the season may seem far off, but now is the time to take a look at your spreaders and make sure they are ready for what this winter will bring. Here are some preseason maintenance tips from SnowEx:
Keep it clean
Spreaders can be propped up on their sides and simply hosed out with water to ensure they’re clean.
Avoid using cleaners containing acetone, benzene, leaded gasoline, or brake cleaner on hoppers made of polyethylene as it can compromise the structural integrity of the material.
Take a look
After cleaning, check the hopper for scratches or chips in the paint. Touch up these areas to reduce the chances of corrosion and rust.
Polyethylene hoppers do not need this, as they resist corrosion.
Check to see if any components need to be replaced or repaired.
Treat with grease
Depending on the spreader, parts needing lubrication will vary, but you can be sure that bearings, chains and conveyors should be lubricated.
Spreaders with electrical connections for components should have a coat of dielectric grease applied to all terminals.
Check your owner’s manual to see which components require greasing.
Don’t tense up
Consult the owner’s manual to make sure the tension is right on spreaders with belts, chains or conveyors.
Make sure the drive belt or chain is never overtightened.
Remove any sand or deicing material trapped under the belt before attempting to adjust the tension.
If the spreader is powered by an engine, clean it prior to any work.
Spray it down to remove any residual salt.
Practice regular maintenance on it throughout the winter season.
Hint for hydraulics
Hydraulic spreaders should have their hoses and fittings checked for damage or leaks.
Change out the hydraulic fluid to the type and viscosity recommended by the pump manufacturer.