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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have been hit with a real mass of arctic air. Temperatures are at about -25 to -30 degrees celcius (-13 to -22 Faerenheit) Normally we have temps around 0 to minus 8 celcius. We have a big storm heading this way tomorrow, and another one right after that. How do some of you guys who normally plow in weather this cold do it? What are some tips to make sure things run properly in this kind of weather. I just went out to start the plow trucks and both aint' gonna start. Besides plugging in what else can you do to keep things from breaking down in this cold?
 

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What ya could do is . Put thinner oil in the engines, maybe add dipstick oil heaters to all of them or even park them inside if possible. Try to park the out of the wind if possible. Maybe even start them every 6 hours or so and let them run for a while. That's all that i can think of. Good Luck!
 

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Run real plow fluid in the pumps, realize that everything is more brittle at these temps (plastic, hoses, steel)

Warm up the trucks before you head out (5 min?) No need to idle up. Heck it could take a half hour for my diesel to idle up to operating temps.

Remember when it is that cold the snowflakes are small and fluffy. It is hard to get a big dump when the temps are that low.

-33f is COLD... I can deal with the 0-10 which is normal for us, but when it gets down to those temps it hurts.

At least you don't have to worry about the truck overheating during transport. I block my entire radiiatior with the plow high and straight to maintain operating temps.

Howard
 

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The good news is that when it's that cold the snow is typically very light powder.
 

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Oh and as for getting your truck started...

Magnetic drain pan heaters, battery warmers, jumpstarting, bring the battery inside to warm, Drain the oil and warm it inside all are "tricks" If you have it plugged in, then they should all start.

My diesel has started at -35F, with 5w-40 synthetic and the block heater plugged in all night.....

How long do you have them plugged in? At least 3 hours is needed.

Howard
 

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I hope your sidewalk crews are ready! Plenty of gloves and coffee or cocoa. Just hope your the one in the truck most of the time. I'd probably leave the windows up too!:p
 

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Thanks!
Sat. High 68*F Low 48*F Sun. High 70*F Low 65*F
Mon. today High 65*F Low 55*F tonight 30*F
Tue. High 35*F Low 17*F
Wen. High 30*F Low 9*F
What a change you sent the cold!
How about some snow!!!!!! Please
 

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Make sure your fuel has been properly winterized and it wouldn't hurt to have some kerosine on hand in case your diesel gels up. I've never had much luck with after market anti-gel additives, but cutting diesel with kerosine always works.

Make sure your fuel filters aren't past due for change either. If they are marginal for fuel flow to begin with, they will almost surely clog at those low temperatures.

In addition to what others have mentioned, you can place a tarp over the engine area and secure them to the ground with bricks. This will help insulate the engine bay from the wind too, and allow your block heaters to be more effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I ran the trucks today for a half hour to warm them up, and everything is plugged in. The snow will be arriving tomorrow mid morning, and we are going to get hammered. Its cold now, but as the storm moves in its going to really warm up as the precip moves in. This is the same storm that gave record breaking rains to Hawaii just a couple days ago. Shuld be interesting as we have only had 1 1/2 to 2 inch snowfalls. It looks like we'll get two plows out of this one. It sure is nice having a "normal" winter. Last year we plowed 3 times all winter. This year 2 X November about 3X December and 1X in January already. I'll be sure to send this storm out east as soon as we make our money from it:cash :burnout
 

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For your sidewalk guys, electric socks will help a lot. They can also wear light cotton gloves, and put a handwarmer in each hand, then put mittens on over the cotton gloves. Gore Tex® hats with ear flaps are great to have too. Rain gear can help stop the wind from cutting right through you.

You can stuff those handwarmers between layers of clothing. I suggest you carry some in the truck too. If for any reason you cannot get the truck started, at least you have a heat source with you that will last for a few hours.

You can zip tie some pieces of cardboard to the grilles of your trucks to block the radiators if reaching operating temps is a problem.

One of the worst things I can think of is if it warms up, and snows, and that frigid air comes in behind it fast.

Ask wyldman about plowing on top of the snow last year. If the frigid temps come with the snow, then DO NOT apply salt or de-icers. It will make it much harder for you to plow.

When the snow and ice bonds to the pavement, you better be sure to have spare trip springs on hand.

~Chuck
 

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My son the eternal pessimist, although it will get cold it probably won't be half as bad as he says:D . When it comes to snow he does all the worrying, I just go out and plow and break down, then he cleans up after me. :D I think he might be right this time though.
As far as his sidewalk crew? another son of mine who will probably forget his gloves at home, or lose them in his room by the time morning comes.
I really do love these two guys though, they never fail to amuse me.
 

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Windmill - I know what you mean, my side walk "crew" (my son Josh, age 13) is the same way. I get him all this cold weather gear just for the storms and what happens? It's time to hit the road and we can't find anything because he left it at a friends house or it's wet because he wore it out the day before! One of these days he will learn (I hope):D
 

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All my equipment gets plugged in. The hydraulic tank on my topkick is getting a magnetic heater. On some trucks you can disengage the hydro pump, start the truck and let it run for 20 minutes, shut it off, reengage the pump and restart. Saves alot on the starter.

When it gets below 0, and I have to plow, I usually leave the trucks running. I know companies that leave a truck running overnight to jump the others. Some loggers have radiator quick connects, so you can run warm antifreeze from a truck through the skidder engine to warm it up.

When I used to log, it usually took 2 pick-ups and a small fire under the skidder to get it started when it was -20 or worse. Of course, the chain saw bar oil wouldn't even move at those temps either, that was another whole story.
 

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tractor supply sells great magnetic engine block/oil pan heaters that plug into any 110 outlet. run about 30 bucks or so. make a huge difference on my trucks and vw tdi cars. FYI I don't recommend leaving the magnetic heaters on while driving, they don't stay put by the magnet alone, find some way to afix them to the block/oil pan. good luck with the weather, Ontario just got cold this morning.
 

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I always wanted one of those esspar heater deals but thankfully it dont get cold enough here enough times to justify the $$$.

Remeber that even if your truck is all warm the rear end front end and all the other fluids arnt warm yet so be gental at first. Synthetic fluids in the rear/front/TC is not a bad idea IMO.

If you have a diesle having an extra fule filter on you is a good idea. That way if it gells you can be on your way. I have also heard that those battery sock warmers on the fule filter if you are running into gelling problems can help save your but if you get a load of bad fule.

I run a EMulsifing fule additive called total power and like it. Just stay away from additives with alcohol in em. The emulsify vrs demulsify is fairly heated debate but I would go with one that disperses the water and keeps it in solution(emulsify) as apposed to clumping it together(demulsify) and having the factory drain deal with it. It dosnt sound like it make sense but without going into it deeper I believe its the way to go. Also try to keep your tank off the bottom of the tank.

I cant remeber what you have in the way of trucks but if its an older unit make sure the heat riser and all that jive is in good working order.
 

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and jegs. com sells some heaters by moroso and kennedydiesel.com sells some glue on type heaters.
 

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How do you feel about the dipstick heaters? I never really thought much of them, I don't have a diesel, but the gasser cranks pretty slow too when its 0°F too. I was thinking this might help, would battery warmers help at all?
 

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starting problem

I would get an auto starter if I remember right mine has a auto start if the temps get below a set temp it starts and runs awile not sure if every 6 hour or so .
 

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I also found one of those heaters that stick on the oilpan, from JCWhitney, I was thinking it was kind of expensive compared to the KATZ brand I found at Farm and Fleet. Is it good to heat the oil, or would it be better to heat the coolant in the block?

Stick on oil pan heater
 

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best to have warm oil but warm water will help quite a bit. be carefull that what ever heater you use for oil dosnt get so hot that it kinda cooks the oil. Shouldnt be a problem but its something to keep in mind.

A guy I knew(he was FOS so I dont know weather to believe him on this or not) said when he lived way up north he would put an electric blanket on the motor and close the hood for the night. Dont know if it would work or not but if you got a ratty one it might be a cheap thing to try. It definatly wouldnt work better than an actual block heater but it might help keep a little heat in the motor and worse case you would pretty much be garunteed to not have any snow on your hood :rolleyes:

Synthetic or semi is a good idea in the motor too in colder temps since it has a lower pour point.
 
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