into jelly when it’s parked overnight. “Gas stations and fuel suppliers do not replace summer diesel fuel with win- terized diesel fuel until their summer supplies are exhausted, which some- times can last well into pretty cold weather,” Polonski points out. “Adding a few ounces of fuel conditioner and replacing the fuel filter regularly great- ly affects a diesel engine’s cold-start ability.” Companies with their own fuel tanks can treat them as needed. It’s important to allow a diesel engine to run for a few minutes to warm up the engine’s oil and allow hydraulic fluid to circulate prior to placing maximum load on the engine. “Seventy percent of an engine wear occurs during engine start up and shut down. Allowing an engine to warm up slowly, rather than immediate- ly throwing a full load, reduces engine wear,” says Polonski. Magnetic block heaters can also be used on engines and hydraulic tanks to keep the fluids from getting thick, making it quicker and eas- ier to start up and start working. Trickle chargers, while helpful for bat- teries in storage, can also be used on in- stalled batteries to keep them from going flat in the cold. An alternative to trickle charging is using a battery heater. “If you can’t take a battery out, use a battery heater to keep it warm,” suggests Bailey. “It’s a sock that goes around each battery While manufacturers offer training specific to their equipment, which in- cludes maintenance and operation, there isn’t special training for operat- ing an aerial li in winter. “The Inter- national Powered Access Federation (IPAF) training covers a lot, and indus- try conferences oen feature trainings and certifications for proper use,” says Rogers. Crews should be trained to in- spect all job sites with an eye for the potential hazards of moving the equip- ment, as well as awareness of the dan- gers of working alo. Although, Ta notes, “Things to be aware of in winter include looking for moisture build-up to keep them from freezing.” TIPS FOR SAFE OPERATION IN WINTER
Working on snow-covered and icy terrain can be a gray area. Photo courtesy of All Access Equipment.
on sensors, electrical components and other moving parts, and familiarizing yourself with how a diesel engine runs in cold temperatures.” As with any job any other time of the year, a site evaluation is key. In winter months, preparing a work site for safe operation of an aerial li means clear- ing all snow and ice where the outrig- gers will be set up. “It is imperative
outriggers land is clear, secure and level. Outrigger feet should never be placed on any angled slope. The feet must always be level.” Working on snow-covered and icy terrain can be a gray area. “Even if you’ve trimmed at the same house 20 times, when there’s six inches of snow on the ground, everything is different. Driving over snow, you run the risk of driving over a hidden stump and tipping over,” says Bailey. “Aerial lis have rubber tracks, which can be studded. However, studs can damage asphalt, and climbing a metal trailer with studded tracks can result in slipping.” Bottom line, a site sur- vey, proper clearing of snow and ice, setting up on a flat surface and using enough salt and sand to walk on is very important to ensure the safety of the crew and the best operating con- ditions possible for the li. “Things to be aware of in winter include looking for moisture build-up on sensors, electrical components and other moving parts...”
Proper maintenance includes changing air, fuel, hydraulic and oil filters. Photo courtesy of All Access Equipment.
to clear the site where outrigger pads land with a shovel so the area is totally clean of ice and snow prior to setting up a li,” says Polonski. “Additionally, when working on a slope, it is manda- tory and the operator’s responsibility to make sure the ground where the
10 | ArborTIMES Fall 2022
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