“Don’t use a pressure washer on the main control panel. It’s water resistant, but you can do damage to the panel...” Preparing a li for storage differs from preparing it for use in winter. “If stor- ing for the off season, you should give your li a thorough cleaning, fresh grease and hydraulic fluid, and give the engine a complete service,” sug- gests Ta. Taking the time to remove all body panels and give the li a thorough cleaning will make it easier to assess maintenance opportunities come spring. “You can blow out the inside of your li with a leaf blower or air compressor and wash it just like a car, with a bucket of soapy water and then go over it with wax. You might even touch up the paint to prevent rust,” says Bailey. “Don’t use a pres- sure washer on the main control pan- el. It’s water resistant, but you can do damage to the panel if you blast it with a high-pressure stream of water.” says Polonski. “Make a habit never to rely on old batteries for equipment that is your bread and butter. It will always cost you money. If the battery is more than three years old, replace it.” An additional maintenance task that is easy to overlook is cleaning. Simply clearing off the machine at the end of every job with a leaf blower will go a long way in extending the longevity of a li. “The biggest issue we see is not properly cleaning the equipment aer each job and a customer being surprised when dirt, wood chips and shavings, or other job-site debris caus- es failures,” says Ta. WINTER MAINTENANCE FOR STORAGE
“If you can, store your li inside. Oth- erwise, put a protective cover over it,” says Ta. Protective covers can be a sturdy tarp, a lean-to or a portable carport, and should be large enough to cover the tracks to prevent the sun from dry-rotting the rubber. Having a layer of tarp under the tracks will help, too, if the li can’t be parked on a trail- er or patio blocks in the off season. If the aerial li will be parked for two- plus months, remove the battery and other removable electronics and store them indoors. “Storing a battery in an unheated garage is fine as long as it is kept on a trickle charger to keep it from going flat,” suggests Bailey. Small critters have a tendency to seek shelter in winter, and can cause ex- pensive damage to wires and hoses, regardless if a li is stored inside or outside. Bailey suggests heading to the local cra store for high-density foam to make temporary plugs: “DIY plugs will close off large areas where critters can crawl into the boom. If they chew on electrical lines, you’ll have to fully disassemble the boom to repair the lines, and that can be a $10-15K job.” These plugs can also be used during the regular season to pre- vent squirrels and birds from nesting in the boom. WINTER MAINTENANCE FOR OPERATION The minimum maintenance does not re- ally change because the time of the year, but doing a full service before winter will
It is imperative to have a heat source handy to de-ice a machine before raising the boom. Photo courtesy of TrackedLifts.
8 | ArborTIMES Fall 2022
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