5 Easy Backhoe Winterization Tips

Posted: 2020-12-22

A backhoe is an indispensable heavy machine for building projects. It’s only one piece of equipment, yet it performs multiple jobs. This multitasking machine helps you achieve more while saving money and hassle. It is equipped with a bucket to scoop and move materials as well as a dig arm that can unearth. A backhoe helps you and your crew work smarter and faster.

Just like any other piece of equipment, your backhoe needs to be prepared for the cold season. It may be a heavy equipment built for the toughest conditions, but you still need to take some maintenance steps to increase its lifespan. Simple preservation efforts and inspections can avoid premature equipment failure and boost its productivity throughout the winter.

Here are some steps you can take to winterize your backhoe.


Before diesel fuel enters an engine, it passes through a filter to sift particles. The filter is an essential part of your backhoe, but it’s also a main target for cold weather to cause severe damage.

As the temperatures drop, diesel can develop water condensation and gelling, causing the filter to clog. It also results in sediments collecting in the bottom of storage containers as well as the fuel tanks of unused equipment.

Inspect your onboard fuel filters and ensure they are clean and working as normal. To avoid plugged fuel filters during winter, heat the diesel fuel above the cloud point. Use a manufacturer-approved all-in-one fuel filter, water separator, and heater, which will warm the fuel close to the filter element and work uninterruptedly to turn wax crystals back into liquid form.


The cold weather may not shorten the life of the battery, but low temperatures can cause it to perform poorly. During winter, batteries have less pulling voltage, which means there is more pressure on the engine during start-up. When the temperature goes sub-zero, the pressure on the engine can increase by as much as 50 percent. As a result, your batteries will cause your heavy equipment to have issues starting or maintaining power.

To ensure your batteries do not cause any problems, keep them fully charged and warm. If work is going to be on hold due to extremely cold weather, consider removing the batteries and keep them charged in storage. Be sure that the storage area is not subject to freezing or high temperatures. Also, consider buying a smart charger, which can maintain a battery at normal levels for long storage periods.


Routine, thorough visual inspections are important to maintain the integrity of the machine. Look for worn parts and lubricate all moving parts, including door hinges. Also, inspect parts such as engine parts, fluids, the battery, lights, windshield wipers, brakes, joints, hinges, glass, mirrors, and the body. It’s best to consult your operator’s manual to find out how to properly choose the right engine oil, coolant, and other fluids.


Keeping your backhoe clean during the winter is important as it prevents untimely damage. If your backhoe will be used throughout the season, make sure it is cleaned daily. The winter can bring additional debris, such as snow or salt from roads, which can wreak havoc if ignored.

Be proactive in removing snow, ice, and mud to avoid build-up. Also, clean track components regularly. Ideally, you should clean the undercarriage after every use. Pressure washing is a great way to clean the undercarriage, and it’s important to do so before the temperatures go sub-zero.


If you want to store your backhoe throughout the winter, be sure to prepare it for long-term storage. Attachments from the equipment should be removed for storage in a separate area at room temperature. Drain all liquids from the engine, including the fuel. The best way to ensure you get all diesel out is to remove the fuel with the engine running. Also, if there are any systems in your backhoe that store water or fluid, be sure to dry them thoroughly to keep the storage tanks from freezing. Moreover, if you have covers available, put something on top of your heavy equipment to protect it from dust and scrapes during the cold season.

These five easy backhoe winterization tips will surely help you keep your heavy equipment in good shape all winter long.