At RTL Equipment, when you see a brand and product for sale, you can be sure that we’ve done extensive research prior to offering it. It’s important to us that everything is up to our incredibly high standards. When we find a brand we can trust, we like to share it with you. So, let’s talk about Xtreme Forklifts.

Who is Xtreme?

Xtreme Manufacturing got its start in 2003, after owner, Don Ahern, decided he was tired of searching for and being unimpressed with rough terrain telescopic reach forklifts (telehandlers) elsewhere. His feelings (and we agree) are that construction equipment should be reliable, because that directly relates to its lifespan and reduced cost of ownership. Xtreme has gone from a brand offering a handful of telehandler forklift models to boasting the biggest product line in North America.

With a name like “Xtreme,” it makes sense that these aren’t your average forklifts. These span from the XR5919 Compact Boom with a 5,900 pound capacity with a lift height of 19 feet, forward reach of 11 feet, and a 74 horsepower Tier IV final engine to the XR7038 Ultra Xtreme Capacity Roller Boom, which has a 70,000 pound capacity, 38 foot lift height, 22 foot forward reach, and 300 horsepower Tier IV engine. There are a number of options in between these innovative forklifts and we can’t choose our favorite.

Compact Boom

Construction projects in tight spaces that require a powerful, durable forklift are where the Xtreme XR 5919 Compact Boom shines. With its 360 degree operator visibility and large capacity fuel tank, the Compact Boom is also great when used as a support machine for larger forklifts and telehandlers. We also like the cab options, since it can be open, enclosed with heat, and enclosed with heat and air conditioning. Just because your crew is in a small space doesn’t mean they have to suffer the elements.

High Pivot Roller Boom

The High Pivot Roller Boom forklift comes in several different capacities. The XR842 has a capacity weight of 8,000 pounds and a 42 foot lift height. Its trunnion mount sway cylinders allow for increased load capacity and its rear axle stabilization adds to the safety of the forklift. The XR1270 balances capacity, reach, and height with impressive maneuverability. A 12,000 pound capacity, 70 foot lift height, 53’10” forward reach, and 134 horsepower Tier IV engine is just the beginning. Plus, these forklifts are remarkably easy to service, thanks to the easy access to its components.

High Capacity Roller

Xtereme’s line of high capacity roller booms include four models, ranging from a 15,000 pound capacity and a 34 foot lift height to a 20,000 pound capacity and a 45 foot lift height. These forklifts include heavy duty boom chains, offering extra strength to the most daunting construction jobs. Each of these comes with attachment options such as pole grapples up to 96 inches with shoe, sling mounts, and buckets up to 1.65 cubic yards large.

Ultra High Capacity Roller Boom

All of their Rough Terrain Telescopic Reach Forklifts come with a boom lift point. With two strong options in their Ultra High Capacity Roller Boom forklift line, Xtreme gives us several options. Both have 173 horsepower Tier IV engines, but one features a 24,000 pound capacity and the other a 30,000 pound capacity.  With a smooth boom extension and retraction, these forklifts are impressively easy to handle.

Xtreme Capacity Roller Boom

The XR4030 is capable of lifting 40,000 pounds, which, coupled with its 30 foot lift height and 16+ foot forward reach, makes it one of the most impressive forklifts we’ve seen. A weight load like that is perfect for construction work in mining, oil, and gas segments. There’s safety in its 360 degree operator visibility, as well. Plus, the solid steel plate chassis and rear axle stabilization add to those safety features.

Ultra Xtreme Capacity Roller Boom

We would describe the XR70138 as the ultimate warrior. With a load capacity of 70,000 pounds, this is the largest capacity telehandler on the continent. This forklift has won multiple awards, including the Lift and Access’ Leadership in Lifting Equipment and Aerial Platforms (LLEAP) award for “Most Innovative New Product” in its category in 2014 as well as at the Access, Lift & Handlers North American Conference & Awards in the “Product Innovation – Telehandlers” category. This is the largest rough terrain telehandler in North America and it never fails to blow us away.

As you can see, there are many reasons we’re proud to offer Xtreme’s line of forklifts. We know that every job is different and when it comes to forklifts, size matters. Whether you need something compact to fit into a construction site without much room to move or the biggest, toughest forklift in North America, Xtreme has you covered. At RTL Equipment, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our customers, so when we find another company that goes to those same extremes for theirs, we want to share. You can find Xtreme forklifts for sale in our Fork/Boom/Scissor Lift category. If you’re looking for something specific, but don’t see it on our page, contact us, because it may be on its way.



The heavy construction equipment market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% through 2021. Urbanization is increasing in size and rate, and with that comes a greater and more urgent need for excavation and demolition equipment, among other heavy construction equipment. In fact, the expectation is that the segments of excavation and demolition equipment will be the major players in the market. Still, with so much growth expected, many businesses are choosing to rent construction equipment instead of buying. This isn’t necessarily the wrong choice in some cases. There are considerations to be made in each decision.

Construction Equipment Usage Ratio

The decision to rent your construction equipment is one that makes sense in certain situations. If a piece of equipment is not going to be used frequently, choosing to rent may be the best option. Of course, this will vary based on factors such as budget and project scope.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on using the piece of equipment often—especially if it’s going to be used on multiple construction projects—it may be in your best financial interest to make a purchase. As with anything, this is about getting the most bang for your buck. For some, that means purchasing brand new construction equipment. However, quality used equipment that’s been inspected and maintained well can be much more cost-effective than renting in the long run.

Fleet Management

Keep your crew in mind when it comes time to decide whether to rent or buy. Is there low job frequency for your company? Is the length of the project for which the equipment is needed relatively short? Construction equipment requires regular maintenance and the schedule may not allow for it. If that’s the case, choosing to rent may be your best bet.

If your crew has the time and skills needed to inspect the equipment and perform preventative maintenance to keep it up and running, buying could be in the cards. There’s also the added bonus of flexibility when purchasing your heavy construction equipment. If a job goes past the initial completion date, your equipment is still available to you. If repairs are needed, you don’t have to wait for another rental to show up because you can service. Furthermore, when you no longer need the machine, you can get a return on your investment when you sell.

Expenditures and Taxes

When renting construction equipment, the customer can be billed for it later or you could actually deduct the amount as a business expense. However, if you decide to buy your construction equipment, that purchase is a capital expense, which you must address during tax time. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to deduct the entire purchase in the year it was made. Capital costs are depreciated and amortized during the equipment’s life. When the construction equipment is bought in the U.S., you could potentially avoid paying capital gains tax once the equipment is sold (when you no longer get it), thanks to the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange. Your tax adviser can discuss what specific advantages may be available to you whether you rent or buy.

Transportation Costs

An element that can get lost in the research of whether to rent or buy construction equipment is the transportation costs of that equipment. Costs to move equipment sometimes hundreds of miles (or more) between jobs add up quickly. Included in these costs are the crew it takes to load and unload the equipment, fuel, the truck, and the driver. Depending on the location of your job, it may be best to rent in order to save on excess costs. On the other hand, if you’re doing more jobs close to home, a purchase may be the better option.

When evaluating the pros and cons of renting versus buying your construction equipment, it’s important to remember that a multitude of costs go into equipment management. Communication is key, so be sure to speak with your crew, financial advisers, and anyone else who may have a different perspective to add.


Twenty-eight years ago, Lindsay and John Bergdale realized their careers could be centered on the industry that gave them the most joy. The creation of RTL Machinery in 1989 began a long history of giving customers an excellent experience through expert service. While the company name changed to Storey-Bergdale Company, L.C. in ‘94 and finally evolved into RTL Equipment, Inc. seventeen years ago, the foundation on which the business was formed has not changed: provide quality construction equipment and treat people well. Those are the basics, but we thought we’d dig a little deeper with a spotlight on Lindsay Bergdale to learn even more about RTL and what makes him tick.

All Business


What made you decide to form RTL in 1989?

The enjoyment of closing deals that, in turn, help the customer accomplish goals.


In your twenty-eight years in business, what are you most proud of accomplishing?

Helping provide an environment for RTL employees where they are able to grow in a career that is rewarding to them financially and personally.


Where do you see the company going in the next five years?

We are in the process of transferring the management and ownership to the next generation. The younger partners will be bringing new and fresh ideas to the operation of RTL Equipment.


How does RTL ensure every machine for sale is dependable?

This is always a challenge for all dealers. We attempt to inspect every machine (new and used) to determine the condition and then represent it accurately to any potential user.


Could you explain the inspection process at RTL?

RTL technicians are all trained for several types of equipment. We work at matching the right technician and their skills to the piece of equipment in need of inspection and repair.


How does RTL support the community?

RTL Equipment donates to numerous charities in and around Iowa. One of the biggest fundraisers is the Iowa Children’s Open in Iowa City. This two-day golf tournament has raised nearly $1,000,000 over the past ten years for the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Children’s Museum in Coralville, Iowa.


Is there an internship program in place for students who are interested in working at RTL?

This is something we have done in the past, but have not done on an ongoing basis. When future talent is recognized, it is a great way to introduce them to RTL and the construction equipment industry.


ILattice Boom Crawler Cranef you had to narrow it down, what is your favorite machine?

I would have to say the lattice boom crawler cranes. They are dependable and a great value for our customers as well as our rental fleet.


What are you looking forward to the most in 2017?

I have a lot of hope and optimism for our industry. If the infrastructure works and new investments in building actually come to fruition, it should be a boom time for our industry.


All About Lindsay


How do you like to spend your time off?

With my wife, enjoying friends, sporting events, golfing, and dining out.


What’s the best movie you’ve seen recently?

“Greater,” by Steven Furtick. It’s a true story of how one should never give up and not listen to the naysayers.


If someone turned on your car radio right now, what would be playing?

Fox News, for sure.


What was your best vacation ever?

Hawaii in 2007 with my wife.

Recently, we discussed tips on how to avoid downtime with your equipment. Now we’re diving deeper into that subject, because maintaining a safe environment for employees and avoiding costly downtime are are top-of-mind goals for any business. When cranes enter the mix, those goals become that much more magnified, which is why it’s imperative to remain up-to-date on all maintenance and inspection. This not only extends the life of the equipment to protect your investment, but also ensures that you’re remaining compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and mandates. So when should you be scheduling preventative crane maintenance or inspections? The answer depends on the type of crane you’re operating and how it’s being used

Spotting Potential Problems

If your crane included an OEM owner’s manual, be sure to read it immediately. Get acquainted with any information you may not have otherwise been aware of and you’ll thank yourself later. Additionally, those manuals often include a recommendation by the manufacturer about how often any inspections should occur. Let the manual be your guide—it’s there to help keep the crane in working order, limiting downtime and helping you avoid pushing timelines back.

Just as you’d expect your body to give you warning signs when something wasn’t working properly, your equipment will do the same. The most obvious time to schedule an inspection is when you notice the crane operating differently than it has before. Don’t wait until a problem becomes a disaster. If your crane is showing symptoms of an issue, it’s not going to heal itself. The person operating the crane on a daily basis knows it best, so the crane operator will be the first to recognize a potential problem and a possible solution.

Of course, sometimes equipment breaks without any obvious signs of a problem. Mechanical failures happen, seemingly out of the blue. While it may have inspections up to the OSHA standards, those inspections may not be occurring often enough. There’s also the possibility that the inspections are, in fact, up to OSHA standards and happening frequently enough, but the part that failed was not part of the inspection and/or maintenance program.

The Three Stages of Preventative Care

A good rule of thumb to follow is to implement a three-stage inspection/maintenance plan:

  1. The Initial Inspection: This should be performed by a qualified professional to ensure the initial installation of the crane is proper and the crane is safe to operate.
  2. Regular/Periodic Inspections: Also performed by a qualified individual, these occur at regular intervals that depend on how often and how you use your crane. For example, these may be scheduled weekly, monthly, or at any other interval you feel will accommodate the duty cycle of your crane. RTL Equipment also offers annual crane inspections so that you can be sure that a professional technician is keeping an eye on things.
  3. Frequent/Daily Inspections: These should be performed by someone familiar with the crane—ideally the crane operator. Frequent inspections should happen daily or otherwise before every shift.

Of course, sometimes problems arise even when we do all the right things. When that happens, our emergency services are ready. We pride ourselves on keeping up-to-date with the latest technology and our technicians are trained in OEM standards and practices. Our knowledge of the most recent equipment news also allows us to answer any questions you may have, so feel free to give us a call.

The Independent Equipment Dealers Association (IEDA) recently conducted a member survey about the impact of Tier 4 standards on the used equipment market. Survey respondents noticed that resale prices for non-Tier 4 equipment, including rough terrain cranes, crawler cranes, wheel loaders, and excavators, have increased by as much as 20 percent. With the stringent Tier 4 requirements, demand for non-Tier 4 equipment is on the rise, and quality used equipment is getting harder and harder to find.

Just What Is Tier 4?

Back View 2010 Terex RT670 RT Crane

The 2010 Terex RT670 Rough Terrain Crane is a Tier 3 machine currently available at RTL Equipment.

Tier 4 is a federal standard mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that seeks to reduce harmful exhaust gases for diesel-powered equipment at the time of manufacturing. Regulations have been phased in gradually at different tier levels to allow technology to be developed in order to achieve the target level of emissions. The standards began in 1996 and the final tier, Tier 4, was implemented by 2015. At the time of this writing, Tier 4 equipment is compliant with the latest emission standards.

Implications of Tier 4 Construction Equipment

There are bid specifications and permits, particularly for government-related projects and most major urban areas, that require the lower diesel emissions that Tier 4 construction equipment provides, which could give certain contractors an advantage. Upfront costs are, unsurprisingly, more expensive due to the complex nature of the Tier 4-compliant engines. Truthfully, Tier 4 equipment hasn’t been around long enough to determine performance, operating costs, maintenance, and resale values, so only time will tell when more and more Tier 4 machines enter the used equipment market.

Current State of the Used Equipment Market

2014 Mantis 15010 Hydraulic Crawler For Sale from RTL Equipment

Tier 3 machines meet many of the Tier 4 requirements at a lower cost. Pictured above is a Tier 3 2014 Mantis Hydraulic Crawler crane for sale at RTL Equipment.

While we’ll know more about the implications of Tier 4 machines in the coming years, the current state of the used equipment market is strong. IEDA members predict that non-Tier 4 equipment will be even more scarce in 4–8 years as Tier 4 machines take over the market. In the meantime, though, Tier 3 equipment has similar emission standards to Tier 4, and most of the used Tier 3 machines are in excellent shape. For bids without Tier 4 emission standards and more cost-effective machinery, Tier 3 cranes, wheel loaders, and crawlers are usually the preferred choice. Check out the Tier 3 equipment RTL Equipment currently has in stock.



RTL Equipment sells and rents used cranes, excavators, forklifts, and any heavy-duty equipment you need in the Midwest. Tell us about your next project and we’ll find the machine that’s best for you.

Terex cranes are known for their durability and strength when lifting heavier loads on a construction site. Recently, Terex released their newest model of the HC 110 crane—the HC 110-1.
Additional features that remain in the Terex HC 110-1 include:
  • Comfortable operator’s cabin with clear and expansive range of vision
  • Hydraulic counterweight removal system for easy installation and removal
  • Power up / down standard

While the classic and highly rated features of the HC 110 remain, with a newer crawler crane model come new improvements as well. Some of the added features you’ll find in the Terex HC 110-1 include:

  • More stable mobility and transportability with a 12 ft width and 10 ft. 9 in. height, wider and shorter than the HC 110
  • Two-speed travel, allowing the operator to choose the appropriate speed and power control for current conditions
  • Shockless stop system that gradually slows the operator speed when the load reaches its limit, reducing the overall shocks

The new HC 110-1 allows for safer, more versatile operation on any job site.

To get a more in-depth look into the differences between the HC 110 hydraulic crawler crane and the HC 110-1 lattice boom crawler crane, check out the spec comparison chart below!

Terex HC 110-1 vs. HC 110 Comparison Chart

Learn more about available Terex cranes in your area, new and used, for sale and for rent. Contact our team at RTL Equipment for assistance in finding the right crane for your construction application.

Regardless of your stance on the results of the 2016 presidential election, one thing is clear: there are big plans and opportunities in store for American construction and equipment companies in the coming years. With a greater focus on domestic infrastructure, Donald Trump hopes to invest up to $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements over the next ten years, meaning more work and jobs. But how?

The Current State of American Infrastructure

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases a report grading the infrastructure of the entire United States as well as each state. With an A being Exceptional, a B being Good, a C being Mediocre, a D being Poor, and an F being Failing, the United States received the GPA of a D+ in 2013. States like Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri each received a C- for their infrastructure performance. This grade was calculated by assessing each state’s as well as the country’s overall current capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation, public safety, resilience, and innovation of every category that makes up our infrastructure, including:

  • Energy
  • Parks
  • Roads
  • Ports
  • Bridges
  • Wastewater
  • Levees
  • Drinking water
  • Schools
  • Transportation
  • Rail
  • Inland waterways
  • Aviation
  • Solid waste
  • Hazardous waste
  • Dams

Nearly 10 percent of America’s bridges, about 60,000, are classified as deficient according to an analysis completed by the Federal Highway Administration. The American Society of Civil Engineers says 32 percent of our major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, which increases the risk of damaging cars and creating dangerous driving conditions. The Federal Aviation Administration estimated airport congestion and flight delays cost the country nearly $22 billion in 2012. We need all of these components to be working efficiently and effectively; however, receiving a poor grade for our daily needs is an issue our latest presidential candidates acknowledged. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump carried infrastructure improvements at the forefront of their political initiatives for a reason.

The Construction Industry in the Next Four Years

Now that Donald Trump is the president-elect t, one of his main goals during his term is to steer spending away from globalization efforts and focus it more toward our infrastructure. According to his platform, President-Elect Trump hopes to pursue an “America’s Infrastructure First” approach that will encourage investments in transportation, clean water, a more modern and reliable electricity grid, telecommunications, and security. In turn, this would create thousands of new jobs in construction and manufacturing in order to sustain the building plans for new railways and bridges, new waterways, improved erosion control systems, and more expansive energy and telecommunication.

In order to enable the economic development that Trump is working toward, construction in the aforementioned areas is necessary. According to the infrastructure report card released by ASCE, the United States requires an estimated investment of $3.6 trillion by 2020 in order to reach a grade-A infrastructure. President-Elect Trump plans to invest up to $1 trillion in infrastructure alone over the next ten years. This may not meet the ASCE’s timeline, but it’s definitely a step toward it. This investment will not only pay for new infrastructure plans but also work to streamline the building permit and approval processes currently in place as well as improve project delivery and cut wasteful spending.

Trump plans to focus on steel manufacturing, making it the backbone of our economy. With the hopes of restoring the industrial age, that means the need for industrial equipment will be at an all-time high. Preparing your equipment fleet and workforce will be critical to keep up with the plans for growth.

Prepare Your Fleet with Rough Terrain Cranes from RTL Equipment

Whether these plans come into play during Trump’s term as president or beyond, we at least know infrastructure has become and will likely remain a primary concern in politics and elections to come. We need to be ready and open-minded as new infrastructural needs arise and bring the best in equipment and expertise to every job. Now is the time to assess the condition of your cranes, excavators, and crawlers. If they’re showing signs of wear, now is the time to start looking for replacement cranes for sale or rent in your area. If your equipment is in good condition, it would still be wise to find a certified equipment dealer and maintenance crew should your construction equipment need any repairs, especially as these infrastructure plans begin in full-swing. Finding a company that can provide emergency service should you need it will be crucial in keeping up with Trump’s plans for our infrastructure. Learn more about the best equipment products for your application and how to maintain your equipment.

Construction equipment downtime has a variety of detrimental effects, including loss in profit, decreased productivity, increased budgets for repairs, and a pushed back timeline on project completion. Rather than dealing with the worse-case-scenario, instead plan ahead in order to avoid downtime. Some preventative actions you can take include planned maintenance and inspection, monitor current downtime occurrences, involve your employees, and look into equipment upgrades.

Monitor Current Equipment Downtime Patterns

If you are facing regular downtime due to equipment repairs, start a record of which equipment is failing or requiring repairs—more specifically which parts—and how often. If you’re noticing certain parts are wearing very often after a certain type of job or your equipment is struggling during a specific season, then you can make note of these observations to start establishing your equipment maintenance plan. You can then prioritize your focus regarding which components of the equipment and cranes require more attention as well as factors that are causing the downtime, like improper use of the equipment.

Maintenance Plan for Cranes & Construction Equipment

The best way to avoid downtime is by preventing it altogether with regular equipment maintenance and inspections. Not only are these services planned but so are their expenses. By inspecting and servicing parts, especially ones that wear a little more often, you can detect the weathering early on and repair or replace the damage before facing parts or equipment failure, ultimately leading to downtime and costly replacements. Regular maintenance is also known to extend the life of your cranes and construction equipment.

Another good practice to exercise everyday before starting on the job is having your team inspect each piece of equipment before use and end the day re-inspecting each. This will ensure you find any problems or possible damage on your cranes and can get the repairs completed quickly so as not disrupt your project and timeline. It is especially important to inspect your cranes and construction equipment after seasonal storms and changes. Operating your equipment during the wintertime could have worn out some parts, so inspecting those for damage will prepare for equipment for the seasons and jobs to come.

Work with your construction crane and equipment dealer to establish a maintenance plan based on manufacturer recommendations for timing, parts, inspections, and more. At RTL Equipment, we have an in-house equipment service technicians who will come to your warehouse and service the equipment on-site. They are trained to repair forklifts, cranes, excavators, and more, and they are educated in OEM standards. We carry a wide range of stock parts for our Terex, Doosan, Kobelco, and Mantis lines. Scheduling this maintenance for each piece of equipment will give you the choice and control of when the equipment is not in use rather than having it fail right when you need it.

We also recommend you keep a detailed record of maintenance performed on each piece of equipment. Should you choose to sell the equipment later on, you increase your resale value by showing that you regularly serviced the equipment and took care of it. While you own the equipment, maintenance will increase your control of cost of ownership and improve your overall bottom line as well as increase the return of investment.

Involve Your Crane & Equipment Operators

One of the main reasons a piece of equipment fails or a part needs replacing is due to user error. If your crane operators are not properly trained in using the heavy-duty cranes, you may not even know the equipment needs repair until it is too late and you face downtime with costly repairs. Putting your crane and equipment operators through regular trainings will ensure they are using the equipment effectively, even as manufacturers update operation recommendations. This is also a matter of safety on your job site. If a worker is misusing heavy-duty equipment, a serious accident could occur. Make sure your operators are fully trained in the use of your cranes, forklifts, and excavators ensure the highest level of productivity.

If your operators are trained and using the equipment in the most effective way, then it would also be useful ask for their input on equipment performance. They are using the equipment firsthand and on a regular basis, so they will be the first to notice if anything seems out of the ordinary out on the job. Operators will also be a great reference to determine what parts need maintenance and how frequently they need the service.

Construction Equipment Upgrades

As your equipment gets older, it becomes more and more obsolete in the industry. Getting parts replaced and old equipment repaired therefore becomes a more difficult task. Also, as the equipment gets older, it becomes less effective, leading to decreased productivity and more regular need for repairs and possibly downtime. When you’re noticing that your equipment is lagging, consider upgrading your cranes to newer models or upgraded controls and components. You can extend the useful life of your equipment with the upgrade and even increase productivity and safety on the work site. Contact your crane and construction equipment dealer to learn more about available upgrades for your equipment.

If you need regular equipment inspections, assistance establishing a  maintenance plan, or upgrade recommendations, RTL Equipment can help. We are highly trained in OEM standards for each line of cranes and construction equipment we offer, so we know directly from the manufacturers what is needed for your equipment to last and work effectively for your needs. Take a look at our large stock of cranes, forklifts, and equipment parts available for sale and rent at RTL Equipment today.

For many contractors in the Midwest, construction season is year-round despite the cold and snow. Whether you will store your heavy-duty equipment until spring or operate during the winter months, there are steps you can take to properly prepare your machinery for the upcoming winter.

Storing Your Construction Equipment for Winter

Before storing your construction equipment away for the winter, always be sure to conduct a multipoint check of your machines to ensure the tires, brakes, and parts are in working order. Lubricate or replace worn parts before stowing the equipment. Fall is also a good time to verify the hours on the machine to determine whether or not it’s due for some required maintenance. As always, the owner’s manual is a good resource to consult when it comes to maintaining your industrial equipment.

Store Equipment Indoors if Possible

Keeping your construction equipment in an enclosed facility during the harsh winter months will protect it from the weather elements, allowing it to start easier when you are ready to use it again. Labor is also saved with indoor storage by eliminating the need to brush off accumulated snow. Remember to disassemble any attachments and store them separately to protect hinges and joints from damage.

Protect Equipment Stored Outside

Doosan crane in winterIf it’s not possible to store your equipment inside, park it in a safe place outside away from any muddy areas. It’s also a good idea to jack skid-steer wheels about an inch off the ground to prevent flat spots on the tracks. To avoid unnecessary wear and tear, try parking your machines on wooden boards so they don’t freeze to the ground. Other outdoor storage tips include:

  • applying a thin layer of grease or petroleum jelly to all exposed cylinder piston rods to combat rust
  • retracting hydraulic cylinders
  • lowering attachments to the ground
  • releasing the hydraulic pressure
  • removing the battery and storing it in a dry, warm place (remember to charge periodically)

Lastly, cover the equipment with a tarp to block out moisture and prevent snow buildup. You’ll also want to start the engine until it gets up to working temperature once a month. Then, check the fluid levels and operate the controls to make sure everything is still operating correctly.

Operating Industrial Equipment in the Winter

For contractors who still need to operate their equipment during the winter, following these tips and the recommendations listed in the owner’s manual of the machine will reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and premature equipment failures.

Check Fluids and Filtration Regularly

Extreme cold weather affects oil and fluid viscosity, which can cause wear to your equipment. In extremely cold climates, check to see if arctic hydraulic oil is appropriate for your machine.

  • Make sure all components are properly lubricated to reduce wear and tear.
  • Clean the fuel tank cap or vent thoroughly, inspecting for water and sediment in the fuel.
  • Fill the fuel tank after every shift to avoid freezing.
  • Inspect the air filter periodically for damage or debris that could hinder its maximum efficiency.
  • Replace the air filter regularly.

Inspect Cooling Systems and Hoses

Cooling systems, reservoirs, and hoses should be inspected and maintained frequently in order to prevent freezing and corrosion. Coolant also lubricates shaft shields and minimizes cavitation, which is a condition that can erode components.

  • Flush coolants and replace them according to OEM standards and intervals.
  • Confirm coolant in the radiator is always filled to the cap.
  • Inspect the cap for relief pressure.
  • Ensure coolant concentration remains at 50%.

Keep the Battery Charged and Clean

Cold weather itself doesn’t have a large impact on the lifespan of your battery, but it can cause stress to certain components. The best way to maintain your equipment’s battery throughout the winter season is to keep it fully charged, allow it to warm up before starting, and clean any dirt, debris, or corrosion. Avoid frequently starting and stopping the machine as this action doesn’t allow the battery to fully recharge and can cause problems to the battery and the equipment.

Maintain the Machine’s Undercarriage

The undercarriage of an excavator or backhoe is the most susceptible to wear and tear, particularly in the winter. Fall is a perfect time to schedule your annual undercarriage inspection to ensure your machine is ready to take on the harshest season. You should conduct a visual inspection every day to keep the undercarriage clear of mud, snow, and debris and to check for any loose or worn parts.

Inspect the Tires

2000 Terex All-Terrain Crane tires

In addition to maintaining the undercarriage every day, you’ll also want to make sure the tires receive a daily inspection. Keep the tires inflated to the proper tire pressure, remove debris, and vigilantly look out for any signs of cracking or chunking. Make sure the tires wear evenly, and if you notice any sort of damage or cracking, you must replace them. To avoid added stress, remember to remove counterweights when not in use.

Adjust Operational Habits

Operators shouldn’t aim to just get through the winter; they should work to maintain the equipment’s longevity. To ensure your machine makes it through or even beyond its projected lifespan, contractors will have to adjust their habits in cold and snowy weather conditions by minimizing high operating speeds and on-road travel. Alternating your turning directions also limits wear on the machine and prevents premature breakdowns.

Warm Up the Engine

One of the most important actions you can take during winter operation is to always run the engine until it reaches operating temperature before attempting to use the equipment. Failing to warm up the engine properly can blow out components and lead to expensive repairs, not to mention unanticipated downtime. Allow the machine to stretch and cycle through the functions to distribute warm oil throughout until all parts operate efficiently.

Keep in mind that abiding by the owner’s manual and staying on top of preventative maintenance will ensure your crane, crawler, excavator, and other industrial equipment will last for many years, and not just throughout the winter season. If you need spare parts or want to schedule routine maintenance service, contact RTL Equipment before the temperatures drop!

RTL Equipment recently delivered a new Terex SK415 tower crane to Reynolds Crane and Rigging in Madison, WI. Reynolds Crane are very enthusiastic about the future tower crane market in the Wisconsin, Illinois region, and are looking forward to keeping their new Terex SK415 busy. The crane was erected at a new construction site near central Madison, and the Wisconsin Capital Building.

Reynolds personnel were extremely impressed with the condition of the new crane when it arrived from Italy. Everything was very well organized, which allowed for efficient assembly of the crane.

RTL Equipment, Inc. is looking forward to securing more of the fast growing tower crane market. .

RTL Equipment Sells Terex Tower Crane in WisconsinTerex SK415 Tower Crane sold in Madison, WIRTL Equipment Delivers Tower Crane To Reynolds Crane and Rigging in WisconsinTerex SK415 Tower Crane - RTL EquipmentRTL Equipment now sells Tower Cranes