How to Keep Your Tools Out of the Snow

Winter construction is on its way, and with it comes the challenges brought by snow and ice. Not all tools and equipment are built to handle sub freezing temps, and you don't want to be liable for damages brought on my mishandling the equipment. Here's some operation and storage nuggets to help you get the most out of your equipment this winter. 

Warm it Up

Just like how you wouldn't sprint in the cold without stretching first, don't run your power tools before warming them up first. Oil is more effective when properly warmed up, and beginning from a warm state will help prevent damaging your equipment in the long-term.

Check Your Fluids

Different machines require different oils and fluids and sometimes different seasons can require different fluids. Refer to the owner's manual on which oils, gases, and fluids to use and when. Let's take a look at a few.

  • brake fluid: if it gets too cold, brake fluid will freeze and prevent you from braking safely at the job site. 
  • coolant: coolants are made for different temperatures, so make sure the one you're using will work well in those freezing temps. 
  • hydraulic fluids: replace these before starting equipment. As with all fluids, condensation can build up and cause freezing, so draining and replacing each day is always recommended.

Keep er Movin'

In below freezing temperatures, equipment will never truly warm up, so it may be best to idle these tools all day while they're in use. 


Batteries hate the cold and are at much higher risk of being damaged during the winter months. If you know you're not going to be using the equipment, disconnect the battery and store it where it's warm. 

Protect Tools from the Weather

Keeping tools and equipment protected from snow can be a challenge. Ideally, store everything you can in an enclosed building, and bonus points if it's heated. If this isn't a possibility, keep equipment covered with a tarp or near a wall of some sort for protection from the elements.

While tools are in use, it's important not to place them in the snow. Not only will they be easier to lose, they will also be in direct contact with moisture that can freeze, causing rust and damage to the equipment. When using tools in the winter, attach a Fence Tray to a nearby fence. Place your tools on this portable table to keep them out of the snow and off the ground during those winter months.

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