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EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE & MANAGEMENT

CHASING OFF COLD WEATHER Heating solutions solve starting issues, cut down emissions and lower costs

By Lee Toop, Associate Editor

Rated 9 out of 10

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onstruction sites in many parts of North America face cold weather on a regular basis, which often leaves contractors dealing with cold starts – very cold, when you consider Canadian winters. Cold machinery means more idling, more maintenance and more pressure on the bottom line. Today, contractors who deal with cold weather are warming to the idea of heating solutions ranging from external options to block heaters that allow them to get their machines running faster and with less fuel use and emissions. The options available to owners are steadily growing, and the systems that can be heated have expanded as well. The best approach to equipment heating depends on the location and operation in question, which can define just what machine operations need to be kept warm to ensure quality operation. “When we see equipment that may

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HEAVY EQUIPMENT GUIDE

>> MAY 2019

be in a mine site that shuts down for maintenance in a very cold climate, the operator can’t just get right in, service the equipment and start moving it, because the fluids are too cold – it’s actually harmful to the hydraulic system,” described Jason Cook, market manager for machinery with HOTSTART, a manufacturer of heating systems for heavy equipment. Lubricant manufacturers have taken these colder temperature needs into consideration with oil blends for Arctic climates, but even those blends need to be heated to allow for easier operation, Cook said. With cooler temperatures creeping further south into the continent there’s a growing need for heating options to help keep contractors on heavy equipment, oil field and other sites running. When the temperature is dropping 10, 20 or more degrees below zero, the job gets even more difficult. Without the assistance of an independent heating system, machines can suffer from serious issues, Cook noted.

Experience in range of markets

HOTSTART, based in eastern Washington State, has been manufacturing heating systems since 1942, serving markets from backup power generation to construction to railway and marine. It works both with OEMs and aftermarket buyers looking to protect their equipment from cold temperatures; the company offers systems as simple as an engine block heater up to combinations that can warm coolant, hydraulics and engine oil as needed. “In our 77 years as a business, we have grown from a simple in-block heater solution to external heaters for gensets, hydraulic heating, oil heating and other critical fluid heating for machinery and heavy-duty equipment,” described Leslie Czernik, marketing communications specialist. “We have six established industries that we work with. . . marine, railroad, heavy equipment, generator, oil and gas, and truck/bus; we also have an emerging market to provide heating and cooling solutions to the clean energy market, specifically around thermal management of batteries being used in energy storage applications.” In the case of heavy equipment, owners may get a machine with some OEM level HOTSTART heating

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Heavy Equipment Guide May 2019, Volume 34, Number 5  

Heavy Equipment Guide May 2019, Volume 34, Number 5  

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