Temperatures drop between December and March which means an obligatory break for many construction and landscaping machines. Because Giant machines can be used all year round, the winter service is a good way to take advantage of the full capacity of the machine and thus increase their profitability. Various Giant specialists provide practical tips when it comes to preparing a machine for the winter and carrying out the work during the snow and ice control.
“A good preparation is very important,” says Urs Maeder, technical specialist at Leiser AG in Switzerland. “We advise our customers to have a winter check performed on their Giant before starting work. We check the machine on all important points and ensure that the machine also performs well in these circumstances. This is how we check whether the coolant and oil can withstand winter temperatures.”
“Customers can also take the necessary measures themselves to protect the machine against road salt. By properly lubricating the machine, important components are protected against the salt. In addition, the Giant can be treated with a protective wax so that the salt does not affect the paint and the frame. But customers should also be aware that they use diesel that is approved for very low temperatures. For areas with height difference or when there is a lot of snow, it is wise to have snow chains available. This way you avoid getting stuck in the snow, ”says Maeder.
The right attachments and options
While an excavator is at a standstill in sub-zero temperatures, this is not the case with a Giant. “Foresighted entrepreneurs take precautions,” says Tobias Eisele, Product Manager for compact machines with Kiesel, Germany.
“What could be more logical than including snow and ice removal in the portfolio of activities? It makes sense to invest in a snow blade, salt spreader or sweeper to perform the winter service efficiently and economically. Tobroco-Giant has a wide range with different widths and with various options such as hydraulic angle adjustment of the snow blade”
Winter service is mandatory in a country like Germany. Whether it is a local government, a company or a private individual, no one can ignore the rules. Some municipalities like to do their winter maintenance themselves and use the machine that works on the municipal yard for this. Other municipalities outsource the winter service for their roads, sidewalks and parking lots to subcontractors such as farmers, gardeners or contractors. But private individuals and companies are also happy to outsource the work to clean driveways, paths or parking spaces.
“With the suitable model from Giant, equipped with a snow blade and salt spreader, these tasks can be performed by yourself and/or for others. Because a Giant is a tool carrier by nature, attaching the right tool is easy. A snow blade can be easily connected by the hydraulic quick coupler. Depending on the model, a salt spreader can also be coupled and operated hydraulically or electrically, ”says Eisele.
Luuk van Kessel, Account Manager at Tobroco-Giant:
“In addition to the right attachments, it is important to consider at the time of purchase whether this type of work will be carried out. We have several options available that come in handy in winter. Think of a cabin or engine heater, but also of correct (LED) lighting and road clearance.”
“Many Giant machines, from the G1500 up to the G5000, can be supplied with a closed cabin that is equipped with heating as standard. This makes the machines generally suitable for use at temperatures well below zero. The electric engine heater ensures that the cooling water is heated and the engine is already at the right temperature before it is started. This system is a matter of plug-and-play and works on 220V and 230V, ”explains Van Kessel.
Giant machines with a cabin are equipped with five work lights as standard. Two at the front of the cab, two at the rear of the cab and one on the lift arm. For extra good visibility in the dark, these work lights are also available in LED and an additional work light on the lifting arm is also possible. To be clearly visible, there is the chance to mount a maximum of two (LED) beacons on the cabin or the safety roof. Another option is to install LED flash lamps at the front and rear of the safety roof or cabin.
Safe at work
The compact Giant wheel loaders have a maintenance-free articulated pendulum swing system. This makes them ideal machines for working in areas with limited space such as pedestrian zones, cycle paths or on sidewalks and narrow parking lots. “The machines are so narrow that they don’t interfere with the flow of traffic around them, even in the tightest of spaces. The use of narrow uprights and lots of glazing provide an optimal view of the surroundings so that e.g. parked cars can be avoided. ” explains Eisele.
The Giant wheel loaders from 3.5 to 5.5 tonnes are ideal for large squares, parking spaces of supermarkets, distribution centers and for winter service on country roads. The G3500 and G5000 are designed to move heavy loads reliably from A to B. The high traction and lifting force make the machines perfect for tough winter work and easily push snow and ice aside.
Eisele: “For all Giant machines, the hydrostatic four-wheel drive ensures that the machines continue to maneuver precisely and safely, even on slippery roads. In addition, there is a choice of models with a 100% switchable lock on both axes. If one of the wheels happens to hit a slippery piece of road surface, the machine stays safely on the road”
Regulations per country
“In Germany, anyone who performs, winter service activities for the community or other businesses – whether in schoolyards, at bus stops or on company grounds – must have their machine ready to be prepared from October to April, right in time before the beginning of winter. Everyone who enters into the contract for winter services must comply with legal obligations in terms of time and reliability and, if things go wrong, be liable. What must be observed by law can be found in the relevant federal and state laws. In addition, each municipality has its own regulations that you should be aware of. Especially for subcontractors, detailed operational plans are just as important as having the most reliable weather forecasts and inspections to protect themselves from unjustified liability claims, ”said Eisele.
Van Kessel: “When work is carried out on public roads or if work the machines has to drive via a public road, it is necessary to equip the machine with a road specification. The machine is equipped with traffic lights, side mirrors, license plate holder and transport lock. Because different rules apply to many countries, it is important to have a local Giant dealer inform you properly. They are aware of local laws and regulations. ”
After the winter service
“To keep your Giant in good condition during the winter, it is wise to rinse the machine with cold water after use. Do not use a high-pressure cleaner for this if you have applied a protective wax coating to the machine. Otherwise, the wax will be rinsed with the salt from the machine. After the winter is over, it is best to wash and hose down the entire machine from top to bottom to remove all salt from the machine. This prevents the paint, frame or electricity from being affected by the salt, ”says Maeder.