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Driving on winter roads

How to Prepare Your Minute Man Wheel Lift for Winter

For any company using towing equipment, whether you’re in repossession or roadside service, winter is the toughest, and often the busiest time of year. If you’re gearing up for the snowy season, it’s important to know that your trucks and your machinery are in top shape, so you can get as many trucks out on the road as possible. If you’re wondering how to prepare your Minute Man XD for the winter, here’s what you need to know, plus a few helpful reminders about getting your tow trucks in shape before snow falls. 

Inspect the Minute Man XD Before The Snow Falls

The Minute Man XD is one of the most rugged, durable slide-in wheel lifts on the market. But, like any piece of mechanical machinery, it will benefit from the occasional inspection and tune-up, just to make sure everything is functioning properly, especially before the snow begins to fall. To make sure your Minute Man XD is in top condition for the winter, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Check electrical components. The #1 cause of problems during the cold and hot seasons are related to the battery, cables, and connections. The extreme temperatures push a system that seemed to be working fine in the moderate temps to the limit. Have your battery load tested. Most automotive stores will do this for free or you can buy a digital battery tester online for less than $100. Remember to check your connections, corrosion, loose connections, damaged or worn cables will stop you in your tracks at the worst possible time.
  • Check hydraulic components. Hydraulic components are susceptible to the cold. Before it gets too chilly, make sure all hydraulic lines are intact and don’t have any cracks or leaks at connections. Our units call for Dexron 3 ATF which is sufficient for both warm and cold climates. We recommend replacing the fluid in your system twice each year; once in the fall and once in the spring. This will help ensure that condensation does not build up in your tank. Condensation will freeze in the winter months and can result in contamination and corrosion to hydraulic components.  
  • Park truck and wheel lift in the garage, when possible. To keep snow and ice from interfering with the Minute Man XD’s working components, it’s a good idea to park your tow trucks under cover whenever possible. We also offer an optional pump cover to help further protect the pump and connections from the weather.
  • Inspect wheel lift. Make sure the lifting components of your Minute Man XD wheel lift are also in good shape before the snow falls. Check all steel components for damage or cracks as part of your regular maintenance pre-check. Often a small crack can be repaired preventing a larger problem down the road. One quick inspection can go a long way to improving safety and reducing downtime. 

Keep An Eye on the Minute Man Wheel Lift Through The Winter

If your trucks aren’t parked in a garage or protected from snow fall, make sure you or your drivers are giving them regular once-overs before they go out each day. Clear the Minute Man Wheel Lift of any excessive snow or ice before hitting the road, and make sure everything’s working before you get to a job. 

The Minute Man XD Wheel Lift offers exceptional durability thanks to its rugged build. If maintained properly, you shouldn’t run into any problems, even when hauling vehicles through rough winter weather. The Minute Man XD is designed and manufactured in Michigan, where we see quite a bit of snow, and seriously cold temperatures. When taken care of properly, the Minute Man XD can handle these conditions with ease. Just make sure you’re taking necessary precautions, and this slide-in wheel lift is sure to treat you well. 

Make Sure Your Tow Truck is Properly Maintained, Too

There’s no point in putting all of this care into your Minute Man wheel lift if your truck is in terrible shape. If its tires are bald or the battery is at the end of its life, you’re simply not going to get the performance you need, whether you’re running a repo company or a roadside assistance service. Your truck is the base for the Minute Man Wheel Lift, so if it’s not working, the Minute Man won’t do you much good. Before we get too far into winter this year, make sure you have all of your tow trucks inspected and tuned up for winter. A few key things to check include: 

  • Tire quality. It’s hard to tow another vehicle securely if your own tires are bald. Make sure you have quality load range E tires on your tow truck. 
  • Battery performance. The battery is the first thing to go in cold weather. If your battery is older or tends to freeze up in colder weather, now is the time for a new one. This goes for the truck battery(s) and the lift battery.
  • Double-check fluids. Anti-freeze, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid are all important for your truck and your driver’s safety. Make sure all of these are at the appropriate levels. 
  • General tune-up. If you usually only take your tow trucks to the garage when they’re showing signs of an obvious problem, this is your year to get ahead. Take your trucks in for a tune-up before the hard weather hits, and you’ll be the company with the most hours on the road this winter. A tune-up before winter hits helps you avoid any unexpected mechanical issues with your tow trucks. 

Have questions about prepping your Minute Man XD for the winter? Give us a call at 877-593-6959! Our experts can help give you any advice you need, plus we have all of the equipment and attachments you need to carry you through the winter without incident.

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