Wolseley PRO Pipeline Blog
When the sun beats down and the temperature rises, you definitely feel the effects. Imagine what it’s doing to your tools. Sun exposure and high heat can damage and even destroy the expensive tools that keep you in business. There are steps you can take to keep the hot summer temperatures from causing damage to the equipment you rely on every day.Sun Exposure Affects Your Tools and Equipment
We know that sun exposure can have an impact on us and cause everything from skin cancer, damaging burns to a potentially lethal sunstroke. While we may love the heat of summer, we have to be aware of the effects of the sun, even when it comes to objects.
Here are some of the ways heat from the sun can affect your tools:
- UV damage: Exposing your tools and equipment to direct sunlight means they are also exposed to the damaging effects of UV rays. While the impact may not be immediate, over time, UV can weaken anything made of plastic.
- Equipment that’s too hot to handle: While metal equipment might not break down, it can heat up to dangerous temperatures and cause painful burns when it makes contact with skin.
- Digital breakdown: Today’s tools often come with sensitive digital components that can quickly become overheated when the temperature soars.
Keep yourself and your tools cool with good sun protection. If possible, schedule outside work during the cooler parts of the day. Don’t leave tools in the sun for longer than a few minutes at a time. If natural shade isn’t readily available, using a tarp will keep your equipment cool and out of the sun while also protecting your crew. It can also help reduce exposure to dust and any unexpected rainstorms.
You can also find storage boxes that can help protect your gear, like the Milwaukee 48-22-8422 PACKOUT Compact Tool Box, which features the IP65 Rated Weather Seal. Find a full range of equipment designed to protect health and safety at wolseleyexpress.com/safety-and-security.
Perform Regular Maintenance
While you may not be able to get away from working in the heat, your best defense is to be well prepared. Performing regular and ongoing maintenance to your equipment throughout the summer months can go a long way to preserving them. This is especially important for motorized equipment that generates heat.
The key elements for fighting the effects of heat are:
- Start with a strong battery. A battery that’s already weak won’t be able to hold up to the rigour of hot weather work. A weak battery can lead to tool breakdown in the middle of your workday, making it hard to complete the job. It may also reduce the life of your battery, and in some cases, the life of your tool.
- Clean your tools to remove dust, dirt and debris. Blockages can cause your equipment to heat up when the air isn’t flowing. Keeping tools clean may help extend their lives
- Perform regularly scheduled maintenance to find issues before they become problems. Check your tool manuals for recommendations for when to change any fluids or lubricate moving parts
- Make sure everything is adequately lubricated and, if applicable, all fluid levels are where they need to be
- Check that all moving parts are moving freely and are properly adjusted
- Consult your manuals to see if there are specific adjustments you need to make before using your equipment in high temperatures
Pay attention throughout the day to make sure your equipment is running smoothly and isn’t being hampered by the heat. If you see signs of sluggishness or overheating, stop, check things over, and let the machinery cool down before continuing to work.
Protecting Your Vehicle
Your vehicle is one of your most important tools. It also needs to be summer-ready, not only to get you where you need to go but also to help protect you and your tools in the hot weather.
Like your other equipment, start off by making sure it is regularly maintained, with clean filters and the right fluids for summer driving. It’s also worthwhile to make sure your air conditioning is working properly, and your coolant fluid is ready to take the higher temperatures. On a blistering hot day, your vehicle may be your only retreat, and you’ll want to make sure your AC is there when you need it.
It’s not always possible to avoid parking directly in the sun, but a simple sun visor can go a long way to keep your vehicle from becoming an oven over the course of a day.
Your tires are also susceptible to heat. As temperatures rise, it creates more pressure on your tires. Overinflated tires can lead to a dangerous blowout. Make sure your tire pressure is at the right level for your vehicles, but allow a bit of room so they don’t become overinflated.
Watch Out For Your Team
Heat can have a devastating effect on your team. Make sure everyone is taking precautions to protect themselves.
Monitor the conditions and train everyone to look for early signs of heat exhaustion in their teammates. Heat exhaustion may look like confusion, slurred speech, clumsiness, stumbling or dropping tools.
Depend on Wolseley
For advice on how to keep your tools running and safe during the hot summer months ahead, talk to your Wolseley representative. They can help you find the right tools for your projects and advise you on specific equipment for working in high-temperature settings.
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