When it comes to vacation planning, we often focus on packing our bags, booking accommodations, and arranging travel arrangements. However, if you are a fleet manager in a rental company or an owner of a boom lift or scissor lift, it is crucial not to overlook the importance of preparing your equipment before you leave. Proper maintenance and care ensure that your machine remains in peak condition when you return, minimizing downtime and costly repairs. In this article, we’ll explore the essential steps to prepare your MEWP for an extended vacation.
1. Battery Maintenance
One of the first and most critical steps is to properly maintain batteries. If your equipment runs on rechargeable batteries, ensure they are fully charged before you leave, if not perform a full recharge of the battery and reach 100% of SOC (don’t stop before, not even at 98%). Leaving partially charged batteries for an extended period can lead to irreversible damage, reducing their capacity and lifespan.
If possible, equipped with appropriate protective equipment and according to your country’s regulations, disconnect the main power circuit plug to avoid any slow discharge or phantom power consumption. Before leaving, inspect the battery terminals for any signs of corrosion and clean them if necessary. Lead acid batteries contain a mixture of water and acid.
During the charging process, water is lost. If electrolyte level drops below the tops of the plates, irreparable damage may occur. It is very important to inspect the water level twice a month and refill, if necessary, with deionized or distilled water. Check water levels and, if needed, fill to the recommended level with deionized or distilled water.
For more information about battery care, read our dedicated article: Tips for MEWP battery lifespan!
2. Hydraulic System Care
The hydraulic system is a critical component of MEWPs, boom lifts, and scissor lifts. To ensure it remains in good working condition, check the hydraulic oil level before you leave. If it’s low, top it up with the recommended hydraulic oil as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Remember to inspect the hydraulic hoses and connections for any leaks or damage. A leak left unattended during your absence can result in hydraulic fluid loss, leading to serious operational issues. If you find any leaks or signs of damage, address them promptly before your vacation.
3. Inspection and Maintenance Checklist
Before embarking on your vacation, create a comprehensive inspection and maintenance checklist specific to your MEWP. This checklist should cover all essential components and systems, such as the tires, brakes, controls, safety features, and electrical systems.
Go through the checklist thoroughly, noting any areas that require attention. If you identify any problems, address them or consult a qualified technician to make the necessary repairs before you leave. A well-maintained lift ensures safe and efficient operation when you resume work after your vacation.
If a major problem is identified during this inspection, the machine must be locked down. To do this, place a visible label on the machine, enabling anyone to identify the problem and thus prevent the machine from being used.
4. Store in a Dry and Secure Area
When you know you won’t be using your MEWP or lift for an extended period, it’s crucial to store it properly. Whenever possible, park your equipment indoors in a dry and secure location. Exposure to harsh weather conditions can cause rust and corrosion, leading to more significant problems down the line.
If indoor storage is not feasible, consider covering your MEWP or lift with a tarp or a custom-fit cover to protect it from the elements. Additionally, lock the equipment in a secure area to deter theft and vandalism.
Preparing your lifting equipment before going on vacation is essential to maintain the longevity and performance of your equipment. Proper battery maintenance, hydraulic system care, and thorough inspections help prevent unnecessary issues and costly repairs when you return. Taking the time to prepare and store your lift properly ensures that you can enjoy your vacation with peace of mind, knowing that your equipment will be ready for reliable and safe operation when you resume work. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and consult with a qualified technician for any complex maintenance tasks or repairs.