Winter is Here – Operating Your Wintex in Cold Weather

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Cold weather brings its challenges to operating equipment.  It is important to begin considering the effects of cold temperatures on the fluid system. Follow these extra tips for operating your Wintex during the winter months

  • Do a daily walk around and also clear the equipment of any snow/ice buildup on components like the probe, probe scrapper, and platform. Check for any maintenance issues like a cracked hose, hydraulic leaks, or the condition of chains and the O ring.
  • Viscosity & Fluid checks: Viscosity should be the first consideration when preparing fluid power systems for the Check the oil in both the engine and hydraulics so that it drips from the dipstick. If any fluid is too thick to drip off the end of a dipstick, it is too viscous to function properly, especially in the cold. Even though the freezing point that causes high-viscosity hydraulic oil to gel and becomes unusable is -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 C), a much lower threshold than the ambient freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 C), fluid can still increase in viscosity before gelling, causing performance issues with hydraulic system. Wintex specifies using ISO 6743/4 HV (DIN 51524 P3 HVLP) hydraulic oil. Most farm equipment companies carry multi-viscosity hydraulic oils designed for the varying temperature environments that agriculture farm equipment operates in and is suitable for use in the Wintex. In the winter, some equipment operators will switch from using a multi-grade fluid like John Deere’s Hy-Gard to Low-viscosity Hy-Gard for winter operation. Just remember to switch back in the spring to regular hydraulic oil. One client I recently spoke with has used a very low-viscosity oil to operate in very cold conditions. If you do, it might impact the accumulators’ life a little especially if you don’t change it back to 32-45 viscosity for in warm weather sampling.
  • It is wise to check fluid levels before each use and refill after each use. Also, check the fluid colour and decide if there is a need to change the fluid. A milky colour engine or hydraulic fluid indicates excessive water contamination. Condensation in hydraulic systems from heating and cooling of the oil, can result in excessive accumulation. Water contamination in hydraulics is known to cause issues.
  • Time to warm up. Like our muscles, hydraulic equipment needs time to warm up. Be sure you warm the hydraulic system oil before operating your Wintex. Generally, hydraulic oil needs to be warm to the touch. Running equipment cold can result in damage to components. A good methodology to follow is with the warmed-up engine at the low-half throttle, activate the Wintex for 15-20 seconds, wait 10 seconds, then repeat 2-3 times before operating the Wintex in the field. For best cold weather performance, use a low viscosity hydraulic oil and consider insulating the hydraulic tank and hydraulic block.
  • Store your equipment inside is the most effective way to shelter the exterior of machinery, but also vital to keeping fluid systems protected. For truck-mounted units, covering when not in use will help.


  1. Hydraulic Fluid Chart Hydraulic Oil Table and Cross Reference (
  2. Water Contamination In Hydraulic & Lubrication Oils, A General Discussion (
  3. Preparing Hydraulic Systems for Cold Weather – Hydraulic Parts Source (
  4. Winter is Coming – How to Deal with Hydraulics in Extreme Cold Temperatures – Bernell Hydraulics
  5. Preparing Hydraulic Systems for Cold Weather – Hydraulic Parts Source (
  6. Determining Hydraulic Fluid Viscosity Requirements (


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