Heavy snows and extremely cold weather have so far defined this year's winter in many parts of North America, and that is wrecking havoc on machinery and infrastructure. In order to better protect assets against these kinds of conditions, organizations should consider investing in equipment condition monitoring solutions.
For example, Metro News reported that the cold weather in Saskatoon - wind chills reached -49 degrees Celsius in January there - has caused many pieces of heavy mechanical equipment to break down. This could affect everything from garbage collection to street cleaning, and even the airport has experienced myriad problems with its equipment as a result of the cold snap.
"Anytime you end up with these severe wind chills … you end up with things freezing up that you haven't expected to freeze up before, or haven't noticed freeze up before," Andrew Leeming, manager of facilities with the Saskatoon Airport Authority, told the news source. "So bridge operations become quite slow, as hydraulic fluid gets colder and colder."
These issues are not just limited to Saskatoon, as other municipalities across Canada and the United States have experienced similar problems. For instance, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, motor vehicle traffic in has dramatically slowed down because not only have cars broken down, but so too have the tow trucks and other needed repair vehicles, tbnewswatch.com reported.
"We've found that it creates a higher frequency of breakdowns, which does translate into more time loss in terms of our equipment not being able to be on the road," said Pat Hyde, Saskatoon director of public works, according to Metro News.
Why all municipalities needs equipment condition monitoring
To prevent these kinds of issues from occurring when temperatures fall to record lows, organizations should invest in a quality equipment monitoring system that facilitates preventative predictive maintenance. That way, teams can use current data sources to more accurately predict which pieces of machinery are most likely to be adversely affected by the cold and snow and make necessary repair work before the equipment needs to be decommissioned.
These kinds of solutions are not just beneficial for organizations operating in cold environments as well. Any company or public agency that faces extreme weather conditions of any kind can benefit from predictive maintenance, as such efforts help to decrease repair costs and make sure that vital machinery is always able to run no matter what is happening outside. Advanced next-generation equipment monitoring solutions cannot prevent every instance of equipment breakdown, but they can go a long way toward just about eliminating unplanned machinery downtime.