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Winterizing Equipment: Performance for Years to Come

winterizing tractor

“Winterizing” your implements and equipment is simple but very important. One of a GameKeeper’s main tools is a tractor. Make sure to inspect its hydraulic fluid, fuel levels and electrical systems. Now is the time to switch over to lightweight oil for winter. For diesel engines, to prevent fuel gelling at below zero, you’ll want to use a fuel additive. Check antifreeze on all machines that require it; most tractor manufacturers recommend new antifreeze every two years. Some may also choose to change tires or put on tire-chains for traction on slippery winter surfaces.

For ATVs and other machines, whether gasoline or diesel, make sure to add a fuel stabilizer and keep the fuel tank full to prevent condensation. A fuel stabilizer is important and can extend the life of the fuel an additional six to eight months before it begins to deteriorate. Check your brakes and exhaust system. Exhaust leaks will vent carbon monoxide. This can be a serious problem during the winter when windows are cranked up tight, and we usually warm up the engine for a period before taking it out.

If you’re not using your firearms for taking care of varmints during winter months, make sure you also prepare them for storage. You’ll want to dissolve powder, metal or copper fouling in the bore and action. There are a number of solvents, the most popular being Hoppe's No.9, but Shooter's Choice or Sweet’s also work very well. An old toothbrush works great for cleaning grit out of tight spots. Once clean, make sure to lubricate the gun as per the owner’s manual. Give the metal parts a light coat of oil, or wipe them down with a silicone gun cloth to prevent rust. 
For more GameKeeper tips, read “6 Tips for Using Deer Decoys.” There aren’t many hard and fast rules when it comes to decoying deer; however, you can put the odds in your favor by using these tips. 

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