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7 Tips to Prepare Your Tree Care Machinery for Winter 2023/2024

As we head into the winter months, it’s important to make sure all tree care machinery is properly winterised to prevent damage to your equipment. Issues that can affect your machinery over the winter include degradation of rubber parts, corrosion and rusting and premature battery and engine failure.

Take a look at our top 7 tips to prepare your tree care machinery for the winter ahead!

Tip #1: Clean your tree care machinery

Whether you’re going to be storing your tree care machinery over the winter period or still making regular use of it, cleaning and regular inspection is a vital part of winterisation. Of course, cleaning is necessary year-round, however the winter brings with it a unique set of challenges, including the increased potential of rusting and damage caused by debris and dirt.

Mud and other debris need to be cleaned from your tree care machinery’s tracks and undercarriage on a daily basis if in use over the winter, or prior to putting your equipment into storage. This will make inspection of the machine easier, allowing you to identify loose or missing parts or chips and cracks.

Thoroughly cleaning your machinery will also prevent mud from freezing onto the undercarriage. Failing to do so could lead to track damage and loosening of bolts. It also becomes much more difficult to remove dirt that’s been left to dry, so be sure to hose down your machines at the end of each working day.

Another thing to watch out for is de-icing salts. If you use these salts on your site, they can get stuck in your undercarriage and lead to rapid corrosion. Again, make sure to regularly hose down your tree care machinery to get rid of any salts that might be stuck.

Once clean, grease all grease points, including bearings and splines.

Tip #2: Inspect and repair your tree care machinery

If your machinery is free from debris and dirt, it makes inspection and repairing a much more efficient process. If you’re storing your machines over winter, repairing them before they go into storage is a good idea as it means you’ll be up and running without issues once spring arrives. It also means that you shouldn’t have any unexpected repairs to carry out once you bring your machines out of storage and you won’t have to sit around waiting for parts to arrive.

Wood chipper knives and the anvil should be checked regularly and replaced as required. For stump grinders, check teeth for damage and wearing, and replace if broken off or if they’re folded over. You should also check hoses and any other rubber parts over the colder months, as colder temperatures cause rubber to shrink and crack.

Tip #3: Add fuel stabilisers to your tree care machinery’s fuel

Fuel stabilisers can help prevent your fuel breaking down if your equipment won’t be in use over winter. They will stop your fuel from separating into water and solvents which can start to happen after around 3 months of not using the engine.

Your fuel tank should be kept full too over the winter. This will prevent freezing and discourage corrosion that is caused by condensation forming when there is space in a fuel tank.

Tip #4: Store your tree care machinery in the right conditions

The ideal storage condition for tree care machinery is indoors in an enclosed area, like a garage. Ideally, temperatures shouldn’t fluctuate and you can consider covering your machinery in tarp but make sure to check for signs of condensation (this can lead to rusting).

For machinery that won’t be in use for an extended period of time, inflate its tyres to the maximum pressure to help keep them in shape. As the temperatures plummet, you’ll need to inflate your tyres more regularly than you usually would as the cold will cause the air pressure in your tyres to drop.

Tip #5: Use the right mix of coolant and water for your tree care machinery

Even in the winter, coolant is necessary as your tree care machinery will still heat up when in use. Coolant should be used at a different ratio in the winter however, at around 50:50 with water. Check the instructions for use on your brand of coolant.

Tip #6: Protect your tree care machinery’s battery

Your battery will start to discharge when its not used, so if you’re not planning on using your tree care machinery over winter, make sure to disconnect the battery and store it indoors in a dry place, away from any temperature fluctuations.

 A trickle charger is another option; this will re-charge your machine’s battery with a steady trickle of current and stop it from discharging.

Tip #7: Get your tree care machinery serviced with Vermeer

Servicing is vital to keep your tree care machinery running at its best. Winter can be a great time to schedule your machinery’s servicing if you’re not going to be getting as much use out of your equipment at this time of year anyway. Services will prevent larger issues from rearing their head unexpectedly, but we can also carry out servicing as and when you notice an issue too.

Vermeer has a Service Technician Certification Programme and our experts have years of world-class industry knowledge, meaning you’re in safe hands!


At Vermeer, we know how important it is to make sure your tree care machinery runs smoothly no matter the weather conditions. We also know that nobody likes to come back to a surprise when they start using their machinery after a period of downtime, and the battery is dead or the paintwork has started to rust!

That’s why our team of experts are on hand to help. To find out more about how we can help you with your tree care machinery’s winterisation, submit an enquiry form, give us a call on 01933 274400 or email us at

Vermeer Corporation delivers a real impact on the way important work gets done through the design, manufacture and support of high-quality industrial and agricultural equipment that helps connect people to the necessities of life, manage natural resources and feed and fuel communities. With a reputation for being built tough and built a better way, that equipment is backed by localized customer service and support provided by independent dealers around the world. To learn about Vermeer Corporation, products, the dealer network, financing options and careers, visit



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