Oftentimes, construction crews are expected to work through cold temperatures – even though it can make their job more difficult. If you work in construction, you are well aware of the strategies to help stay warm, such as wearing layers of clothing, having the proper cold-weather gear, and using disposable hand and foot warmers. Job sites may also have designated heated areas or outdoor heating equipment in place to protect you from frostbite and hypothermia.
What about the other challenges you face? How do you get work done when the ground is frozen? Or when 6 inches of snow covers the job site? Albeit not as simple, there are solutions for that, too.
In most parts of the United States, temperature drops go hand-in-hand with the change in seasons. While construction projects might slow down during colder months, they don’t always come to a halt completely. Instead, site managers prepare for these changes by adjusting their overall strategy to work in tandem with the weather.
Cold temperatures and winter weather such as snow and ice are the main drivers behind crews being forced to make adjustments. Freezing temperatures can make it difficult to keep materials warm enough to work with. Concrete, for example, should be above 40 degrees when it’s being poured. It also needs to stay above freezing until it reaches 500 psi in strength. If it freezes too soon, the strength can be reduced by up to 50%. It’s easy to see how the weather might make this challenging.
There are a few ways to keep concrete warm, including indirect-fired heaters, direct-fired heaters, and hydronic systems. Site managers can check with their local rental stores to see if they carry any of these solutions.
Cold temperatures can also cause the ground to freeze, making digging next to impossible. Portable heaters don’t penetrate deep enough to unthaw the ground, but effective ground-thaw equipment does exist. It thaws the ground quickly to get crews back to work and able to make progress on the job site. Ground-thaw equipment resembles a wheel of thick wire that can be unwound, placed on the ground, and used to thaw the ground well enough for digging.
Snow and ice can get in the way of progress, adding another step to take care of before moving on. You likely have the heavy equipment to move large amounts of snow, but you might not have the right plow or brush attachments. Turn to a local rental store to outfit your machinery with the right snow and ice removal attachments. You’ll be astounded at the efficiency and productivity that comes when you hone in on the right equipment for the task.
Winter also brings fewer hours of daylight, cutting down on the time crews have to accomplish work. Luckily, light tower rentals allow work to continue into the late afternoon and evening. Light towers efffectively illuminate the working area, keeping your employees safer around each other and equipment.Why you should rent instead of buy
Renting heavy equipment and specialized equipment is a smart move, especially when you only need it for certain winter projects. There’s no need to pay for equipment year-round if you only use it for a few months. With rental equipment, you won’t have to find a place to store it or worry about regular maintenance — the rental company takes care of that for you. The rental store may even deliver the equipment to your job site, adding another layer of convenience to the equation.
Take inventory of the items you need to keep your project moving, then contact your local, ARA-affiliated, rental store for information on available rental products. You may be surprised by the variety of items available for rent. To locate the rental store nearest you, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do construction workers stay warm in winter?
Workers can stay warm by layering clothing, while site managers can provide heated areas for workers to warm up. If the ground is frozen, special equipment might be needed to thaw the ground for digging, too.
How do you winterize a construction site?
A large part of preparing a construction site for winter is adjusting the erosion control strategy. Winter weather involves freezing, snow, ice, thawing, and re-freezing, making ground cover and mulching even more important. If snow or ice gets in the way of progress, crews will use plows and ice melt to clear the area before continuing work.
What is the most rented type of construction equipment?
Scissor lifts top the list of most popular construction equipment rentals. When people or equipment need to be lifted vertically, a scissor lift is a perfect solution. It’s great for any application you’d normally use a ladder, tower, or scaffolding for, meaning it may be a necessary winter rental item for your job site.