It is always advisable to have some sort of heat on an engine before starting it when the temperature drops below – 20 C.
Most farm equipment that is used in winter comes with a block heater, but many grain augers don’t.
This was the case with Lourne Boundy’s auger until he got fed up with cold-starting it.
“When the oil is cold, that’s when you can blow stuff up in a hurry,” said Boundy, who farms near Arborg, Man. “I just grabbed a small engine heater from Amazon. It’s just a 75 watt glue-on oil pan heater meant for snow blowers or ATVs or any small four stroke engine, and I just glued it to a nice flat spot on the block.”
Boundy tweeted a picture of the installed block heater, and other farmers were soon commenting that they had also blown up auger motors in the past because of cold starting.
Producers can also use a tarp to help raise their engine’s temperature before starting.
“I know guys that use a tiger torch from underneath, but the safer method is you take an aluminum dryer vent, bend it into a U and you just put a bottle torch in the end so it has a forced air heat blowing on it instead of the actual flame.
However, Boundy has power access in his yard near where he uses the augers, so using the glue-on block heater made more sense than a torch.
“The nice thing about the Honda motor is that where the pad covers is near where the top of the oil line is within the crankcase,” he said.
“If you had to, you could likely mount it underneath, but you might need to space the motor up a quarter inch to get the pad in.”