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Weatherizing Your Pneumatic Mast

When preparing the mast for freezing weather conditions, proper eye protection must be worn and a sufficient clearance from adjacent structures, vehicles, and people must be maintained. Some of the steps in this procedure cause water, antifreeze, or lubricant to be squirted out the mast weep holes and onto adjacent areas. A drain kit is available for the base tube to route the base tube water out a drain hose. However, water can still be released from the weep holes and collars on the upper tubes.

Weatherizing Your Pneumatic Mast

This section describes how to prepare a locking and non-locking pneumatic mast for extreme conditions such as freezing or warm weather using the Will-Burt non-toxic, Pneumatic Mast Antifreeze Kit. This optional kit provides enhanced mast performance in extreme weather conditions.

Preparing for Freezing Weather Conditions

In general, this procedure depends on the use of the mast during the following freezing conditions:

  • Always Nested – partially fill all laps with antifreeze
  • Fully Extended on a Daily Basis – partially fill all laps with antifreeze
  • Partially Extended – partially fill all extended laps and completely fill all non-extended laps

Use the Will-Burt Non-toxic Pneumatic Mast Antifreeze kit to prepare the mast for freezing weather conditions. The antifreeze is placed into a squirt bottle for ease of use.
When preparing the mast for freezing weather conditions, proper eye protection must be worn and a sufficient clearance from adjacent structures, vehicles, and people must be maintained. Some of the steps in this procedure cause water, antifreeze, or lubricant to be squirted out the mast weep holes and onto adjacent areas. A drain kit is available for the base tube to route the base tube water out a drain hose. However, water can still be released from the weep holes and collars on the upper tubes.

Always Nested Mast

To prepare a mast that is going to be left nested during freezing conditions, it is best to nest the mast, add antifreeze, then cover the mast collars. Covering the mast prevents the antifreeze from being washed out during rains. If a nested mast cannot be covered, rain can wash out the antifreeze from the mast while it is nested. Therefore on a regular basis it is best to add antifreeze to the laps, and then fully extend the mast.

Fully Extended on a Daily Basis

A mast that cycles daily can cause antifreeze to be released on a gradual basis. If a mast cycles daily in temperatures below freezing, it is best to add antifreeze to the mast every ten days.

Partially Extended

If a locking mast is extended but not fully extended (one or more tubes not extended), the collar laps of the non-extended tube(s) must be completely filled with antifreeze and antifreeze must also be added to the extended collars. Note: It is not recommended to nest the top tube during freezing weather conditions. Nesting the top tube requires too much antifreeze to fill the top tube lap which will create excessive weight in the top tube.

Before preparing the mast for warm weather conditions and lubricating the mast, the antifreeze in the mast must be flushed out of the mast. If the mast is not flushed before lubricating, the performance of the mast will be compromised. Once the temperature is consistently above freezing, lubricant should be added to the mast. If the mast had antifreeze added during for freezing weather, the antifreeze must first be flushed from the mast before adding lubricant.

Winterizing the Air Inlet Assembly

You may want to winterize the air inlet assembly by doing the following:

  • Place antifreeze into the air inlet valve
  • Remove the air inlet assembly (if nested or extended (locking mast) for long periods of time), then cover the area but still allow drainage.

Download the product manual for more information as well as detailed instructions on how to prepare your pneumatic mast for warmer climates.