I forgot about the poor hoses but it does make sense that they too would be put under a lot of strain in these temperatures.
I like the idea of using warm coolant from the truck to heat up the skid steer! it sure would take the strain out of starting the machine up.
I take it the oil in the hydraulics/hydrostatics get a chance to warm up so it gets a bit thinner so you aren't pumping oil thats the consistancy of molasis (if thats how you spell it). It would drive me crazy waiting for the cylinders to cycle as you pointed out the hydraulics get a bit slugish with the thickness of the oil. No normal person would want to work in those temperatures in the first place, it would be a good excuse to take time off during the coldest time of winter.
I do see the possibility of engine damage as the oil is thick and you will get oil pressure but it hasn't gotten to the parts that its needed the most down the line.
Again, i'm glad our winters never get below 0c. I am not a fan of our summer but those temperatures are just insane! -30 or so in winter +30 or more in summer.....
Quick couplers between engines is fairly common here too, but is does take 20 or so minutes for the heat to get around the block. Some argue that this quick heat meathod does not help keep the crank and oil pan warm like a lpg heater that burns all night. The one drawback is if you let the cold coolant circulate into the warm engine to quick you can crack a head. A valve to slow flow for the first minutes is critical
Our lowbed truck has a 3406 cat with a electric block and oil pan heater you plug in. And we installed quick couplers for hooking a hot box or another engine to it. By -8 or 9c its going nowhere without heat.
Other engines like the JD 6068t will fire up at -20 but light oil is advised, My father always said some engine start “too good“
My favourite for the remote location is the diesel fired circulation heaters like www.espar.com
etc. They have a timer that can be set for up to 7 days in advance and run for up to 2 hours b4 you arrive. They hook to your battery to run the clock and water and fuel pumps and furnace blower.
They Light themselves, burn only 6/10 or a litre per hour and put out 17 or 20000 btu (memory) They light with a little puff of smoke then the blower and fuel pump keep winding up (sounds like a jet engine but quiet) for @ 4 minute until they are lightly roaring away.
Once they are wound up nothing but clean heat (and Co) come out the exhaust, Many route the exhaust through a pipe in the hydraulic tank to heat the oil.
If the coolant gets to 190f they switch to low output and if it reaches 195f they shut down
They will easily heat a 400hp engine in 1 to 2 hours and generally when you arive the water guage is sitting at 140 or so. They are cheap to run but spendy.
They hyd functions warm from use until they operate normally in 5 to 10 minutes. But if its cold and you have to stop for 15 minutes or more it will be starting to stiffen again.
Often you see the wood loaders at the mill spinning their grapples and cycling functions while you pull up with a load of wood so they are ready to go when you get there.
My wood loader starts good with the espar, just need to bump the key. so I intalled a remote starter for a vehicle so I can fire it from 300 meters away. The bush roads are always rough so by the time I drive up and past and turn the truck and trailer around and pull back up along the loader, it has 4 to 5 minutes to run and the cab is beginning to warm and the oil has been run through the pumps and back to the tank for a bit. It can still really groan when you go to lift the boom and start slashing and loading though.