It never ceases to amaze me, that when times get tough in the construction industry, one of the first things that suffer is the machinery!
How wise is it to miss a service or two, & risk a major component failure – wasting your money & most importantly – causing stressful downtime?
Oil & filters are cheap in comparison to pumps / gear teeth / engine rebuild kits.
” A FEW SERVICE TIPS”
Earthmoving is a dirty, dusty business. A key word involved in “Preventative Maintenance” is CLEAN.
- CLEAN air
- CLEAN oil
- CLEAN fuel
- CLEAN belly pans
- CLEAN machine
The first three items here speak for themselves & most machinery owners know the importance of them.
Belly pans on skid steers & crawlers are often neglected because cleaning them is a job that nobody wants to do – they’re heavy & they smell.
Premature / unnecessary failures I’ve seen due to a lack of attention here are
- blown hyd hoses / steel pipes – worn by stones rubbing away at them
- steel lines rusted through
- engine sumps worn through from friction & stones rubbing away at them
- mud entering engine sump through rear engine oil seals ( believe it or not! )
The operator of a clean machine can easily
- locate cracks / find metal flake at stress points while greasing
- find source of oil leaks
- prevent overheating by cleaning radiator cores of dust & grass
Most owner operators are keen to look after their investments, so will rarely miss a service when due. It’s a good idea though to let a professional carry out a major service when due – they may spot a problem before it turns into something more serious.
A word in the defense of all fitters / mechanics – we don’t foresee the future. Things will go wrong with the best maintenance schedule in the world. So it comes down to the God-given senses of the operator to STOP before things get real ugly!
- LOOK for oil trails on the ground / cracks in paint work / warning lights
- LISTEN for unusual noises – creaks & groans / grinding / clunks / loud bangs! / alarms
- FEEL vibrations (note the bad ones)
- SMELL oil & coolant leaks, overheating engine
- Under no circumstance TASTE any item related to machinery!!
My apologies if I’ve bored any readers to tears. I know it’s not rocket science, but we all need to start with the basics.