Tips on Preventative Maintenance

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.

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

  • backhoe cleaningblown 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.

One thought on “Tips on Preventative Maintenance”

  • Having the equipment maintained and inspected before and after it is used really helps in extending their life spans. No matter how strong it is build, if it is not used properly or with no care at all, it will only turn in to a liability. Always check and inspect everything.

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