Heavy Equipment Maintenance Tips for Extended Life and Improved ROI

Amongst all types of construction equipment, heavy machinery is the most expensive. Replacement and repair of these machineries not only cause undesirable delays, but is also an expensive affair. Mentioned below are some heavy equipment maintenance tips that will ensure a longer life for your equipment and better return on your investment.

The first step is to identify the maintenance tasks that are commonly overlooked and simple things that anyone can perform to improve your equipment’s long-term value. If you are looking for unmatched productivity and a long service life, you must remember that basic attention is extremely important even for the most sophisticated machineries.

In order to avoid expensive downtime, it is important to be extremely proactive towards heavy equipment maintenance. Regular maintenance makes it possible to predict the most likely time of equipment failure and work out a solution before the failure actually takes place.

Simple Steps for Maximising Machine Life: Mentioned below are some simple steps you can start implementing today to make the most out of your heavy equipment.

Create a preventive maintenance schedule: Preventive maintenance will allow you to anticipate the wear and tear and take corrective actions to ensure performance and reliability. This involves regular inspection, component modification or replacement, as well as performance analysis and testing.

Please remember that a proper preventive maintenance program is all-inclusive, and is much more than regular maintenance tasks. Some of the most important components of preventive maintenance include site inspection, field service, failure analysis, fluid analysis, condition monitoring, electronic information collection, machine inspection data, historical repair data, component tracking and much more.

Benefits of preventive maintenance includes improved equipment reliability, reduced unexpected breakdown, reduced need for part replacement, extended equipment life, and better resale value.

Identification of major machinery breakdown causes: There are three major machinery failure types with their own causes and solutions.

  • Sudden failure of the equipment without any warning whatsoever. In most cases, the reason for such failure is obvious, and the equipment can be returned to service by fixing or replacing the part.
  • Intermittent equipment failure happens randomly, and the reasons for such failures are difficult to identify. These failures often lead to extended downtime, and can be prevented by prior anticipation of the cause and fixing the same during maintenance,
  • Gradual machinery failure is caused by wearing components and parts that are near the end of their lifespan. These failures can be prevented easily by replacing the parts during routine maintenance and inspections.

Understanding the equipment inside and out: In order to implement an effective maintenance program, product knowledge is extremely essential. Take time to thoroughly read and understand the product manual. By going through the manual, you will gain a clear understanding about the recommended service intervals for the machine components, acceptable operating conditions, proper servicing products, and much more. In addition to maintenance steps and techniques, these manuals also provide valuable troubleshooting information.

Another great way to know a machine is to involve the machine operators.  As they deal with the equipment on a daily basis, the operators are more likely to have an intimate knowledge about the machine’s quirks and idiosyncrasies. This is why listening to them is a smart maintenance strategy.

Adhere to the recommendation of the manufacturer: Please remember that none knows your equipment better than its manufacturer. Therefore, it is wise idea to stick to the maintenance intervals recommended by them. These recommendations are based on normal operating conditions. Depending on the specific site environment, local climate, and operator load, the maintenance intervals may vary.

Factory-recommended maintenance intervals should also be followed and adequate records must be maintained, in order to protect the product warranty.

Documentation of service history: It is impossible to mentally keep a track of a machine’s service history. This is why it is always better to document all the service records mentioning the date, servicing type, parts replaced, next servicing date, and the irregularities observed, if any.

Machine inspection: The initial part of preventive maintenance is performed outside the vehicle and covers the lights, brakes, steps, handrails, undercarriage, electrical lines, hydraulic lines, hydraulic oil, fuel tank, lift arms, body, grease lines, work tools, and checking for leaks.

Depending on the machine’s exact specification, the inspections will vary in some instances. For example, wheeled machines require an inspection of the tires, rims, log nuts, axles, and drive shafts, On the other hand, the rollers, sprockets, track shoes, and links should be inspected for tracked machines.

Now, the next step for you is to look under the hood and inspect the engine compartment. Please ensure that the fluid level, air filter, battery connections, belts, hoses, covers, and guards are checked carefully.

Finally, inspect the equipment’s cab, both inside and outside. Inside the cab, carefully inspect the seat, mirrors, windows, seatbelt, and pedals. While inspecting outside, check the lights, clarity of the mirrors and windows, windshield wipers, and washer fluid levels.

Pay attention to fluids: The health of any equipment can be determined accurately by analysing its fuel, engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and coolant. By analysing these factors, it is also possible to measure the effectiveness of maintenance and anticipate the potential machine failures.

Monitor the overall condition: Your preventative maintenance plan must also include condition monitoring to prevent untimely breakdown and repairs.

Feel free to contact us at K & G Machinery, if you have any other concerns related to the maintenance of any heavy equipment. We also supply tool carriers, excavators, ballast regulators, and other various plant and equipment for extremely competitive rates.