Heavy Machinery is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment you own. It’s also expensive to repair or replace. To get the most out of your equipment and money, we recommend creating a consistent maintenance routine. Our expert mechanics have put their minds together to provide you with tips that will help extend the life cycle of your heavy equipment.
Tip 1: Create A Preventative Maintenance Routine or Program
Preventative maintenance (PM) helps to anticipate changes in the health of your heavy equipment. Corrective actions should be taken regularly to ensure reliability and performance. This would include regular system inspections, modifications, and replacements of components. The benefits to a PM program include:
· Less Likelihood for detrimental breakdown
· Improved reliability
· Improved resale value
· Avoid expensive parts replacement
· Extend equipment life
· Better parts inventory management
Tip 2: Identify Issues That Could Cause Breakdown
Identifying potential causes of breakdown before they occur could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars and will help to maintain scheduled workflow. There are three types of heavy equipment failure: Sudden failure, intermittent failure, and gradual failure. These types of failure are often due to one of these causes:
· Mechanically induced failure – The easiest to recognize and prevent. Mechanically induced failure is often caused by overexertion, vibration, shock, collision, or operator error. You can prevent mechanically induced failure by replacing parts when needed, lubricating tightening fasteners, and ensuring all moving parts are properly aligned.
· Thermally induced failure – This happens when extreme temperatures cause breakdowns. It can be easily avoided by performing checkups and tune-ups when entering a seasonal change where temperatures will drastically increase or decline.
· Erratic Failure – The most difficult to detect. Erratic Heavy Equipment failure happens randomly and under varying conditions. Some common reasons for erratic failure include overloads on hydraulic or electrical systems, and software or hardware malfunctions. Erratic failure is preventable by using diagnostic equipment during maintenance checkups.
Tip 3: Get to Know Your Machine
Equipment knowledge is necessary when developing a maintenance routine. Be sure to read the equipment’s user manual and contact a professional (such as Flying Wrench Services) if you have any questions. Do not rely on YouTube videos because opinions always vary and you will want to be sure you are listening to tips from a true professional with the credentials to back it up.
Listen to your operators. If they indicate that you may be dealing with a potential issue then you will want to diagnose the issue. Do not operate the equipment if an operator has noted changes or issues with performance.
Tip 4: Train Your Employees on Proper Operation
Knowledgeable operators are more productive, cause less wear and tear on equipment, and can often be very helpful in identifying potential issues. Proper training is crucial not only for productivity, but for protection of the equipment and employee.
A proper training program can create a cohesive unit follows all procedures in caring for your equipment. Be sure all operators read the equipment manuals. You may want to invest in a training video because so many folks learn best from visual content. Provide testing at the end of the training process to ensure that the employee processed the information correctly.
Tip 5: Follow Factory-Recommended Maintenance Intervals
Factory-recommended maintenance intervals are a minimal standard and are based on normal operating conditions. They may vary based on climate and temperature, or environmental conditions such as dust, snow, ice, humidity, rain, etc.
Following these factory recommendations and keeping precise records will help you protect the warranty on your equipment. Many warranties are no longer valid if you deviate from the factory-recommended maintenance intervals.
Tip 6: Create A Checklist and Document Service History
Creating a checklist allows you to document each machine’s service history. This documentation should include the date each inspection was performed, they type of service that was performed, which parts were replaced or repaired, and any other notes that may be useful in the future.
The Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist (Download Here)
Start your inspection from the ground and work your way up. Be sure your inspection is “machine specific” and add categories if necessary. For example: wheeled machines would require some different checklist components than a tracked machine. Flying Wrench Services offers site inspections and in shop services that provide you the documentation you will need to update your records.
Tip 7: Pay Attention to Fluids
One of the most important aspects to optimal health in heavy equipment is checking and maintaining fluids. Engine oil, diesel fuel, coolant, and hydraulic fluid are all extremely important indicators to the health of your equipment.
Tip 8: Monitor Condition of Your Equipment
If you choose to have your inspection and servicing done here at Flying Wrench Services, your machine will be in good hands. Our services will save you time and money and keep your machines on-schedule. We provide services such as advanced fluid diagnostics, service history monitoring, and site assessments so we can dive deep into the overall condition of your machine.