Get Customers Ready For Their Busy Season With Excavator Maintenance Tips
The snow continues to fly and it’s darn tough to believe that spring is actually here – according to the calendar, anyway. Nonetheless, we know warmer weather is on the way, and with it, your customers’ busy season. Are their excavators ready to take on this year’s challenges? Passing along these excavator maintenance tips will help your customers be ready to roll. Or crawl.
Now is the time to go over these excavator maintenance tips with your dealership’s own service techs, too, to ensure your rental machines are in tip-top condition. Yes, your people already know these things, but timely reminders are just as valuable as training on new equipment and systems.
Excavator maintenance is more important than ever. These machines have evolved into feature-rich, versatile staples for many types of worksites. They’re taking on more work because they can do more, but they can’t keep up that good work without proactive care.
First, locate that operator’s manual
Each make and model is unique in some ways, so manufacturer’s requirements and recommendations vary. The manual exists so people don’t have to try to keep all these details in their heads. The best plan is to give the manual a review, then keep it at hand to use as a guide to this season’s excavator maintenance. Do that, and you can save money and help prolong your excavator’s life.
“Performing like a well-oiled machine” is a common expression for good reason. Moving parts require lubrication in order to function properly and head off premature wear and tear. Every day, operators should check the fluid levels of engine oil, hydraulic liquid, and coolant. Make sure you’re using the OEM’s recommended type of liquid or lubricant. Pay particular attention to exhaust post-treatment system requirements, because excavators must meet emissions standards.
Perform general lubrication often, at all locations, making sure the grease is at the correct temperature. and wipe up any excess or spills, to keep dirt or other debris from accumulating and potentially contaminating systems.
Beyond basic cleanliness, filters are critical barriers that protect moving parts from harmful particles or moisture. A clogged filter can’t do its job. Poorly functioning filters can also waste fuel by making the excavator have to work harder. Regular inspection is a must – remember, too, that different filters have different recommended replacement intervals.
Use the right fuel
Like all construction equipment, excavators need high-quality fuel to operate at peak performance. To keep productivity high and operating costs as low as possible, use extra-low sulfur No. 2 or No. 1 diesel for spring and summer operation.
Inspect from the bottom up
Digging parts aren’t the only consideration when it comes to excavator maintenance. The undercarriage literally supports the machine’s entire effort. It must be clean and tracks must be properly-tensioned.
Premature parts replacement or repairs can be very expensive, and no one wants unnecessary downtime during the busiest season. Even without that extreme, built-up crud adds weight that increases fuel consumption. So at the end of each day, the crew should use a pressure washer to clean away any accumulated dirt, mud, etc.
For tracks, daily inspection should include track bolts, chains, and shoes. Then check the tension. If it’s too tight, parts will wear excessively. If it’s too loose, the tracks could come off.
Take advantage of telematics
Today’s excavators come equipped with built-in systems that detect and communicate the machine’s condition. Using this data will help you keep preventive maintenance on track and help you identify problems earlier so you can address them with least cost.
And one more thing
As critical as excavator maintenance is, nothing says “downtime” like a jobsite accident. So think safety at all times, especially when operating around structures, other equipment, and crew members. That goes for your dealership’s own rental fleet, too. Those excavators on your yard may not be working, but any time you need to move one of them safety is paramount.
These excavator maintenance tips can help your customers get their machines ready for the busy season and help them keep those excavators working productively until the snow flies once again.