Reduce Downtime with a Maintenance Plan for your Compact Wheel Loader
Unexpected downtime can be deadly for any construction business. Dealerships with rental fleets face the same challenge. It is essential to ensure every piece of equipment is ready to work when you need it, but the more often you use a machine, the more critical its condition becomes. Thanks to their size and versatility, compact wheel loaders for permanent and rental fleets. Do you have an adequate maintenance plan to reduce downtime?
Everyone in the construction industry knows the phrase, “take care of your tools, and they’ll take care of you.” It’s a simple equation: less downtime = greater productivity.
No matter how busy your compact wheel loader is, it can keep working and perform best if you set aside time to follow this maintenance plan.
- Before starting work, do a walk-around inspection. Check and top off fluids.
- At day’s end, clean up the machine.
Every 50 hours (or every week)
- Check engine oil, brake fluid and hydraulic oil, and replenish if needed.
- Clean the air filter housing dust valve.
- Inspect the hydraulic and engine oil coolers for contamination.
- Check the V-belt for wear and proper tension.
- Drain water from the fuel-water separator.
- Clean or replace the fuel pump filter insert.
- Lubricate the bearings. That includes those in the driveshaft, steering cylinder, articulation joint, lift arm linkages, tilt rod and lever, lift and tilt cylinders and quick-hitch. Don’t forget joints, fittings and hinges such as the door arrester.
- Make sure the steering system, lights, electrical system and brakes (both service and parking) are in good operating order.
- Inspect the tires for wear, adequate tread depth and proper inflation pressure.
Every 100 hours
Do all the 50-hour maintenance tasks plus:
- Replace the fuel filter and the hydraulic oil filter insert.
- Replace the engine oil and the oil filter.
- Inspect service and parking brake pads and replace if necessary.
- Inspect axle oil for contamination.
- Check the tightness of all screw connections, especially those that relate to the steering and hydraulic systems, engine bearing, driveshaft, axle mounting, loader unit, counterweight and cab.
- Check the electrical system to ensure proper connections and grounding. Look for battery terminal or wiring harness wear.
Every 500 hours
Do all the 50-hour maintenance tasks plus:
- Replace the air filter insert.
- Change the axle oil – both axles, in the center and at the wheel ends.
- If you use biodegradable oil, drain the condensation water.
- Check the battery’s charge strength.
- Check engine timing via the valve clearance.
Every 1500 hours
Do it all – all the tasks you perform at 50, 100 and 500 hours. Then:
- Change the hydraulic oil.
- Replace the breather filter in the hydraulic oil tank.
- Clean the heating system dust filter.
Planning pays off.
When you know the recommended preventive maintenance plan for your mini-excavator and adhere to it, you’re doing everything you can to reduce downtime. Nonetheless, sometimes things break or wear out even with proper care.
If your compact wheel loader is nearing the end of its new equipment warranty, it’s time to add one more thing to your preventive maintenance plan: an extended warranty. This is even more critical if you purchased the machine used or it has already aged out of its original warranty.
Insurance is one of those things you hope you never need, but you have to be prudent to be successful in business. An unprotected machine could be a significant expense waiting to happen. And you can bet it will occur at the worst possible time. That can damage your dealership’s rental business or your customer’s ability to complete jobs on time. You can choose the type of extended warranty that makes the most sense for your operation, covering the powertrain only, the powertrain plus hydraulics or the entire machine.
Here at ADI, we’re not only experts in insurance, we have first-hand experience in the construction industry. We understand how your dealership works and how your customers work, so we understand why can be a major threat. Give us a call. We’re happy to help you explore your options so you get right-sized coverage at the right price.