Depending on the usage, the quality of heavy equipment can determine how efficient or how productive the work is on a particular site. As such, using the correct type of machinery for a particular function is essential in order to complete the task in the most efficient way possible. With the use of heavy machinery like excavators, one should also be able to know how to maintain your excavator to keep the machine functioning and make it last longer.
The excavator is one of the most versatile kinds of heavy equipment. Many industries ranging from agriculture, mining, forestry, construction, and the like have made use of this machine to help in their daily operations.
When you’re subjecting your excavator to heavy processes, or workloads, it’s important for you to know how you can properly maintain it. Continue reading to learn more.
Read the manual
The simplest way to learn how you can properly maintain your excavator is by reading the manual. A typical excavator may contain the following parts: dipper, boom, stick, bucket, and cap. It’s important for you to know how each of these parts should function and what you can do to troubleshoot whenever one of them stops working. All of this information is contained in the machine manual which also informs the machine owner of the excavator’s safety features, instrumentation, as well as servicing schedules.
There is a tendency for any machine owner to just as easily misplace the manuals of their machine. While they can simply request a new one from the manufacturer, it’s still important to keep the manual close by in case the excavator encounters a problem which the operator or the fleet owner may not necessarily know how to resolve. To avoid instances of misplaced manuals, you may simply store the booklet inside a secure space in the excavator cab for easier access.
Similar to any kind of automotive machinery, inspecting the filters is key in order to get the most out of your excavator’s functions. Filters are responsible for keeping dust and debris from entering the excavator’s engine to keep the machine running smoothly and more efficiently. However, there are many kinds of filters that can be found in your excavator namely air filter, atmosphere filter, oil and fuel filters, hydraulic filters, and the like.
The danger of not conducting regular inspections of your excavator’s filters is you may not be aware if they’re severely clogged or if they’ve been accidentally blocked by many other kinds of loose objects. This kind of situation can have negative impacts in the way the excavator runs. Furthermore, a compromised filter can also impact many other sensitive components in the machine’s engine.
Many industry-grade excavators have a built-in warning system for filter restrictions for the purpose of alerting the operators on maintenance checks as well as potential problems. In order to avoid further contamination, you should not remove or make changes to the filter unless warranted.
Check fluids and lubricants
Another maintenance tip you should follow to keep your excavator functioning is to consistently check the levels of your excavator’s fluids and lubricants. The excavator uses up various kinds of fluids in order to keep its components functioning. These fluids include the coolant, hydraulic fluid, and engine oil.
For example, if you find that the fluids are not at an optimal level, you should ensure to refill them with the appropriate kind. If you’re unsure about this, you may once again refer back to the manual for manufacturer-recommended fuel types.
Aside from fuel inspections and refilling, you would also have to regularly subject the machine’s engine to lubrication. Your excavator has many moving parts and other mechanical functions which require this particular fluid to avoid instances of corrosion and minor damage to the vehicle. Lubricants also work to keep contaminants from entering the engine, as well as to lessen the friction produced in sliding and rolling processes.
When applying lubricant to the excavator, you’d also have to think about the drastic temperature changes which the vehicle will be subject to. While the kind of lubricant may vary across different kinds of excavators, manufacturers usually recommend lithium-based multi-purpose grease for many of the excavator’s components.
Practice proper steering methods
Last but not the least, one good practice is for the excavator’s operator to ensure they’re steering the vehicle properly. Forcing the vehicle to awkwardly maneuver through highly irregular terrain might cause some of the excavator’s components to come apart, or may create undesirable outcomes for its other mechanical processes.
A simple way of properly steering the machine is by making wide turns. Constantly subjecting the machine to sharper pivots can increase the machine’s level of wear and tear. Another way to prevent this is by lessening the time the excavator spends on drastically inclined surfaces like slopes or hills. Similarly, it’s also a good maintenance practice to avoid running the machine on surfaces that have largely irregular properties, like rough concrete. This can help prevent your excavator from receiving damage to its tracks.
Excavator maintenance can range simply from consulting and following the manual, to other more complex functions that require an operator, for example. Make sure to adopt these best practices when it comes to taking care of the machine.
Knowing how to maintain your excavator involves inspecting the lubricants and fluids, retaining the oil levels at an optimal range as well as avoiding contaminants from entering the filters.
There are many other ways of reducing the wear and tear on an excavator. While the guide above isn’t exhaustive, it will hopefully serve as a starting point for you, in taking care of your excavator.
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