Follow these best practices to make sure your machine is operating at its best before the busy season. A little prevention goes a long way in reducing costly downtime. Make Sure Machines Are Properly Greased Lubricate your machine according to manufacturers’ recommendations. By keeping your machine properly lubricated, you reduce premature wear and increase fuel efficiency. It is important to grease your equipment as often as recommended in a machine’s service manual. The more mobility the components have, the less work the hydraulic system must perform. Check Fluid Levels Check hydraulic fluid, coolant and oil levels daily to ensure that the equipment will not run into problems while operating. It is especially important to monitor fluid levels in your equipment during the summer months when temperatures are high. The summer heat will cause the engine to warm at a faster rate. As the engine warms, the machine’s fluids will suffer vaporization loss, eventually leading to a lower fluid level. Check Wear Parts Inventory Keeping wear parts on hand helps reduce downtime. We recommend you stock the following parts: Filters Hoses Belts Tires Blade Edges Bucket Teeth Hydraulic Fluid Oil Batteries Parts lockers are also available with automatic restocking! Take an Operator Refresher Course Our staff will teach your operators best practices for operating equipment to avoid machine damage and unsafe working environments, including: How do conduct walk around inspections Operating the machine properly to reduce excessive wear Avoiding situations that increase the risk of tipping or overturning Attend service workshops Our staff will teach yours best practices, including: Engine maintenance Undercarriage maintenance Attachments—Use, safety and maintenance Parts options—New, used and remanufactured Have Your Machines Inspected by Our Certified Technicians Our inspections follow manufacturers’ guidelines specific to each model. A typical inspection includes: Operational test Lube chassis Drain water and sediment Check fluid levels and adjust Change engine oil and filter Check and adjust chains Clean front and rear axle breathers Change fuel filters Engine oil analysis Change hydraulic filters Change inline fuel filter Check fan belt tension Lubricate attachment coupler Grease slides and post Clean battery/check levels Clean spark arresting muffler Repack front wheel bearings Submit an online service request to schedule an inspection or contact us regarding these best practices today!
Choosing the Right Hose When choosing a hydraulic hose you should pay close attention to the following characteristics: Working Pressure – Choose a hose that is suitable for the working pressure of the machine Wire or Sheathing – Install wire or sheathing when fabricated if the hose will be used in an area exposed to damage from pinching or crushing Fluid – Make sure you use a hose compatible with the fluids that are used in the machine Size/Inner Diameter – Choosing the right size hose is important in order to avoid unwanted friction. When fluid rubs against the inner surface of the hose, friction is created, which creates heat, increases back pressure, and reduces the rate of flow Match the Fluid Viscosity to the Operating Temperature – In order to achieve maximum component life, the fluid’s viscosity grade should be correctly matched to the operating temperature range of the hydraulic system Keep your hose operating correctly Follow these maintenance tips to ensure optimal performance and reduce risks, labor costs, and downtime: Pre-Use Inspection – To be completed before each use Check hydraulic hoses for signs of deterioration – Look for indications of wear, such as cracking, blisters, or bubbles. Catching signals early helps avoid hose failures later on Inspect seals used in fittings and adapters – Seals wear down, harden and age with regular use. Check for signs of wear and replace as needed Timeframe for replacement varies – There is no set time to replace hydraulic hoses. Rate of deterioration depends on a variety of factors including usage, pressure, and the type of hydraulic liquid Semi-Annual Maintenance Checks – At a minimum, hydraulic hoses should be thoroughly inspected by a certified technician every six months Storage and Safety Tips Keep fittings clean – Avoid getting sand, dirt, or other substances on your fittings and clean before each connection Use caps and plugs when not in use – Use of caps or plugs on your hydraulic hoses keeps them clean and saves time later when you have to re-attach them Store in the shade – Keep hoses stored out of direct sunlight. The sun accelerates deterioration and high pressures can result when the oil expands in the hose, making connection more difficult Detach carefully – A pressure relief tool is the best implement to remove a pressure-locked hose. Do not hit hoses on the floor to release pressure Always wear safety goggles when working with hydraulic hoses What if a hose fails? Usually hoses fail due to misapplication, deterioration, or improper maintenance. If the hose fails, be extremely careful: Shut down the machine immediately to avoid additional damage Allow machine to release pressure – Pressure is not released immediately and machines need time to release pressure to a level suitable for a proper inspection Do not search for the leak using your hands – Hydraulic fluids can penetrate the skin and pose a significant risk to your health Carefully replace the hose and test for proper operation Please contact your local service manager with any questions on hydraulic hoses or to schedule an inspection!
Dirt and dust in your fuel system can reduce engine life by 50%. These contaminants cause more than 85% of all failures in fuel systems. Even tiny amounts of dirt and dust in your machine’s fuel system can become obstructions to the engine’s normal processes. Newer engines are even more susceptible to damage, because the fuel injection pressure is higher, and the smallest particles can impair normal engine functions. Areas of Potential Damage When dirt and dust are introduced to an area in the engine where quick, sliding movements are important, wear can be accelerated when these small particles interfere with the sliding movement. Examples of these parts are inner and outer valves, nozzle needles and seats, and command piston sliding portions. Two areas where dirt and dust can cause particularly harmful damage are at the interface between the injector barrel and plunger and on the control valves. Interface between Injector Barrel and Plunger The amount of fluid required to keep the operation smooth and continuous between the injector barrel and plunger is just 2.5 microns. The introduction of dirt or dust into this area could cause significant interference with this movement. Control Valves A decrease in engine power occurs when the control valves, which maintain fuel pressure, begin leaking. Such leaks are caused when contaminants wear away seals. How to stop dirt and dust from entering the fuel line Fueling Properly maintain all fueling equipment. When you refuel, always replace the nozzle back onto the pump, rather than letting it fall on the ground where it could gather dust. Operation Construction equipment often operates in a dusty environment. You can prevent dust from entering the fuel system by making sure the vent tube and fuel tank caps are tightly sealed. Service While servicing your equipment, minimize the possibility of exposing the engine to the air, which will minimize the risk of introducing dirt and dust into the fuel system. Whenever you change filters, refuel or make any type of engine repairs, accomplish these tasks indoors, if possible, where there is less chance of contamination. Filters Change filters promptly at the manufacturer’s suggested intervals—clogged filters cannot prevent dirt from circulating through your engine. Use filters that are approved by the equipment manufacturer. Carefully follow the instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual when changing both the main filters and the prefuel filters, so that dust does not enter the fuel system during this process. Always check seals to detect possible leaks. Tips for Changing Filters Main Filter Do not fill the filter element with fuel when changing the main filter to avoid introducing dust during the replacement process. Also, check to insure that the o-ring fits properly. Operate the priming pump to fill the new filter with fuel. Prefuel Filter Fill the new filter cartridge for the prefuel filter with fuel before installing it. Check to make sure the cap is attached to the new filter cartridge, then pour fuel into the cartridge (do not use the center hole). Once the cartridge is full of fuel, take off the cap and discard it. Install the prefuel filter cartridge onto the filter holder after applying a thin layer of engine oil to the packing surface of the cartridge. When the packing surface on the cartridge comes in contact with the sealing surface of the filter holder, tighten the filter cartridge to turn. How to prevent water from entering the fuel line At night, condensation can occur due to a drop in the temperature while the equipment is not operating, and water may enter the fuel tank. To avoid the formation of condensation, at the end of each day, the tank should be filled up. Before beginning to operate your equipment each day, drain the water and sediment that has accumulated at the bottom of the tank. Similarly, about ten minutes after refueling, water and sediment should be drained from the fuel tank.