Avoid back dragging Back dragging reduces cutting edge life by causing it to break before it wears down. Minimize excessive down pressure Buckets last longer if the operator minimizes the amount of pressure applied when the bucket is engaged with the ground. Avoid using blades in wet conditions Blades wear faster in wet conditions. Equipment Tips Use corner attachments Corner guards increase the bucket's strength. Not using corner guards can cause premature wear. Use a thicker edge More powerful machines can use thicker edges, and, in most cases, they should. For grader blades, consider using single bevel curved blades instead of double bevel curved The leading bevel on double bevel curved blades wears out quickly, turning it into a single bevel curved blade. Single bevel curved blades last longer and are more cost effective. Use proper bolts and nuts Loose bolts and nuts cause the cutting edge to be loose on the moldboard, which can lead to breakage. Use Grade 8 bolts or higher; lower quality may stretch and loosen. Rotate the cutting edge consistently Flipping the blade regularly can double the blade life. The flipping interval depends upon what type of material it's used for, and the application. Protect snowplow cutting edges with a standard flat blade The steel in carbide snow plow blades can erode, causing the carbide inserts to fall out. Inspection Tips Inspect loader edge position The base edge is the primary support for the bucket system, while the primary engagement edge should be the bolt-on cutting edge. If the base edge is worn out, the bucket is not as stable. Inspect loader wear plates and replace when needed Increase the life of the bucket and cutting edge by replacing wear plates regularly. Routinely inspect and secure bolts Loose cutting edges can easily be damaged and may fall off and damage surrounding equipment. Contact your local branch for more information
The versatility of skid steer and compact track loaders makes them a staple on almost any jobsite. Follow our best practices to make sure you are getting the most out of your equipment by completing work efficiently and safely. Always Wear Your Seatbelt Rollover accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in CTLs and skid steers, often because the operator wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Even if your equipment features a ROPS system, seatbelts are an important component to assure safe operation. No matter how light the load or how short the distance, fasten your seatbelt before you begin operation. Don’t Travel Across Slopes If you need to go up or down a slope in your machine, make sure the heaviest end is positioned uphill and travel in a straight line up and down. This position maximizes stability and greatly decreases the risk of rollovers. When no load is being carried, the rear of the machine is usually heavier. Never Leave The Operator’s Station While The Engine is Running or When The Arms Are Raised Another leading cause of injury or death involving skid steers and CTLs is hitting or crushing someone with moving parts. Buckets can unexpectedly lower or loads can be dropped without notice. Never start the machine or make adjustments from outside the cab, and never allow someone walk under raised arms. The Proper Technique For Stopping The Machine Is: Lower the arms and attachment flat on the ground Stop the engine and remove the key, or lock the keyless panel Engage the parking break Move the controls until they are locked or in a neutral position Never Transport Personnel In The Bucket Or On Attachments No more than one person should ever be involved in operating a skid steer or CTL. Falling off these machines can result in serious injury or death. Never lift the hydraulics or drive a machine with another person riding along the outside of the machine.
Daily Checks One of the simplest—yet often overlooked—maintenance practices is the daily walkaround checklist. Be sure to check the engine oil, hydraulic fluid and coolant and top off when necessary. Make sure that you're using the manufacturer-recommended fluid. Remember, it never hurts to ask your dealer or your tech. After a week or so, it is important to check the fuel filter and drain any water or debris that may have built up, or replace it if necessary. Next, check the hydraulic hoses and air system for leaks—its always better to find a problem and fix it while it's small, than to wait until it's too late. Get out the Grease Gun Next, check all pivot points on the machine and grease where needed. You should also check the track tension—always check your operator's manual for the proper technique. Something that is often completely overlooked is the bucket or attachment. Be sure to check all the pivot points on the attachment as well, and grease where needed. Also, take a look at the teeth on the bucket. If they are worn down to a certain degree, that can have a serious effect on the machine's performance. If the teeth are worn and dull, the machine has to work a lot harder to get the job done, and there's no reason for the added wear-and-tear on the machine. If you aren't sure, ask your dealer or tech. Cooling System It is important to keep the radiator, oil cooler and other heat exchangers clean during operation. Check for any accumulated debris, and wipe down when necessary. Remember, slow oil or coolant leaks tend to collect dust and other particulate matter—keep an eye out for potential problem areas during your daily checks. Special Maintenance Features Many modern excavators offer special features that allow for easier maintenance. Easy access is crucial when it comes to quick maintenance checks—all of our excavators feature a well-designed engine compartment and access panels. You should be able to access and locate components easily and safely. Another great feature on our newer excavators is a multi-function monitor in the cab. This electronic panel offers important performance readouts, and will let an operator know when fluid levels are low, or when maintenance is required. Check the Manual You probably hear this a lot, but it is really important to use OEM filters and manufacturer-recommended fluids and fuel. The machines where developed and tested using these fluids and filters, and any difference in specs can affect the performance of the machine. Be sure to check your operator's manual and make sure that you are keeping up with the regular service intervals. Your technician will be sure to check the belt tension and alignment, keep up with the proper oil and fluid changes, and keep the cooling system running properly. Ask your dealer or tech about regular service intervals—again, it's always better to stay on top of things.