Tips for Avoiding Wear on Pins and Bushings Pins and bushings are often the first structural components that require maintenance. Depending on the material you're working in, like soil, rock, gravel, or pavement, how much you use the machine, and who the operator is, pins and bushings may wear slower or faster. We've put together several tips to help slow wear rates of pins and bushings on your tracked equipment. Why should you care about pin and bushing wear? Replacing a damaged pin and bushing can cost several hundred or a few thousand dollars. Plus, your equipment may need to be transported to an offsite workshop to complete the replacement, leading to costly downtime. If the worn pin or bushing has damaged the structural steel of the equipment, you might be faced with the cost of replacing the pin and bushing and the repair costs for line boring, welding, and refitting. There are two primary ways to avoid pin and bushing wear and avoid these costs and downtime: lubrication and turning. Ensure Proper Lubrication Pins and bushings wear excessively when there's a lack of lubrication, and they don't wear evenly. The pin wears on the side that makes contact with the bushing and wears on the mating surface of its inner diameter. Worn pins and bushings lead to tracks' stretching (called pitching), which decreases the performance of the tracks and has negative impacts on the life of your undercarriage. Most pins and bushings today have 'grease grooves' on the inner diameter where lubricants form a film layer for the pin to rotate on. Adding lubricant at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer slow wear rates and help purge contaminants from the bushing by forcing out foreign materials from the grooves. Pin and Bushing Turning In order to avoid pitching, pins and bushings can be regularly turned, so the wear side is not along the side that makes contact with other components. The pin and bushing turning provides new surfaces to working areas both internally and externally. By bringing new surfaces to working areas, the wear for the difference in load is more evenly distributed. Turning restores pitch on the track between pins and can prolong undercarriage life by enabling the chain to last until links and rollers need attention. It's a good idea to check your pins and bushings before you bring out your machine for the season. If you see your tracks pitching, you know you have to address the pins and bushings. How often pins and bushings need to be turned can vary based on the conditions of your working environment, but you will likely need to do it at around 2,000 hours. If you have any questions about pin and bushing wear or need us to handle turning or replacement, contact our team today!
Fluid Maintenance 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. Perform daily checks on the hydraulic fluid, coolant, and machine’s oils to ensure that the equipment will not run into problems while operating. Fluids to Check Hydraulic fluid Hydraulic fluid is used to transmit the force required to operate the machinery and to lubricate the hydraulic system and protect it from corrosion. Low hydraulic fluid levels will cause the machine to overheat and reduce the power of the equipment. Before checking the level of hydraulic fluid, make sure the machine is on even ground. The fluid should be kept at the level indicated on the tank’s gauge. Coolant Coolant keeps an engine running at peak performance in all temperatures. Coolant adds antifreeze and corrosion inhibitors, to prevent freezing, corrosion, cavitation, and rust. Operating with low coolant can lead to major problems, because unprotected surfaces could sustain damage. When checking coolant levels, allow the engine to completely cool. Then, locate the coolant reservoir and fill the tank to the indicated line. Oils - engine, transmission, gear Engine oil is used mainly to lubricate parts. It also cleans, inhibits corrosion, improves sealing, and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. To check the engine oil level, some machines require a dipstick inspection while others require removing the fill cap to check that the oil is at the fill line or the top of the fill hole. Transmission oil lubricates the transmission gears and helps keep the transmission operating temperatures reduced. To check the transmission oil, turn off the engine and locate the transmission dipstick. The level should be just under the full mark. Gear oil lubricates gear teeth and helps prevent the machine from overheating. When checking the lubricant level, make sure the gear oil is at the level of the filler plug. Fluid level is critical to effective and efficient operation. Additional Fluid Questions? Contact your local branch with your fluid maintenance questions. Be sure to ask about fluid analysis to track contaminant levels in your equipment’s fluid, so we can predict component failure. We will provide guidance and oil change intervals, based on the results for your equipment.
The Most Important Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips Get a jump on the Spring mowing season. Your mower works hard every day, and you depend on it for your business. To help you keep it as productive as possible during the upcoming season, we have put together some of the most important lawn mower maintenance tips. Change the oil To avoid problems with your mower operating properly, change the oil regularly. When spring is coming, it is the perfect time to complete this important task. In order to protect your lawn mower engine, we recommend changing the oil at least once a year or after every 50 hours of use, whichever comes first. If you are operating in especially dusty or dirty conditions, you may need to change it more frequently. Check your owner’s manual to determine which type of oil is best for your machine and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil change frequency to avoid issues requiring mower service. Inspect your spark plugs One of the most important lawn mower maintenance tips is to ensure your spark plugs are in good condition before the busy season starts. A loose or dirty plug will make the mower difficult to start, waste fuel, and cause it to run choppy, producing poor cutting results. We recommend pulling off your mower’s spark plug wire, removing the plug, and using brake cleaner and a wire brush to gently clear any dirt or signs of corrosion. After removing the dirt and grime, buff the plug with a soft cloth, and then reattach it. Replace your mower’s engine air filter The next important lawn mower maintenance tip is to swap out the air filter. A dirty or clogged filter will put extra strain on your engine and keep your mower from operating as efficiently as it otherwise would. By changing the air filter this spring, your machine will breathe easy, run better, and you can avoid costly mower service down the road. Clean the mowing deck If your mower deck is clogged with grass and debris, it won’t cut as efficiently and can lead to accelerated corrosion. A dirty mower deck can also spread plant diseases from property to property. A good lawn mower maintenance tip is to use a brush and soapy water to remove any other dirt and debris. Once the area is dry, coat the underside of your mower with a thin layer of vegetable oil in order to prevent debris from sticking to it. Sharpen the blades Your blades are the money makers on your lawn mower. To ensure a great cutting performance this spring and summer, remove the blades from your mower and take them into your nearest Burris Equipment location so they can be sharpened. If you have the right skills, tools, and equipment, you can also sharpen them yourself. Be sure to check the balance. Check the tire pressure Under or overinflated tires can cause uneven mowing and add additional stress on the blade and internal components that can lead to performance issues and costly mower service. Check the tire pressure before each shift to make sure they are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended levels. If you have any questions about these lawn mower maintenance tips, then please reach out to our team today!