Today's excavators are often multi-talented workhorses - often called upon to dig trenches, dig holes, break down large pieces of material, and transport items around the site. Even when they are designed to handle the toughest jobs, day in and day out, no part of an excavator lasts forever. Nevertheless, with a little maintenance and care, the time between parts replacement and repair can be extended to the limit.
With increasing costs and lingering parts availability issues throughout the construction industry, everyone is looking for ways to maximize the life of their parts. For many, the easiest solution is to refocus on keeping what they have now run well for the longest possible time. To help, we've put together a list of excavator maintenance tips.
Every excavator operator knows that behind their seat is an operator's manual, containing useful and insightful information on everything from maintenance schedules to oil filler nozzle locations to basic tips for better operation. Your operator's manual is the first source of wisdom for an intelligent maintenance plan, but there is often more to knowing your machine than what is in the manual. A good maintenance plan can address the history of your machine, from the job sites it faces to the ground conditions and materials it handles, to the basics of how it normally operates.
Having a reliable history of your machine can tell you when and where to focus your attention on maintenance. You can even extend your history by keeping a simple record of your work in the cab. Has the excavator been in the bog for a week? Did it work overtime in the heat? Did it spend a month digging for hard material? With a little background knowledge, unexpected surprises can be transferred to expected maintenance and addressed before they become downtime.
Changing filters on time is always a simple way to prevent problems with your excavator, and it has the added benefit of ensuring that your machine runs as efficiently as possible. You can extend the efficiency check even further by constantly monitoring and cleaning the coolers and filters. When they collect debris, coolers and filters are forced to work harder, which can affect the entire machine, resulting in critical components being forced to work harder or in less-than-ideal conditions.
Long Reach Arm and Boom
Especially if you find yourself working in a dirty and dusty environment, taking the time to inspect any components that are vital to cooling your machine may be an easy way to spot and stop problems before they become real issues.
Everyone has been to a site where the attachments on the end of an old excavator are closer to the screen than the bucket. Sometimes digging the last few figures out of a storage bucket is just a requirement of the job, but when a storage bucket fails it loses efficiency. Regularly checking the teeth or cutting edges and the overall health of the bucket can help you diagnose and fix problems to extend the bucket's life.
Excavator end-of-arm attachments are required to perform intensive and repetitive tasks, and keeping them well maintained can reduce the number of operations required and the time it takes to perform the job.
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