MACHINES NEED GREASE: A CAUTIONARY TALE One of the things that sets professional equipment apart from everyday machines like your car is the intensity of the work it does. Big machines running all day, lifting heavy objects, maxing out on their breakout force…well, work like that gets HOT. Friction is a constant, and it’s a constant threat to your machine’s biggest moving parts. Modern equipment is incredibly strong and well-constructed, but it still requires maintenance. And in the case of lubrication for high-stress parts like lift arms, that means inspecting grease points daily (or after every use) and adding grease as needed; referring of course to the guidelines in your operators manual.
A NEW SERIES This is the first entry in a new Fully Equipped Series, where we’ll review and share (details) on maintenance recommendations for specific types of machines. User Manuals sometimes get filed away where they’re tough to retrieve, but you know as well as we do, that maintenance on these big machines is much more than just changing the oil every 100 hours of use. So we thought it might be helpful to do a series on these machines and, over time, build up a handy archive here on the pages of Fully Equipped. There’s even a full video on this one (below), and a full checklist you can download at your leisure.
We like lists. They’re quick reads and the information in them is organized so it’s easy to process and remember. This list of five most commonly ignored wheel loader and excavator maintenance tips is excellent. Consider including these on your contractor list of maintenance tips right away. The consequences of ignoring them can hit you in a number of ways—like downtime, lost productivity, lost revenue and unexpected costs.
Wheel Loader Maintenance Tips
Tires and wheels — Checking tire air pressure and missing lug nuts should be part of your wheel loader operator’s daily routine. Check the angle of wheels compared to axles, as excessive lean can be an indication of worn or damaged wheel bearings.
Drive shaft—Check the drive shaft U-joint straps and retaining bolts, along with any carrier bearings, for misalignment or lack of lubrication. Poorly maintained driveline components can lead to costly repairs.
Radiator—Make sure the radiator is clean of buildup to avoid engine overheating in warmer months. Any coolant leak or hydraulic/transmission leak near the radiator can lead to excessive buildup of dirt on the radiator fins, which restricts or blocks airflow, causing an overheat condition that can damage the engine and other components.
Transmission oil levels—Check levels regularly and be careful not to overfill. Overfilling the transmission can actually cause it to overheat during heavy-use conditions.
Bucket—Make sure to regularly check bucket edges and flip when needed. Not only will this extend the life of the bucket cutting edge, but it will reduce the effort needed as the machine drives into material to fill the bucket.
New Holland parts & service experts recommend that with diesel engines, you need to pay close attention to the fuel, lube, air filtration and cooling systems.
Maintenance of the fuel system includes cleaning the fuel tank cap/vent and making sure the cap is functioning and venting the way it should. Also looking out for water and sediment in the fuel, assessing the fuel filter, and draining the water as required. The no. 1 cause of fuel injection system failures is fuel contaminated with water. Continue reading →
We get the question “what’s included in your $99 customized inspection?” from customers a lot, so instead of listing everything off, we thought we’d show you instead:
Once we do a complete rundown of your machine we’ll give you a checklist of things that need attention. Think of it as a report card for your equipment! We run inspections on all types and brands, from skid steers to excavators to riding mowers. If your machine needs maintenance this is the cheapest, most effective way to address those issues because you’ll know exactly what needs attention and YOU decide what you want fixed.
Question: what are the two biggest operating costs of a track loader? If you said fuel and undercarriage give yourself a pat on the back. Tracks wear out over time, but maintaining your undercarriage will help you avoid expensive repairs down the line. A few adjustments here and there can extend the life of your tracks, which according to New Holland generally get between 800 – 2,000 hours depending on the severity of your work. Continue reading →
Your mounting plate will see a lot of snow and ice over a winter
Winter is coming which means sooner or later snow and salt are going to find their way into your machine. If you’re out there in the elements you need to be aware of trouble spots on your machine and one of the easiest ways to keep your equipment happy is to grease pivot points that see a lot of action in the snow. Continue reading →
Don’t listen to the doctor – when it comes to your machine, grease is good! Making sure you lube the moving parts on your skid steer (or backhoe or wheel loader) is extremely important to ensure your machine runs smoothly for the long-haul. Continue reading →