Get The Most From Your Heavy Equipment
Equipment will never last forever, but the life-span of your machines has a huge impact on your bottom line. Equipment is a colossal investment. Learn how to get the most from it. Here’s the top 7 ways to ensure your machine is giving you all it’s got.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT MACHINE: Regardless of your application, matching the right machine to the right job is a must. The use of a larger-than-necessary machine can harm your efficiency (making a huge dent in your profits), but using a machine that is too small can cause unnecessary wear or component failure. Don’t default to a set of standards. Choose your equipment line-up based on the individual needs of the job. If you don’t have what you need, you can always rent or purchase new or used equipment depending on your budget and needs.
- KEEP A GOOD MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE: Preventative maintenance is the main thing that stands between you and a poorly timed break-down. Fluids, tracks, tires, seals and electrical systems are just a few of the things that need a regular check-up. We know that keeping a schedule and tracking each vehicle in your fleet can get overwhelming (particularly as your fleet grows) but it is necessary to your success. Need help managing it all? Let us know!
- CHECK FOR WEAR: It can take up to a 20% loss of efficiency for an experienced operator to notice a difference in machine function, but improper component wear can often be identified before that. Machine vibration, friction, failing components, and poor operating conditions can often lead to detectable wear. You ability to notice can save you from downtime. Make of habit of completing regular checks for unnatural leaks, warping, scraping, and other signs of wear on your equipment and components.
- KEEP IT CLEAN: Cleanliness on a job site sounds like a fairytale. We all know equipment gets dirty. After all, we move earth and other materials on a daily basis. It’s what you do with your downtime, however, that makes the difference. Seals and filters keep many of your equipment’s fluids and components free of contaminants. Inspect them regularly to ensure they are in good repair and replace them as necessary. Also store and work on your equipment in a clean space. Contamination is a killer, but we’re here to help
- MAINTAIN YOUR FLUIDS: Fluids are there to reduce friction and the resulting heat build-up. They are the easiest and most important check you will ever do during maintenance. Every day it is a good idea to check your pistons, hydraulics, seals and other near-fluid components for signs of leaking. In addition, be sure you are using the right lubricant (recommended lubricants can vary so check with the machine’s manufacturer) and have an expert regularly analyze your fluids for contamination. Want to learn more? Take a video tour of our SOS fluids lab to see how they analyze your fluids.
- CHECK YOUR OPERATORS: Equipment is often operated by multiple different operators, but one weak operator can rob your machine of life and your components of work-hours. Improper training is easy to catch, but what about your seasoned operators? Over time, even the best operators get rusty, which can lead to more frequent breakdowns. Keep up-to-date on the newest operating standards and training and be sure your operators do the same. The more everyone knows about your equipment, the better, more efficient, and less costly machine operations will be for your business.
- ADJUST MAINTENANCE FOR CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE CONSIDERED EXTREME: Keeping careful track of your components and preventative maintenances schedules is vital to avoiding untimely breakdowns. When operating in extreme conditions, however, your regular scheduled maintenance may not be enough to avoid problems. Extremely dusty or dry conditions (like those found in Southern Idaho, Eastern Oregon and Northwestern Wyoming) may require more frequent seal checks and air filter cleaning (maybe even the use of pre-cleaners). The harsh winters, dense materials and wet springs of Eastern Washington, Western Montana and Northern Idaho can cause excess abrasion to your under carriage, requiring more frequent maintenance. If you are operating in extreme conditions, conduct more frequent visual inspections and consider a more aggressive preventative maintenance routine!
Extending the life of your equipment and components can be as simple as proper monitoring and maintenance. We know this can be a time-consuming and burdensome process. If you need help, we offer 12 service locations, remote monitoring/management services and multiple field trucks to help with your every need. Contact your nearest Western States location today to see what we can do for you.