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Manufacturers Offer Tips to Get More Bang for the Buck

Wed January 19, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Suzanne B. Bopp


How do you get the most “bang for the buck” from your equipment, and establish the most cost-effective maintenance? Construction Equipment Guide contacted manufacturers to get maintenance tips to help equipment owners.

The following maintenance tips are courtesy of John Deere:

Pay attention to safety items: that means guards, lock-outs, inter-locks. Certain things have to be done before you can operate the equipment. Accidents are usually the result of something has been removed or defeated. This is especially important when there are multiple users.

Perform fluid level checks. Most major repairs are the result of something minor. Operators should be expected to check fluid levels at least at the beginning of the day, if not several times a day. Don’t forget the battery: it is almost always overlooked. Fluid levels can affect not only operation but also control — such as braking if the equipment has hydraulic brakes.

The operator should perform control checks. Something may be different than it was before, for example, a slower response on a boom. Sometimes operators know something is not normal but they continue to operate because they have a deadline.

Check electrical functions and lights. These are things that need to operate on a piece of equipment. They take a real beating and are the last thing to get repaired.

Things like headlights and horns need to be operational to avoid fines; more and more standards are coming for equipment.

Filter maintenance should be self-explanatory, but it isn’t. Air cleaners, for example, should be checked daily. There should be a schedule.

The following maintenance tips are courtesy of Ingersoll-Rand:

Train operators and mechanics to make them aware of procedures. Everyone from manufacturers and distributors to salesmen and operators needs to do their part. Remember that just because someone has used a sweeper doesn’t mean they can jump on a roller and know what to look for.

Use manufacturer recommended oils. Bearing life could be shortened otherwise.

Do a visual inspection during daily maintenance. Besides the daily maintenance tasks, the operator should walk around and look at machine and be familiar with it.

During the off-season, do more than a general inspection. Thoroughly inspect the machine and order extra parts then, instead of waiting for something to fail.

Be consistent with recommended maintenance intervals. Keep up with when things should be changed, even though it’s hard to do in a busy season.




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