September 08, 2015

Five Ways to Keep Your Fleet Running Smoothly

You depend on your machine to be up and running at all times to maximize productivity and profits. When a machine is down, you're missing out of valuable production time. By following a few simple scheduled and daily maintenance procedures, you can maximize your uptime and ensure your machine is reliable for years to come.

Grease daily – There are a number of components on your machine that should be greased daily, or at the very minimum, inspected for lubrication. Daily grease points can include (but are not limited to) pins and bushings on buckets, grapples, and booms. A good rule of thumb is to grease until you see it coming out, as there are few components that can be over greased. Greasing is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to prolong component life by reducing premature wear and tear.

Hoses Make sure hoses are running true and along their designated paths, especially those that go to grapples and along booms. Straighten hoses once a week to prevent the loosening of fittings and premature wear from rubbing. Additionally, make sure hose wraps are in place and in good condition. Replacing worn hoses before they blow can prevent injury as well as significant downtime.

Cooling system and filters – Keep the cooling system clean by blowing it out with a compressed air wand as needed, taking care not to collapse any air flow channels (fins) on the cooler cores. A cooling system that is clean will keep your machine running efficiently. Check and clean air filters on the engine and cab according to conditions, and ensure that filters are replaced at recommended service intervals. A clean cab filter will ensure the best operating environment for your machine operators.

Oil Sampling – Oil sampling is something that your dealer can provide to you as part of a scheduled maintenance plan. By taking oil samples at specified service intervals, you can easily see if a component is wearing prematurely before it fails and causes downtime.

Maintenance agreement – Consider a maintenance agreement with your dealer. With many new machines having telematics built in, your dealer can predict and advise on maintenance remotely. This may help you schedule your downtime outside of working hours and ensure that your scheduled maintenance costs are held constant for the life of the machine.