Construction work is very time-oriented, with a strict timeline for when a project needs to be completed. Therefore, it’s essential for you to keep up with the regular maintenance that is necessary for various pieces of equipment to be used at their best. An excavator is one of the most-used pieces of equipment for construction projects. To avoid any setbacks, here are some of the top maintenance tips for your excavators.
Check Fluids Regularly
As with cars, it’s important that you check on the fluids of your excavator regularly. When levels are low, your excavator may not work as efficiently; it may even potentially malfunction. Some levels that are vital to your excavator include the engine oil, coolant, hydraulic fluid, and final drive gear oil. Make sure you have these fluids handy so you can fill them up when necessary in order to keep your excavator running smoothly.
In addition to checking and filling up the important fluids of your excavator regularly, you will also need to clean parts of your excavator often. It’s important that you get rid of any dirt and debris you may find on the excavator because these substances can keep it from performing at its best. The undercarriage of the excavator will likely need the most amount of cleaning done because it’s the most exposed—but don’t forget about the other parts, either. Cleaning also prevents rust from depreciating the excavator. A clean excavator is a long-lasting one.
Become Familiar with the Manual
Before you even start to use the excavator, it’s essential that you become familiar with the manufacturer manual, which is normally stored in the cab. The excavator’s manual can serve as your guide to all the machine’s important components, like its controls, service schedules, safety, and more. Keep the manual in that safe cab space and make sure that operators have a good understanding of what’s in it.
Remove the Filters When Necessary
Other parts of an excavator that you will need to check regularly are the various filters. Over time, a filter will get dirty to a point where it can affect the excavator’s performance. On Bobcat machines, it is crucial to inspect and replace the final drive case drain filters when needed. Refer to your manufacturer manual for the suggested time on when to replace the filters.
Use the Right Fuel
The excavator’s fuel can also play a big role in an excavator’s performance. A manufacturer will provide you with the recommended fuel you should use for your excavator in the manual. Excavators will typically use clean No. 1 or No. 2 oil. However, if your excavator gets used in cold temperatures, consider using fuel full of formulated blends, so you can prevent gelling.
Inspect the Tracks
An excavator’s tracks can take a beating, and it’s also such an important part of the equipment. Routinely check the tracks to ensure that they’re running at a high performance. Not only should you look for any tears in the tracks themselves, but track tensioning is also something you will need to look over. If track tensioning is too loose or too tight, it can cause some serious wear and tear to your excavator. Some other parts of the undercarriage that require inspection include the final drive sprockets, idlers, and rollers.
Check the Cooling System
A common problem excavator operators face is when the excavators overheat. Therefore, an excavator’s cooling system is vital to help the construction equipment work properly. As long as the cooling system can provide airflow to the excavator, then the issue of overheating can be minimized. Routinely check the excavator for any leaks and carefully clean the radiator, oil cooler, and condenser often with air or water.
Construction can be a very dangerous profession, which is why heavy-duty equipment has so many safety features attached to it. Part of excavator maintenance is making sure that the various safety features like seat belts, cable mounts, and mounting hardware are functioning properly. Routinely check on these features before using and don’t continue work until the excavator is safe enough to operate.
Operators also need to know how to use the excavator properly to prevent any further damage. For instance, operators should know not to take any sharp turns, reduce the amount of time on slopes, avoid damage to the tracks by going in environments like concrete, using the correct shoe width, and so much more. While construction equipment—including excavators—are made to be durable, it’s still an operating machine that can be severely damaged if it isn’t used properly.
Because so much work is required on excavators to keep them fully functioning, you need to keep a record of any work that is performed on it. Storing records will give you the best idea on when to perform regular maintenance and ensure that everything is up to date. Records can also streamline a repair if you know the history of your excavator. Records are a valuable source for your excavator that can help you stay on top of what kind of work needs to be done. Keep your records in a safe place that can easily be accessible for when you need to look them over.
Replace Any Parts in Poor Condition
The final piece of maintenance for your excavator is to make sure you replace parts, such as a Bobcat final drive motor, as soon as you notice a potential issue. Getting ahead of the problem is the key to a healthy and functioning excavator. Recognizing when certain parts may be failing you and replacing them quickly can prevent major breakdowns. This can not only keep your excavator running, but it can also save you far more money.
Those are some of the top maintenance tips for your excavator that you should follow. A great way to stay on top of all of this is to perform a daily checklist of some kind to see if anything may require further attention. Regarding that final tip, if you are in need of final drive parts, Mini Final Drives has a lot to offer for trusted brands like Bobcat, John Deere, and others that continue to produce high-quality parts.