Constant Servicing is the Key to Maintaining Machines Integrity
Construction Equipment (CE), especially heavy CE require constant maintenance to keep off the costly breakdowns, maintain machine’s integrity and enhance safety of the equipment and the operator. Constant servicing also helps to keep the machine in good working condition for a longer period of time and boost its efficiency and productivity. This greatly impacts the resale value of the equipment as well.
Hence, machine maintenance and servicing is a must. For that, you need to check the equipment thoroughly and have complete and accurate records and service checklists in place. The parts/components or things that should form a part of your service or maintenance checklist for keeping heavy CE in good condition includes:
1. Lubricant: You need to have good lubrication maintenance schedule to extend the life of the machinery and its parts. Make sure to look for any signs of excess grease build-up on pistons and leaks around the oil seals. There can be several joints in CE that may require daily or weekly greasing schedule, so you need to take care of that. Further, too little as well as too much lubrication can be harmful for the machine. So, you need to lubricate the equipment wisely with the recommended grade of grease. It is always better to follow manufacturer’s guidelines in this case as there are specific kinds of oil and grease for every component. In some cases, checking the lubricants can also help to diagnose various problems. In fact, experts can analyse the various particles in the used oil and tell which part is suffering from major wear.
2. Oil: You need to opt for oil analysis at regular intervals as it can help you zero in on the top four engine killers i.e., fuel dilution, soot, coolant and dirt, before it’s too late.
3. Fuel level: You need to check the fuel levels and document the periodic refills so as to enable the maintenance personnel to detect potential operational problems at an early stage.
4. Seals and filters: The various seals and filters which are fitted in the CE to keep the dirt and debris out of sensitive areas should be inspected regularly. Broken seals must be repaired immediately, breathers must be kept clean and all filters should be inspected regularly and changed when they become dirty or clogged.
5. Tyres and axle: Debris such as loose gravel or mud may get stuck in the tyre and impact it’s working. So, removing these materials can help in boosting the operational efficiency of the equipment. You also need to check that each of the tyre has the right pressure as this can help in lessening tyre wear, improve stability and reduce the fatigue of the operator. Also, you need to check for any cuts and replace the tyres when needed. Additionally, checking the axles can avoid problems in the field.
6. Gearbox: They should be checked for any vibration and damage to parts.
7. Bolts: Bolts can elongate and creep over time. Hence, torque checks should be run on the bolts.
8. Valves: You should check the valves for any leakage and repair them as soon as possible to prevent the machine from further damage.
9. Drive train components: You need to check pulleys for alignment and wear. Also sprockets should be checked for correct meshing with chains and for breaks.
10. Electrical wiring: Rain water can have a strong impact on the electric wires and other electronic components of the equipment, so, you need to protect your equipment at all times to boost its productivity and lifetime. You need to cover the critical wires properly or shelter the whole equipment under a covering or keep the equipment in shade so as to protect the wear and tear on the electrical components.
Apart from taking care of all the components/parts of CE listed above and their constant servicing, you need to pay attention to other wear and tear as well. Some common signs of wear and tear include...
a) Vibration that is caused by out-of-aligned gears and belts.
b) Shock which comes due to poor operating technique as well as accidents.
c) High temperature due to extended use of the equipment, friction, poor lubrication and worn parts and few other reasons.
d) Age which can impact various components of the equipment like it can lead to belts to wrap and bolts to loose and stretch out of shape.
The above mentioned factors can result in breakdowns easily. So, such issues should be fixed as soon as possible and there should be necessary replacement of the worn parts.
Have your own maintenance, servicing and inspection list
Definitely, you need to pay attention to all the above mentioned points, however, it always pays to have your own set of rules and guidelines based on your past experience or your maintenance expert. It is because the operating environment of the heavy CE may not be the same everywhere and based on this, the maintenance and servicing procedure and schedule can highly vary and who would know better than an expert or the operator of the equipment. Hence, it makes sense to ask the expert to conduct the study of the equipment and come up with the required maintenance and servicing schedule which is needed by the particular machinery.
Overall, if appropriate maintenance schedule is maintained and there is constant servicing of the important components of heavy CE, the machine’s integrity is maintained and this leads to various other benefits as well.
Benefits of constant servicing of the CE
1. The equipment downtime is reduced drastically and the number of repairs and cost associated with it is also decreased.
2. The life of the equipment increases and this eliminated the need to replace the machinery or equipment quite early. This in turn, reduces operational cost.
3. The equipment is able to give good results in minimum time leading to reduction of overtime costs.
4. The safety of the equipment and employee is improved at the job site.
Thus, constant servicing can extend the life of heavy CE and improve your Return on Investment (ROI). So, do pay head to constant servicing and maintenance of the heavy CE.