Extending the Life of a Motor Grader
Motor grader is definitely a very costly equipment to purchase and maintain. However, once purchased, it works efficiently for many years if kept in a condition. Given that, it is not an unknown fact that all the heavy equipment like motor graders depreciate over the years due to continuous usage. Hence, it becomes imperative to take all the steps that extend the life of the motor grader considerably. The most basic step in achieving this aim is having a proper maintenance plan and applying proper operating techniques.
Here are all the steps that can help you to extend the life of your motor grader at the construction site and get the best possible performance from your equipment...
1. Having the right preventive maintenance plan ready:
Regular check-ups are a must to ensure that the motor grader is properly maintained as poorly maintained equipment can result in major faults. Thus, a proper maintenance strategy in place can identify all the faults before they happen. The first step in this direction is formulating a detailed plan having mention of even the minute things. Apart from this, a maintenance schedule should be created and followed religiously. This should have notations on how often each part of the machinery should be inspected for problems, repairs and general maintenance. You should make it a point that during each scheduled service, the machine is examined from top to bottom and special attention is paid to possible weaknesses, defects or component faults. By proactively detecting and repairing flaws, considerable amount of time and money can be saved.
2. Applying condition monitoring system or carrying out checks in between the maintenance schedule:
If you see any change in certain conditions like reaction time, vibration or temperature, it is usually indicative of a developing problem. Hence, it is necessary to carry out checks or perform conditioning monitoring in between the maintenance schedule to rectify the defects as soon as possible. These days, condition monitoring has become much more quick and intuitive. There are sophisticated condition monitoring technologies that carry out the essential functions by performing various tasks to keep the machine in good condition and extend its life.
While having a regular maintenance schedule is important, it is also extremely necessary to maintain and inspect the equipment on a day-to-day basis like after use every day so as to keep it safe, corrosion-free and in the best condition. The day-to-day machine inspection list should include the machine frame, circle, tires, wiring, cylinders, hoses, tools and any areas susceptible to damage or wear and tear. You should always make it a point to check the tires for the right pressure and replace badly worn tires to reduce slippage and resistance caused by bald or under-inflated tires that result in an inefficient use of the machine’s power. Also, you should check for any leaks as it can lead to a big disaster. If you hear any unusual sounds from the engine, then take it as a warning sign. Make it a point to keep the motor grader properly greased during winters. Also, the air filter needs to be regularly checked and cleaned for optimal functioning.
It is a known fact that motor graders are exposed to extreme operating conditions like extremely rocky terrain which puts extra pressure on the cutting edge and leads to fine dust clogging up in the air filter, thereby, compromising the blade slide and turntable functionality. In such a scenario, you may have to readjust your maintenance schedule and carry out maintenance more frequently. This may include checking the blade more frequently for wear or changing the oil filter and lubricating or replacing slide guides and other small moving components.
4. Hiring an experienced motor grader:
Being highly technical equipment, motor graders demand well-trained and experienced operators who can handle the equipment wisely, maintain it regularly and identify defects and malfunctioning of the equipment. Thus, an experienced motor grader is always one of the prime factors in extending the life of the motor grader. By using the proper techniques, an experienced motor grader operator can keep the cutting edge sharp and even, position the mouldboard for optimal performance and adjust the tools to align with the conditions. Also, a skilled and experienced motor grader is well-aware of the techniques to reduce wear on the cutting edge.
5. Rebuilding or reconditioning the motor grader to instil second life into it:
Equipment rebuilding or alternatively called as reconditioning is a systematic approach where in a controlled environment, a skilled technician totally rebuilds the equipment and restores the equipment as ‘New’. With this, your machine is re-engineered according to the original specifications, properly tested and thus, is able to work for long. In the equipment rebuilding process, even new software and engineering upgrades are incorporated into the equipment so that it can become even better than before. Thus, reconditioning can help the equipment to deliver better performance and make the machine more reliable at a fraction of the cost of a new machine. In fact, if the rebuilding process is conducted in the right manner by an experienced team, then it gives a second life to your equipment. It is one of the cost-effective, smart and sustainable ways for extending the life of the motor grader.
6. Repairing the motor grader:
Repairing is quite an easy and a fast process as essentially it involves identifying the problematic parts and components like what is broken or worn out and fixing or replacing with a new part. It is generally cheaper or more economical way to repair the equipment’s parts and extend the overall life of the equipment. However, the motor grader repair might not be a long-lasting solution for increasing the life of the motor grader.
So, if you possess a motor grader which is being used for years now and is showing the signs of depreciation, then do take the above mentioned steps to extend the life of your equipment considerably and use it happily for some more years without any of the major wear and tear.