Did you know there are two levels of maintenance required when it comes to your heavy machinery? The first can be described as ‘Normal Maintenance’. Due to wear and tear from daily use, your machine is likely to need some TLC over its lifetime. As an owner, you should expect parts to need repairing or replacing throughout the machines lifetime.
In general, you can expect the following to cause regular wear and tear on your machine:
- Terrain: The terrain of your work sites will no doubt cause your machine to vibrate and shake. This can cause gears and belts to become unaligned.
- High Temperatures: You can expect high temperatures after excessive use of your machine, friction within internal and worn parts and finally poor lubrication.
- Age: As we’re sure you can imagine, age plays a large part in your machines working capabilities as it does with almost anything.
Like most things in life, standard use will result in the wearing down of your machines internal and external parts despite excellent maintenance. On the other hand, we as suppliers, expect a certain level of ‘Preventative Maintenance’ to be upheld.
Preventative Maintenance is the decision to assist in preserving the lifespan of your machine. This is not to be mistaken as the prevention of normal wear and tear as previously described. It’s all about return on investment, the most bang of your buck! Planned maintenance checks may feel time-consuming, however, it’s much more appealing than the hours of downtime that can be caused by a full machine breakdown. Below is a list of preventative maintenance checks for you and your team to carry out.
Operator training is usually carried out when the machine is new and undergoing it’s first safety and maintenance check. Operator training ensures all users are correctly operating the machine for their own safety and benefit of the machine. Operation checks ensure all operators are using the machine within the guidelines of each machines manual.
It’s important that regular training and checks are maintained as it’s easy to become lazy the more you familiarise yourself with a machine. Rusty skills of operators lead to poor operation and inevitably results in breakdowns. We recommend providing shorter manuals to all operators with online options. This ensures all operators are working from the most up to date guidelines and restrictions.
Test lubricants frequently! When you find yourself realising you can’t remember the last time you checked the levels of lubricant, it’s likely they’ll need topping up.
If you don’t know, the purpose of lubricant is to reduce friction around the moving parts. Without lubrication, you will encounter some serious, unexpected issues of wear and tear. Constant lubrication will ensure you’re helping to extend the lifetime of your piece of machinery and it’s parts. Be sure to check for leaks, grease build-up, and excess oil as this can indicate problematic machines oil seals.
Did you know you can use the lubricants from your machine to check for problems? Take a sample to be analysed and an expert will usually be able to identify the problem.
It’s important to keep your machinery clean and stored in a maintained environment. Machines that are left outside, open to the elements will be quick to rust and deteriorate. Like a car, if you’re not using your machine, be sure to start it up to maintain its full capabilities.
Protective seals can be found over the entirety of your machine however they aren’t bulletproof. They can only do their job if they remain clean from contamination. To ensure this, regular checks are a must.
Please be sure to keep a good record of your machines maintenance and repair schedule to avoid any unnecessary failure.