In order to keep your heavy machinery in good working order, maintenance is key. If your machinery is poorly maintained it could not run efficiently or worse, break down. Break downs are costly, with costs relating both to having it fixed and also factoring in the down time of the machine.
You can use our tips to make sure that your machinery is well-maintained so that you can drive your projects forward.
Machine Operator Training
Many times your heavy duty equipment will have multiple operators. It is best to ensure that all the operators have been trained properly on the operation of these machines.
Large machinery must be inspected on purchase (or before it is hired). At this stage it is important to train the operators immediately. Should you employ another operator, be sure to have this operator sufficiently trained before using the equipment. Keep the operator updated, as some skills may become rusty and the incorrect operation could lead to breakdowns.
Most machines come with lengthy manuals. These manuals should be redone in a short manual and also in a language that the operator understands. The shorter manual should have an easy reference section.
Machine operators should be taught to maintain their vehicles. Machine operators that have basic knowledge of the equipment can be very valuable to the project.
In order to reduce the friction around any moving parts in a machine, lubrication is essential. In order to extend the life expectancy of large machinery, make and stick to a schedule of when lubrication must be done.
Maintenance checks should start with lubrication. Check around the oil seals for leaks and check the pistons for any build-up of oil or grease.
When purchasing lubricant, don’t purchase the cheapest. Buy the manufactures recommended oil and grease. Buying any lubricant could cost you dearly in the end.
Signs of Wear and Tear
Heavy duty machines are subjected to vibrations, shocks, friction and high temperatures, all of these can contribute to the breakdown of your machine:
- Vibrations from gears and belts that are not aligned.
- Shock from poor operator technique or accidents.
- Extended use, friction, poor lubrication and worn parts can all cause high temperatures in the equipment.
Many of the components will also be affected by age. Over time seals will dry and crack, belts will warp and bolts will loosen, so it’s wise to monitor equipment components. Any worn parts should be quickly replaced.
Cleaning is Vital
Heavy duty machinery is made up of many seals and filters and moving parts. These should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are free of contamination. Filters should be changed regularly and breathers kept clean. Electronics will break down if contaminated. Where possible, machinery should be kept in a shed or out building when not in use. Constant exposure to wind and the elements will decrease the life expectancy of your machine. You should also make sure that you run your machinery even when not in use.
Keep Records of all Maintenance
Keeping a journal of all maintenance done, and when it was done, can aid in preventative maintenance. Knowing when a part was last replaced or lubricated will save time when doing quick maintenance checks on the vehicle.