Signs Your Heavy Equipment Needs MaintenanceAugust 12, 2016
Keeping Your Equipment Jobsite Ready
The health of your fleet, whether it consists of one machine or 20, is essential to your ability to get the job done on-time and on-budget. While quality Cat® equipment can be counted on for years of service, even the best machines require routine preventative maintenance and diagnostic testing to ensure they continue to deliver reliable performance.
Your best bet to reduce the risk of unanticipated downtime is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule and have all work performed by factory-trained technicians. Even then, however, there’s still the off chance that a particularly demanding job can stress your equipment to the breaking point. Here are a few things to look for that will help you catch these problems early on and take swift corrective action.
- Excessive fuel consumption. Excessive fuel consumption is one of the biggest warning signs something is wrong with your heavy equipment. Overworked or underserviced engine components will burn through fuel a lot faster than systems that are running well. If your equipment is starting to require more frequent fill ups, or if you notice your operating costs begin to spike, it may be time to request a service call.
- Leaking fluids. Leaking coolant, hydraulic oil or other fluids is a serious warning sign that something is wrong with your equipment. Running machinery that isn’t properly lubricated can cause major damage requiring extensive downtime to fix. Rather than risk that, book a service appointment at the first sign of a leak from any hoses, hydraulic arms or other components.
- Grinding, seizing or strange noises. Any new or strange noises or grinding issues are obvious signs of a problem requiring attention. If you experience anything out of the ordinary while operating your heavy machinery, stop what you’re doing and try to isolate the cause. If there’s obvious damage, or if the problem persists, it’s time to book an appointment with your technician.
- Poor productivity. More generally speaking, a drop in productivity may be attributable to subtle performance issues with your fleet. Worn out bushings or other hardware can affect the accuracy of a machine’s performance, necessitating rework or additional passes that, over time, will eat into your productivity. If you see a drop in quality or speed with no other apparent cause, your equipment may require service.
Today’s modern construction fleets are outfitted with sophisticated diagnostic tools that instantly alert you when a problem is detected. On top of that, however, your own intuitive as a professional is your best guide to knowing when to call in an expert to assess the problem.
Looking for a partner for all your equipment maintenance needs? Get in touch with a Fabick Cat representative to learn more about our service and equipment management solutions.