Heavy equipment repair is a necessary part of owning a construction company or a snow removal service or running a town. However, if you take great care of your heavy equipment, you can reduce the need for repairs. Regardless of which type of heavy equipment you use, here are five tips to help you avoid repairs:
1. Protect your steering system.
Most heavy equipment has a lot of weight on the front axles, and this can be hard on the steering system. In addition, driving heavy machinery at slow speeds, another potential necessity in many construction zones, also places undue pressure on the steering system.
To address this issue and protect the steering equipment of your heavy machinery, you have two options. You can install a dual steering gear system -- this helps with heavier loads on the front axles by automatically switching what gear the machinery is in based on axle weight and other road or surface conditions. Alternatively, you can use an oil cooler near the steering system -- this simply keeps the system from overheating regardless of the pressure put on it and the heat created.
2. Keep an eye on your suspension.
The suspension on most heavy machinery gets a real workout. As these machines drive into potholes, over piles of dirt and through work sites, the machinery bounces up and down, and the suspension is actively in use.
Because of this, you need to take extra care of the suspension in your heavy machinery. Ideally, you should check your springs to ensure they are even and tighten them as necessary on a regular basis, and you should visually assess the suspension of each vehicle to ensure debris isn't stuck in it. You should also watch your tires for signs of damage or wear and tear.
If your suspension isn't working correctly, it will take its toll on your tires and cause them to wear out sooner. In most cases, the first symptom you will notice is uneven wear on the tires. However, if you ensure your suspension is tightened on a regular basis and maintained well, it protects both the suspension and your tires.
3. Prepare for the seasons.
Extreme seasonal temperatures can have a damaging effect on your heavy machinery, and to prevent that, you should have seasonal strategies in place. Keep in mind that seasonal strategies may vary based on the type of equipment you have and the climate in your area.
For example, if you have very rainy springs, you may want to protect your machinery from water damage by covering them with tarps or parking them inside a garage in the spring.
Similarly, if you live in a snowy area, you may want to change the tires on your heavy machinery to snow tires during the winter. That creates more traction, and it helps your spring and summer tires to last longer simply because you don't use them as much. Additionally, if you live somewhere very hot in the summer, you may want to give your heavy machinery a break during peak hours so that it isn't likely to overheat.
4. Remember to check the air pressure of your tires.
Maintaining heavy machinery isn't just about complicated information and tips. There are also a lot of small details that you need to pay attention to, and they can be critical at ensuring the health and safety of your heavy machinery.
In particular, before using your heavy machinery each day, ensure that the tire pressure on each tire is set to the recommended level. This protects the tires from damage, and it can also help to keep the other elements of your heavy machinery lined up correctly.
For more tips or to read more on how to avoid heavy machinery repairs, contact a repair expert, or schedule a preventative maintenance appointment.