Whether you’re working with motor graders, skid steers, track loaders, backhoes or excavators, the one thing that each of these machines has in common is a hydraulic system. From a maintenance perspective, hydraulic systems are often one of the most overlooked components of a machine, yet they are arguably the most important when it comes to getting the best performance out of a piece of equipment. As best practices suggest, most operators will do a daily walkaround inspection, and as long as there are no leaks and the oil level is good, that’s the end of it. But if you want to protect your investment and keep your equipment performing at its best, a hydraulic system requires much more than that. In this article, we will focus on three key elements of any hydraulic system — oil, filtration and system integrity.
The mantra today is lowering operating costs. Some contractors will take this concept the wrong way and use the cheapest hydraulic oil in order to keep costs down—this can save a few bucks in the short term, but can cause serious harm to your hydraulic system over time. Will you see a failure right away? No, but using the right kind of hydraulic oil can be the difference between an axial piston pump (a very expensive component) lasting 10,000 hours instead of 5,000 hours.
Information is power. The data provided by telematics systems, at its most basic level, helps equipment owners make better decisions about how they run their business. But taking that basic data and adding some critical thinking to it can reveal new insights into the productivity and efficiency of your fleet. In this article, we’ll give you examples of how to better utilize your fleet for optimal productivity and efficiency.
1. Identifying Underutilized Pieces of Equipment
Equipment manufacturers talk a lot about advanced technology – and with good reason – but one of the most important actions an equipment owner or operator can take for the good of their machine requires very little technology at all: the pre- and post-operation walkaround. Equipment owners likely do this now, to an extent – but how consistently is it done?
Taking a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to visually inspect the machine and its surroundings, and to clean off critical components from accumulated dirt/fluid, can identify issues with the machine that may require attention. It can tip the operator off to operating practices that can be altered to improve productivity and efficiency. And it creates a routine that gives the operator pride of ownership over that machine, its appearance, and how it works.
On the construction jobsite, equipment uptime and cost management are big priorities. In order to maintain these goals, remanufactured parts can provide owners what they need to keep their machines running smoothly and economically.
Remanufacturing is a process that starts with a worn component, known as a core, and restores it to “like new” condition in terms of performance and reliability. Each component is assembled to match OEM specifications, and then 100-percent tested to ensure it performs like new.
Though its only recently gained popularity in the last two to three years, telematics has been around much longer than people think. A web-based system that is compatible with all current computers and can be accessed from any standard device that’s used to access the web, telematics is simple and cost-effective.
The system provides owners and operators a handful of benefits that include equipment utilization, machine maintenance, equipment security, and billing and estimating. This article details just how contractors can use this technology to better manage equipment, boost profitability and improve how business gets done.
Each job, machine and application is different – but there are a few universal things you can do with each piece of heavy equipment to make its operation more practical and cost effective. Here’s a look at 11 things that can have a direct effect on your bottom line.
1. Control idle times
Undercarriage maintenance and upkeep is not a short-term effort. The only a time a machine’s undercarriage is not experiencing wear is when it’s standing still – and machines that stand still don’t make money. The undercarriage also represents a high percentage of the total operating cost of the machine over its life. With dozers, approximately 20 percent of the purchase price and 50 percent of the maintenance cost sits in its undercarriage.
It’s also the mechanism that gives tracked machines much of their power and stability. Proper operation and maintenance play a critical role in controlling operating costs over the life of the machine.
As seen in Pit & Quarry Magazine.
Wheel loaders take a pounding. They work in material that wears away at the very steel they’re built from. They lift and carry enormous loads across uneven terrain for hours on end. They fight dust that is determined to go places it shouldn’t. But the burden on wheel loaders is lessened when owners and operators practice proper maintenance. Here are a few considerations to help maximize your wheel loader’s uptime – and ultimately improve productivity and extend its service life.