During the hot Texas summer, construction equipment can become physically strained. Hotter temperatures and longer work hours amplify the machine’s wear and tear. Proper equipment maintenance is crucial for extended operating life and safety. This requires an organized approach involving both daily and long-term maintenance activities.
Here are some summertime maintenance tips for heavy equipment to keep your machines operating smoothly and efficiently during the dog days of summer.
Effective maintenance programs require daily inspections, and during summer months, it is essential to pay close attention to these maintenance tips:
Coolant and Oil: During the summer, engines can become overheated and require increased maintenance. To prevent this, regularly check the machine’s coolant levels (including the proper coolant/water ratio) and the manufacturer’s recommended oil levels. Additionally, ensure the radiator is full to keep oxygen from entering the cooling system.
Cooling System: Hot summer temperatures require maximum airflow through the oil cooler. To maximize airflow through the oil cooler, it is important to regularly check for debris in the radiators, inlets, and outlets of the cooling system. To prevent dust from accumulating and clogging the cooling system, we recommend using compressed air daily to clean it.
Grease: To ensure optimal performance of machinery, use thicker lubricant in high temperatures. Review your equipment manual to determine the best type of grease for your machine, how to apply it, and the recommended frequency of application. Excess grease may be forced out during heavy operations such as earthmoving or drilling, requiring you to regularly clean your equipment to reduce wear and tear caused by dust and silt mixing with the grease.
Hoses and Belts: The initial signs of overheating are visible in discolored hoses and loose belts; therefore, inspect them regularly.
Hydraulic System: When conducting an equipment walk-around, inspect for signs of potential hydraulic leaks, such as excess oil and grease, leaks around seals, and loose bolts.
Air Filters: It is essential always to take time to examine the air filters for any issues.
Tires: Regularly check tire pressure during hot weather, as it weakens tires and may cause them to blow out. Bear in mind that tire pressure increases as temperatures rise, risking over-inflation. Conversely, low tire pressure leads to faster heating of underinflated tires.
Brakes: During steamy summers, brake friction loss can occur as the brake components cannot absorb the additional heat, making it crucial to check your brakes.
Following the manufacturer’s instructions is essential for successful heavy equipment maintenance. Keeping machines in excellent shape ensures that any repair is covered under warranties and prevents voiding user agreements.
Manufacturers often recommend replacing parts at specific intervals to ensure the durability and proper functioning of equipment used in hot environments. Consider using software calendaring tools and maintaining a detailed log to track maintenance tasks efficiently.
A reputable dealer like Monk JCB should be a one-stop shop for purchases, parts, services, and warranties. Our team is knowledgeable about heavy equipment, honest about recommended repairs, and helpful with scheduling routine maintenance.