Utility Contractor

MAR-APR 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

Issue link: http://digital.utilitycontractoronline.com/i/947577

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Page 23 of 43

24 Utility Contractor | March/April 2018 A s the construction utility industry continues to grow, so does the de- mand for compact equipment, spe- cifically compact excavators. Machine enhancements have made today's compact ex- cavators more productive, and customers enjoy operating these machines because of their per- formance and versatility in a variety of applica- tions. Therefore, it is crucial for compact excavator fleet owners and operators to understand the general maintenance of compact excavators. By following these six maintenance tips, equip- ment owners can improve uptime protection and keep compact excavators on the job. Tip No. 1 : Review the manufacturer's Operation & Maintenance Manual. The first thing compact excavator owners should do is familiarize themselves with the manufacturer's Operation & Maintenance Manual. This allows for a better understanding of the excavator's safety features, instrumen- tation, controls, service schedules, maintenance points and much more. Tip No. 2: Create a planned maintenance schedule. Skipped maintenance can result in unplanned downtime and a loss of revenue. To avoid unnecessary downtime, con- sider creating a planned maintenance (PM) schedule. This is an easy-to-follow plan that documents all machine service intervals. Recording service intervals allows equipment owners and operators to easily make sure each item is completed weekly, monthly, quarterly or as scheduled. Tip No. 3: Inspect fluid levels and filters. Fluids – including engine oil, coolant, hydraulic fluid and drive motor lubricants – need to be checked on a regular basis. Match machine fluids to the proper ambient temperatures and to the manufacturer's recommendations. For instance, synthetic or synthetic-blended oils are formulated with addi- tives that can promote longer component service life. These oils have better cold weather starting and lubricating perfor- mance, as well as additional wear protection during high- performance operation. Fuels should also be assessed at this time. A No. 1 or No. 2 ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel is the most common specification in the industry. No. 2 grades should be used at temperatures above 15 F; however, it is recommended to use a blended or No. 1 diesel fuel and/or anti-gel additives when temperatures drop below 15 F. Proper fluid and filter increments can be found in the man- ufacturer's Operation & Maintenance Manual. Tip No. 4: Maintain the battery and charging system. The electrical system of most compact excavators uses a 12-volt battery and fuses for the purpose of protecting this system in the event of an electrical overload. Always replace failed fuses with like kind and amperage rating. Battery cables should be tight and clean. Inspect for corrosion on the cable ends and the battery terminals. Prevention can typically be remedied with an appropriate dielectric grease. Tip No. 5: Inspect and maintain the tracked undercarriage. One of the most obvious wear items on the excavator un- dercarriage is the track. The majority of compact excavators use rubber tracks, and the life expectancy of the track largely depends upon the environment they are subjected to and the user's operating habits. Examine tracks on a daily basis to look for cuts, tears or areas that expose the steel imbeds. Any Maintaining a Well-Conditioned Fleet 6 Tips to Improve Compact Excavator Uptime

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