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Preventative Maintenance During the Busy Season
By Michael J. Ross, Director of Operations, Takeuchi US

In the last issue of In The Know, our national warranty manager and preventative maintenance expert Gary Bryan shared some tips on getting our equipment out of off-season storage and back on the job. Now that summer is officially here, the equipment is out of storage and is hopefully out on the jobsite making you money. But when your schedule fills up it’s easy to forget some of the basic preventative maintenance procedures that can really impact your bottom line.

Preventative maintenance is an everyday commitment that operators of construction equipment need to make. Before starting the machine at the beginning of the day, it is important to check the main fluid levels — hydraulic oil, engine oil, fuel and engine coolant — and top off where necessary. While in the engine compartment, check the belt tension for proper adjustment. With the hot conditions we have already experienced this summer, knowing that your AC belt is properly tensioned and the system is working properly will lead to happier more productive operators. It is always better to stay ahead of the game when it comes to maintenance.

Next, do a visual inspection by walking around the machine checking for leaks and making sure all the machine’s grease points are properly lubricated. Also check the tire pressure or track tension, and take a look at the machine’s undercarriage for any damage or debris.  On the jobsite, it is also a good idea to identify any difficult terrain and potential hazards so you don’t put the operator and machine at risk.

At the end of the day, we recommend hosing down the entire unit to remove any dirt and debris. We also recommend keeping a grease gun handy, and lubricating based on the operating manual’s recommendations. During this process, do a quick visual check for any damaged or missing items.  This is also a good time to check air filters, inspect the radiator and oil cooler, and clean out the engine compartment.

Of course, you can always ask your local equipment dealer about regular maintenance intervals, what to look for, when to change your oil and fuel filters, or any other concerns that you may have. The most important thing is to stay on top of regular preventative maintenance during the summer months. Doing so will help minimize the risk of downtime, and help to ensure a safe and productive season.


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