Let’s face it – nobody likes to spend the time, money, and effort it takes to properly maintain hydraulic equipment. Many business owners like to think, “hey the equipment’s designed to take a beating – how much maintenance does it really need?” The truth of the matter is that a little preventative maintenance can go a long way.
Here at Bay State Hydraulics, we’ve put more years than we like to think about into performing planned maintenance for dozens (maybe hundreds) of companies on thousands of pieces of heavy equipment, from logsplitters to giant excavators. In that time, we’ve learned a few things we think all our customers should know about taking care of their equipment so that it lasts as long as possible and costs as little as possible.
We’re talking about planned maintenance and we want to share some thoughts about the things you should pay attention to and have serviced regularly, to avoid unpleasant and potentially expensive surprises:
How planned maintenance actually reduces costs
Remember the old Fram oil filter commercial with the tagline “You can pay me now, or pay me later”? Ignoring small problems now can lead to big headaches (and expense) down the road.
Here are some things worth paying attention to:
Keeping lines clean-Hydraulic equipment operates in less-than-optimal conditions. This leads to build-up in the filters that keep the air, oil and hydraulic fluid clean. Deposits can wreak havoc on internal working parts and result in premature failure, increasing your costs over the life of your equipment.
Tires-Tires that are worn or damaged increase the likelihood of failure. Failure can result in product loss, equipment damage and worker injury. Replacing bad tires is a whole lot less expensive than insurance deductibles and increases or lawsuits.
Lubrication-Keeping key points properly lubricated reduces friction which reduces wear. Parts that don’t wear as much don’t break down as much. Regular lubrication results in smoother operation, improved performance, and prolonged part life.
Worn parts-Replacing worn parts before they fail saves in several ways. Parts failure can often “ripple”, leading to damage or failure of other parts in a cascade of added cost. Replacing what’s worn now improves up-time and reduces the likelihood of the front-end loader being down for the count.
Maximum safety, minimal risk-Properly-maintained equipment is safe equipment. Hydraulic systems that are regularly maintained and inspected significantly reduces the risk of damage and injury.
Increased equipment life, decreased expense-Well-maintained equipment not only performs better, it lasts longer. Think of the money you’ll save if you replace hydraulic equipment every few decades instead of every few years.