Don’t be fooled by their diminutive size: compact excavators require the same level of upkeep as their larger counterparts. But, like the other pieces of heavy equipment, there are also problems with small excavators that people need to deal with.
Here are five problems with small excavators that you need to address:
1. Keep an eye on the stress.
Track tension is one of the most ignored service sites that causes problems with small excavators. Most of them have rubber tracks that maintenance staff must adjust appropriately to enhance longevity and minimize wear on the track and its components. A loose track will accelerate wear, incurring extra downtime and halting production while installing a new track. On the other hand, an overly tight track can shred the rubber material and significantly increase wear on the other track system components, such as traction motors, sprockets, and front idlers. To ensure the track tension is correct, operators should always refer to the operator’s manual and regularly check track sag measurement.
2. Put some grease on it.
Grease is the lifeblood of all pins and bushings, and it’s a regular servicing point that’s often overlooked. The operators should lubricate the pins and bushings regularly as a general rule. The operator’s manual will assist in identifying each grease spot and recommending grease quantity and quality. However, suppose numerous operators use a single machine. In that case, it’s an excellent idea to label-less prominent grease spots, such as the turntable bearing, using orange marking paint around the grease nipple to serve as a reminder to all users.
Over-greasing, like under-greasing, can be harmful. Typically, one to three oil injections are sufficient to complete the task. Any more, and it becomes a waste of money while also posing an environmental hazard and creating a significant mess.
3. A propel drive gearbox is a gearbox that allows you to propel yourself forward.
The propel drive gearbox is one of the essential components of a machine’s performance, but operators overlook it when it comes to maintenance. The mud frequently covers the gearboxes, and the fill and drain plugs are hidden, so operators and service staff are rarely aware of them. On the other hand, Gearboxes require an oil change every 1,000 hours or so, depending on the manufacturer. Even though gearboxes are small, they are nevertheless costly to produce since they contain the same internal components as their larger cousins, albeit on a smaller scale. However, they usually store 1/2 to 1 quart of oil and can change quickly in most circumstances, so it’s a tiny investment that pays out in the long run.
4. Hydraulic oil replacement.
Hydraulic oil can be deceiving because, like engine oil, it breaks down, loses its viscosity, and loses its ability to keep impurities suspended in suspension, a process that helps safeguard all moving elements in the system. In addition, the engineers build hydraulic systems to exact tolerances, and most hydraulic problems can be traced back to contaminated or incorrect hydraulic oil.
Hydraulic oil absorbs moisture in the system and keeps it from the hydraulic component, making it critical. Rust can be concerning in a sealed hydraulic system that is constantly filled with oil. Make the mistake of assuming that simply because hydraulic oil appears to be friendly, it is. When hydraulic oil turns hazy, it means it is past the point of its replacing time. And the oil has lost much of its capacity to preserve the components in your hydraulic system adequately. Most equipment manufacturers recommend changing hydraulic oil every 2,000 to 4,000 hours, although each unit is different. Your operator’s manual will detail a precise servicing schedule as well as oil requirements.
5. Keep track of everything.
Keeping track of service records and invoices for oil, filters, and repairs is laborious and time-consuming. However, it can provide helpful information in the future when evaluating the service life of your equipment. All equipment will ultimately reach the end of its service life. So keeping correct records will give you a baseline against which to evaluate the machine’s performance. In addition, you can decide between repurchasing the same manufacturer’s product or moving to a different brand.
When dealing with your dealer, having accurate service documents is also beneficial if an issue arises. Accurate records will demonstrate to your dealer and the manufacturer that you value your equipment and are correctly servicing it. When dealing with warranty claims, this is very important. This principle is essential if you have a fleet of mini-excavators or just a single machine.