In this second article in the series, we continue to investigate increasing the productive life of any backhoe.
In the Oct 1 issue of Logging-on, we examined aspects such as the owners manual, pre and post operation walkarounds, diesel exhaust fluid, organic acid technology and oil. In this final article, produced by Case, we look at other aspects which are needed for backhoe longevity:
- Fluid Testing: Equipment dealers have kits that contractors can buy, collect fluid samples, send in for testing and receive reports within a few days. Analyzing engine oil, fuel, hydraulic fluid and coolant provides important insight into the condition and overall health of the engine, transmission and hydraulic systems, and can be used to diagnose potential issues before they become a problem on site.
- Engine Idling: Avoid this as much as possible. Excessive engine idling has always been a drain on fuel and adds unnecessary wear and tear (engine hours) to a machine. With modern machine it is no longer necessary to let machines idle for extended periods of time. Idling does not allow the engine exhaust to obtain the necessary heat for the emissions system components to function. This can lead to the engine de-rating and/or failure of emissions components. This can be avoided by not idling the engine for extended periods of time.
- Greasing: OEMs recommend greasing specific joints such as the bucket and loader arms daily. This is because the equipment consists of large pieces of steel working in precise movement and under the stress of heavy digging, lifting and swinging. It needs the grease to ensure that everything is working properly and that no undo stress is being put on the machine. At the start of the shift, as part of the warm-up process, lift and lowering the loader arms, rolling the bucket, and cycling the backhoe through its normal movements. Listen for any sounds that would indicate seizing and steel grinding against steel and grease accordingly.
- Telematics: These web-based software programmes allow the backhoe owner to access information on machine performance factors, track engine hours, and keep better track of maintenance intervals and machine health. It enables alerts to be sent when certain intervals are hit, or when machine operating characteristics fall outside of desired parameters. It automates many of the notices and reports that a backhoe owner should be monitoring and puts it in the palm of their hand (tablet, phone) or on their desktop. Source