Even though logging machines work in difficult conditions, keeping them clean prolongs the life of your machine.
Chris Armour, the technical marketing writer for Tigercat, gives sound advice on keeping our logging equipment clean. In this article, Logging-on gives a taster of the full article, which can be found in the latest edition of Between the Branches. The link for Between the Branches can be found at the end of this article. For cleaning logging machines, Tigercat indicates that it is better to use an industrial-grade pressure washer that can deliver a high volume of hot water at lower pressure. Use medium pressure settings, below 1,200 psi and mild detergent soaps. Do not use a concentrated, high pressure setting or high-pressure nozzles which can damage paint, penetrate electrical connections and remove labels. Belly pans and other covers should be removed to manually clear out combustible debris. Tigercat goes on to indicate that certain logging machine components need specific maintenance. These components are polycarbonate windows, electrical components, coolers, and the engine and after-treatment equipment.
Polycarbonate is a softer material than glass and needs special care to ensure that the coating does not get damaged. Never use abrasive cleaners, don’t scrape with squeegees or other sharp instruments, don’t clean in the hot sun and don’t use aromatic or halogenated solvents. Use only warm water below 65°C (150°F), gentle pressure wash settings and mild soaps and detergents. Then rinse thoroughly and gently hand dry. With electrical components, do not allow direct pressure water spray to come in contact with fuse boxes, electrical connectors, electronic components, wiring harnesses and the alternator. Debris must be cleared out of the cooling system. However, the aggressive use of a fine, focused spray could damage radiator fins or cause a coolant/oil leak. Pre-clean the coolers first with compressed air in the opposite direction to the normal airflow. When cleaning the engine compartment, first turn off your machine and allow the engine to cool down before washing. Never use a pressure washer or a steam cleaner in the engine compartment due to sensitive components. Just use a garden hose and avoid spraying sensitive components. Machines equipped with Tigercat FPT Tier 4 engines should not have water sprayed directly into the exhaust pipe as it may damage the after-treatment system sensors. For more detailed information, see http://www.tigercat.com/between-the-branches/