Online Equipment Focus on Haul Trucks: In It for the Long Haul
As equipment optimization strategies evolve, consider steps that can improve your maintenance program, increase haul truck availability, and decrease costs.
by Craig Eller and Kevin Gildea, P.E.
With the ongoing advancements in maintenance technology, most industries are pursuing initiatives related to condition monitoring, which moves them away from the traditional time-based actions. The aggregates industry is no exception, and there are many opportunities to adopt more sophisticated, less invasive maintenance practices.
The use of technological advancements, such as continuous fault monitoring and parameter trending on rigid frame haul trucks, improve truck performance, and lower life-cycle costs. The use of new technology is most effective, for any machine, when a solid foundation of best practices is implemented. These best practices usually involve consistent inspections and carefully documented results. Most, if not all, maintenance programs can find areas to improve on these basics, while preparing for further evolutions in equipment optimization techniques.
Improve what you already do
There are many ways to monitor a system or component and accurately predict when it approaches the end of its service life. Some of these methods are simple, and most maintenance programs have been engaged in these practices for some time. However, it may be helpful to step back and ask if these simple steps are being done properly and are making the most of the available data.
In general, equipment maintenance programs include the following practices:
Oil Analysis. An oil program is only as good as the sample. With clear guidance, two common pitfalls can be avoided.
- If there is a sample line, effectively purge the residual oil before the sample is drawn.
- For mobile equipment, draw the oil before any particles settle.
In addition, there are system arrangement considerations that can significantly impact the accuracy of a sample. Consider the following:
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