Wheel Loader Care 101
Here is an essential guide to what you need to service, maintain, and operate your wheel loader. Plus, easy pullout checklists.
by Dave Drzewiecki and Michael Stec
When it comes to repairing an automobile, a good mechanic can oftentimes save you money in the long run. The same can be said for a good, trained service technician when it comes to keeping heavy equipment — the lifeblood of our operations — in top working order.
In today’s world, where machines have expensive price tags, extensive electronics, and are technologically advanced, it’s not wise to have “just anyone” service your machine. More damage than good would likely be the outcome.
Most major manufacturers offer service training at both the dealer and customer level in order to ensure maximum uptime and machine availability. This not only ensures that the technicians working on your equipment have undergone the appropriate training, but it’s also a good idea for a service manager to keep a “live” document or log of pertinent service information. This best-practice tip can save a lot of headaches and will keep a consistency within the department and relates to all aspects of the machine both big and small, from grease and engine/transmission service to major overhauls. Every service performed should be documented and logged for the records.
Many companies are mandating operator daily inspections or walk-arounds as a best practice. It does not have to be at a “technician’s level,” but to look for simple, obvious things that might hinder and affect the machine’s performance and tie in with maintenance or repair. Click here for pdf checklist.
It’s very important to develop a checklist of things to look for and have the operators go through each item, check it off, and hand in the completed checklist prior to operating the equipment.
It’s also important to note that not all wheel loaders are built the same. The design philosophy of a wheel loader varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some machines will need more repair and/or preventive maintenance than others.
What do I look for?
Before each shift, it is recommended that a daily walk-around on the wheel loader is conducted before operating the machine. If there are daily maintenance items or hourly servicing that need to be fulfilled such as greasing, oil change, etc., those need to be addressed before operating the loader. It is recommended the operator be aware or trained to look over a few points on the wheel loader before operating in order to ensure the safety of the operator and the others within the aggregates mine or quarry. A daily inspection list follows.
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