Wheel Loader Care 101
Electrical components such as fuses, circuit breakers, relays, and computers all have to be checked periodically. When changing fuses and circuit breakers, always replace with the same type rating to avoid excessive current to circuit boards and wiring. Relays also need to be of the same size, capacity, and voltage. Be sure also that the specific relay is either continuous or intermittent duty concurring with the loader manufacturer’s design requirements. Also, when installing a two-way radio, mobile phone, etc., installation must be performed according to the manufacturer’s instructions in order to eliminate interference with electronic systems and components intended for the function of the machine. In addition, the computers onboard in today’s loaders have diagnostic capabilities to utilize in troubleshooting the root cause of electrical issues. It would be advantageous and cost prohibitive to utilize these diagnostic features in these computers to troubleshoot issues. Finally, before welding on the machine or on attachments, turn off the battery disconnect switch and unplug all connectors to onboard computers.
Machine work lights are essential for loader productivity and safety. These lights should be checked and replaced if needed to provide the operator with the best working conditions.
Maintaining hydraulics, steering, and brakes
Hydraulic and transmission oil and filters must be checked for proper level and condition. In doing sure, be sure to use the manufacturer’s recommended oil for the specific machine and the proper viscosity range.
Inspect the machine for hose rubs and potential leaks, making sure the fittings are properly tight for brakes, steering, and the hydraulic work circuits. Hydraulic pumps should be inspected for proper settings for specified pressure outputs. Cycle times of hydraulic boom, bucket, and steering all can be affected by too low of pump output.
Inspection of machine brakes and parking brake is vital for safe operation. Brake wear, accumulator pressure, and pump quality all play an important part to control loader-stopping parameters.
Other areas of concern
Tires should be examined for excessive wear and proper air pressure. Size and type are important for different applications and using different sizes on the same axle could lower driveline life and its internal components.
Greasing is essential for linkage points and pins on the loader especially the front frame and bucket. If the loader has an automatic greasing system, the grease reservoir needs to be checked daily to avoid air entering into grease circuits.
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