As hot summer temperatures arrive, experienced operators know they need to put increased focus on construction equipment maintenance. Working in extreme summer heat or dusty conditions requires spending a little extra time on your daily equipment inspection — to protect hours of uptime.
As always, you should check your coolant and hydraulic fluid levels before operating your equipment. Be sure to keep a close eye on hydraulic hoses on mini and crawler excavators. Look for cracks or leaks. If you notice a damaged hose, replace it right away to minimize your potential machine downtime.
Review your Operation & Maintenance Manual for specific guidance for operating equipment in high ambient temperatures.
In general, here are a few tips for maintaining your compact and heavy equipment in the summer heat.
Keep the Cooling System Clear
In summer’s heat, your cooling system will work harder to keep the engine compartment cool. Use an air compressor with an air blower at low pressure to blow out dust and debris from your radiator and cooling packages. Many manufacturers offer an onboard air compressor option so a compressor is always conveniently available for this purpose.
Match Lubricants to Outside Temperatures
Your equipment manufacturer offers engine oil, hydraulic oils and grease of different viscosities. Lubricants with higher viscosity grades are used in higher temperatures because they are better able to withstand the heat without breaking down.
Using low-viscosity lubricants in high temperatures could result in increased wear if the lubricants thin out during operation. Refer to your Operation & Maintenance Manual to match the right oil to your operating conditions.
Check Your Engine Diagnostics During Operation
Operator control panels, including the Doosan Smart Touch display, make it easier than ever to keep an eye on the health of your machine from the cab. Monitor your engine coolant and hydraulic fluid temperatures. If they get too high, idle the machine for five minutes before shutting it down.
Monitor Your Fleet
You don’t need to be in the cab to keep an eye on your equipment. When others are using your machines, you can use DoosanCONNECT Telematics to check their engine coolant and hydraulic fluid temperatures rom your smartphone or computer. You can also receive alerts if employees are operating the machines in ways that could damage your equipment.
Clean or Replace Filters in Dusty Environments
When you’re working on dusty summer days, check your air filter frequently and blow it out as needed. Carefully replace your fuel filter more frequently to help keep dirt from entering the machine’s fuel system. Store new filters in the boxes they came in to help keep out dust and debris.
More Construction Equipment Maintenance Tips
Check out these additional maintenance tips from a successful contractor.