How to Maintain an Excavator Undercarriage

excavator rental

At Active Excavator Rentals, we keep our excavators in good operating order. This is especially true of the excavator's undercarriage, which contains multiple moving components. However, while the machine is in their hands, renters should still have a baseline understanding of excavator undercarriage maintenance.

Keep the Undercarriage Clean

We recommend that operators clean the undercarriage at the end of each workday. Use a shovel and/or a pressure washer to remove dirt buildup. Dirt can accelerate wear, especially in cold climate areas. The dirt can freeze and lock up the bolts and rollers.

Check the Undercarriage

Inspect the undercarriage before starting the excavator at the beginning of the day. Inspect the drive motor, track tension, rock guards, drive sprockets, main idlers, and rollers.

We inspect these parts on all of our excavators before renting them out. However, operators should still perform these inspections, especially when working under harsh conditions.

Follow Best Operating Practices

Improper maneuvering can expedite undercarriage wear. Follow these operating guidelines.

  • Avoid sharp turns when possible
  • Minimize time on slopes. If you must spend prolonged sessions on a slope, be sure the drive motor is facing the rear of the machine.
  • Pick the right number of grousers. More grousers increase the track's contact with the floor, thereby reducing vibration and undercarriage wear.

Use the Right Track Tension

Is the track tension appropriate for the surface condition? As a general rule, the tracks should be a little loose, rather than extremely tight, when working in muddy conditions. With steel tracks, the tracks should never be too tight or loose. Otherwise, you run the risk of slipping a track.

Don't Eschew Excavator Undercarriage Maintenance

At Active Excavator Rentals, we maintain all of our excavators and breakers and hoe packs. Nevertheless, operators still need to maintain all of the equipment under their care. Learn about us and our inventory. We adhere to strict industry standards regarding excavator undercarriage care.

Excavator Rentals for Monroe Contractors 

Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley,  Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill  Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore

Why Excavator Operator Training Is Important

excavator operator trainingAdequate excavator operator training is important from a safety standpoint; that's a given. However, it also makes sense from a financial standpoint. A competent operator reduces operation and other overhead costs. We explain why this is so.

Reduce Fuel

One of the best ways to reduce overhead is by cutting down on fuel use. Beginning operators have a tendency to use the highest excavator setting, regardless of the task. This often results in a setting 200 to 300 RPMs higher than necessary. Training operators to adjust settings can cut down on fuel usage by around 10%. Attachments like breakers and hoe packs do not require maximum RPM to operate at their maximum capability.

Most modern excavators also have fuel-saving features, such as auto engine shutdown and auto idle. Make sure operators are acquainted with these features. Continue Reading â†'

Steel Vs Rubber Excavator Tracks: Which Is Better?

excavator tracks, steel excavator tracks, rubber excavator tracksContractors have to take into account many considerations when renting an excavator. This includes tail swing options and the various attachments. Another is deciding between steel and rubber excavator tracks. Which is the better type for this project?

Steel Track Pros and Cons

Steel tracks are far more durable and can hold up better under rough working conditions. This is especially the case when dealing with hard and sharp surfaces. Steel is also far more resistant to chemical contact.

In addition, steel provides better traction on muddy surfaces. The tracks have a firmer "bite" that allows them to hold on to the loose surface. Rubber tracks are vulnerable to spinning when traversing muddy and wet surfaces. Steel is also slacker than rubber, enabling it to expel small rocks and debris. Continue Reading â†'

Prevent Damage and Theft With Site Storage of Construction Equipment

construction equipment storage, site storage, equipment theftYou can't haul every piece of equipment back to your warehouse at the end of the work day. Some items need to remain overnight at the construction site. Construction equipment storage is essential for safeguarding your investment. Explore these methods for secure site storage of your construction equipment.

1. Invest in Site Storage Cages

We recommend a welded mesh cage for storing construction equipment, such as power tools and safety gear. These items are vulnerable to theft because thieves can sell them for lucrative prices on the black market. Mesh storage cages with a bi-folding lid are an economical investment that you can use again and again.

2. Install Fencing

Install temporary fencing that cordons off the public from the construction site. Include signs that warn the public of the legal consequences of trespassing. Fencing serves multiple purposes; it keeps civilians out of a danger zone. It also deters vagrants from entering the zone at night. While hijacking an excavator is unlikely, they may spray graffiti or smash a bat through the cabin window. Continue Reading â†'

Best Practices for Winter Excavator Maintenance

winter excavator maintenance, excavator maintenanceCold weather can be hard on construction equipment, much the same way it's hard on a car. Equipment malfunction can cause serious delays and downtime. Follow these winter excavator maintenance tips to minimize the risk of equipment failure at the most inopportune moment.

1. Apply Oil and Lubricant

Check the oil dipstick just as you would on a civilian vehicle; the process is more or less the same. As a rule of thumb, if the oil is fluid enough to drip from the dipstick, then it's good to go. We perform oil checks on all of our excavators before renting them out, and we top them off if necessary.

2. Inspect Hydraulic Hoses

Hydraulic hoses last for about 7,000 to 9,000 hours of use. However, frigid temperatures can degrade the rubber tubing, making it brittle and stiff. Hot hydraulic oil running through the tube's interior can cause further stress. Check for cracks and brittleness before operation. Continue Reading â†'

Pay Attention to the Excavator’s Bucket Capacity

excavator bucket capacity, excavator bucket weight limitA bucket is a common excavator attachment. Buckets, however, have a weight limit. Scooping up more debris than the bucket can handle can place undue stress on the excavator. This is also a dangerous practice. Be mindful of the excavator bucket capacity's limits.

Safe Excavator Bucket Handling Practices

Whether you own or rent the bucket attachment, know its weight limit before use. Exceeding weight limits increases the risk that the excavator will tip over. This can cause serious injury to the operator and surrounding crew. At the least, it can temporarily render the excavator inoperable, leading to increased downtime.

In addition, you need to know the excavator bucket's weight limit at different points of the boom's working range. The bucket's manufacturer should have a lift chart that you can look up in a manual or online. The manual may come with illustrations depicting weight limits at different points in the lifting arc. The weight capacity also changes when swinging the cab. Larger excavators have greater capacity in this regard due to the counterweight in the cab's rear. Continue Reading â†'

Construction Equipment Rental: A Cost Comparison Guide

about usFor new contractors, one of the biggest decisions you need to make is whether to buy or rent equipment. Both have their respective pros and cons. Let's take a look at some of the financial advantages of construction equipment rental. More often than not, you'll save money with a rental.

The Cost Savings of Excavator Rental

The average excavator costs between $100,000 and $200,000, though some customized options can run the cost as high as $500,000. With buying also comes other costs, such as insurance, license fees, repairs, storage, etc.

Renting an excavator costs an average $3,433 for a four-week rental period.

Other Construction Equipment Rental Costs

Here are the buying/renting comparisons of other similar construction vehicles. All rental prices are for a four-week period.

  • Scissor lift--to buy: $22,000; to rent: $399
  • Skidloader--to buy: $20,000-$30,000; to rent: $2,367
  • Forklift--to buy: $11,000-$13,000; to rent: $1,640

Other Cost Considerations

Buying equipment involves a lot of overhead costs. Here are some of those costs as compiled by the construction equipment site Equipment World. The figures are very rough estimates.

  • Heavy equipment use consumes 12.5 gallons of gasoline per hour.
  • An average piece of equipment incurs $4 in maintenance cost per operating hour. Excavators and similar equipment have an average 12,000 to 15,000-hour lifespan.
  • Insurance costs about 2% of the vehicle's purchasing price every year.

In addition, failure to maintain your equipment can result in the need for emergency maintenance or new parts orders. This leads to an annual 400 to 800 hours of idle time per unit. The end result is a $1,560 to $3,120 loss from downtime.

Save Money with Construction Equipment Rental

Save on ownership costs by renting an excavator and associated breakers from Active Excavator Rentals. Learn about us and what we carry in our inventory. Construction equipment rental is the more economical solution for many beginning and veteran contractors in Monroe.

Affordable Excavator Rental and Attachments

Serving Monroe, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Burlington, Mt. Vernon, Stanwood, Sedro-Woolley,  Marysville, Granite Falls, Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds, Snohomish, Lynnwood, Woodinville, Mountlake Terrace, Mill  Creek, Shoreline, Seattle, Redmond, Woodinville, Bellevue, Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton, Kent, Des Moines, Fife, Tacoma, Milton, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Covington, Maple Valley, Burien, Tukwila, Olympia, Lakewood, Lacey, Kenmore

Best Practices for Excavator Trailer Safety

excavator trailer safety, trailer safety tipsYou may have to tow an excavator from one construction site to another. An excavator on a trailer poses road challenges for the transport driver. Excavator trailer safety is critical considering the immense weight of the freight. Here are some tips for safe transportation.

Excavator Trailer Safety Tips

The most critical step is ensuring that the excavator is secured to the trailer. The chains and other fasteners you use must be approved by OSHA. Riggers must also secure all chains against the tow bar. Speaking of the tow bar, you need to be sure it has a rating sufficient to accommodate the excavator's weight. Underweight tow bars are at risk of detaching while the trailer is in transit. Continue Reading â†'

How to Keep a Clean Construction Site

clean construction site, construction site safetyA construction site is by nature very messy. However, crew members do need to keep the workplace tidy to a reasonable extent. This maximizes safety when working with excavators, other heavy machinery, and spoil piles. Learn how to maintain a safe and clean construction site.

Use Secure Storage

You may have to leave equipment at the construction site overnight. To prevent theft and vandalism, keep smaller equipment locked inside storage containers. Even during construction, keep the equipment inside the storage until you need it.

Separate the Scraps

Construction sites contain tons of waste that you have to dispose of at the end of the shift. Different waste products call for different disposal methods. Separating scraps and waste according to type will facilitate easy disposal and recycling. Construction sites should also have both dumpsters and trashcans nearby to minimize clutter. Continue Reading â†'

How to Prevent Heatstroke in the Construction Workplace

prevent heatstroke, heatstroke preventionExcavation projects tend to increase in the summer. For workers, this means longer hours outdoors under the blazing sun. This poses a health hazard. We'll explain how construction crews can prevent heatstroke or other heat-related injuries during the hottest time of the year. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Recognize Signs of Heat Injuries

Learn to recognize early signs of heat cramps in yourself and your fellow workers. Do you see heat rashes? These appear as clusters of small blisters. Initial signs of heat injury may also include leg and stomach cramps.

These could be signs of electrolyte loss due to sweating. We recommend scheduling regular rest breaks where everyone drinks water and rests in the shade. Continue Reading â†'