An excavator breakdown in the middle of the job can be disastrous. You may have to halt all operations, leading to downtime. What are the leading causes of the sudden breakdown of an excavator, and how can you prevent this from happening?
Contaminated Hydraulic Oil
One of the primary causes of excavator breakdown is hydraulic oil contamination. The oil lubricates the moving parts that enable the transfer of power throughout the hydraulic components. Elements like dirt, dust, and water can contaminate the oil, thickening it and causing it to turn to sludge. The pistons and valves become abraded as the contaminated oil surrounds them. Deterioration sets in, and attachments like the breaker and hoe pack can cease functioning altogether.
Regularly check the oil by removing the engine cover and inserting a clean dipstick in the fluid reservoir. If the stick shows grainy particles in the oil, then an oil replacement is long overdue.
Excavators typically run on dirt surfaces. As such, the undercarriage is often exposed to pebbles, gravel, and other debris. The debris can get lodged in the idlers, rollers or sprockets, causing premature wear. In some instances, this can cause the wheels or tracks to seize up.
Though a cumbersome process, operators should clean the undercarriage after each use or at the end of the work day. You can't simply hose down the area. You need a pressure washer to dislodge embedded debris. If a pressure washer is not available, manually scrub the undercarriage using water and a hard-bristle brush.
We Minimize Excavator Breakdown
At Active Excavator Rentals, we maintain all of our excavators before renting them out. Nevertheless, contractors still need to do their part to prevent an unexpected breakdown. Learn about us and the inventory that we keep in working condition. You can prevent excavator breakdown with diligent care.
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