Daily checks take a matter of minutes and can prevent huge headaches.
Dozers are built tough, like the terrain they’re designed to handle. But they still need attention now and then. Regular preventive maintenance helps you avoid costly downtime and expensive repairs.
Follow the service intervals recommended by the manufacturer and perform a maintenance check every day. Wear safety glasses and gloves and immobilize any movable systems first.
Walk around the equipment
Start by looking for obvious symptoms of maintenance issues, such as oil leaks around recoil seals, cracks around the push arm and roller frame, worn sprocket segments, loose bolts and worn tracks. Next, confirm that no one has placed warning tags on the operating parts of the machine.
Check coolants, lubricants and greases
A dozer has dozens of parts that rely on proper lubrication and cooling. Verify that all oil and fluid levels remain in the normal range. After checking fluid levels, inspect hydraulic hoses and coolant lines for any evidence of leaks or loose fittings.
Inspect the undercarriage
Any discoloration of the master links may indicate that the track does not have the proper tension. To gauge the tension, check the tightness of the master link retaining bolts. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines for the proper tightening sequence and torque turn.
Key parts to inspect are the carrier roller and the idler. Along with looking for wear, check the centering of the carrier roller. Without the proper carrier roller centering, the track will not center properly. Running a well-worn idler will shorten the working life of other undercarriage parts.
When inspecting the track pads, look for worn leading and trailing edges. Running the dozer in rock sometimes allows rock to wedge under the trailing edge and stress the undercarriage. If you have operated the dozer in muddy conditions, use a track spade to clean the mud away.
John Ross has written about industrial, automotive and consumer technologies for 17 years.
Image Credit: Jeep5d/Shutterstock.com