A well-maintained machine works longer and uses less fuel.
To keep wheel loaders moving huge loads of dirt and rock year round, perform daily and scheduled maintenance. Always follow the guidance outlined in the operator’s manual.
Before beginning your daily checks, shut down the loader and engage the parking brake. Install an articulation frame lock and place jacks under the boom and the bucket on a solid, load-bearing surface to prevent movement.
Check the cab, the safety equipment and engine
Inspect the windows for chips or cracks. The loader’s steps should be clean and free of debris that could cause a slip. Make sure the running lights, backup alarms and electronic safety equipment such as back-up cameras work
Inspect the bucket and ground engaging equipment for signs of abnormal wear, cracks or broken pins. Check the fuel tank for rust or damage and the fuel lines for cracks or breaks. Drain water from the fuel separator each day. Check the air filter indicator and clean the radiator daily.
Check the hydraulic system
Check hydraulic hoses for any signs of damage and unusual wear. Access the hydraulic lines from above the loader frame with the bucket resting on a load-bearing surface.
Check fluids and lubricant points
Check the levels of coolants and engine, transmission and hydraulic oil against the levels recommended by the manufacturer. Confirm that the tilt and bucket linkage pins, boom linkage, steering cylinders and hitch pins and bushings are sufficiently lubricated.
Check the tires
Check each tire for proper air pressure and any damage. Uneven tire pressure lessens front-end stability and can result in excessive wear on one side of the bucket’s cutting edge. Uneven pressure can also make axles, brakes and other mechanical systems work harder because of the uneven torque and friction.
John Ross has written about industrial, automotive and consumer technologies for 17 years.