December 1, 2022

Getting struck-by objects is a leading cause of construction-related deaths. Approximately 75% of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes.

Heavy types of equipment are a great help, especially in big projects. However, poor maintenance can cause harm to the operator or the people around it while being used.

For that reason, maintenance is crucial to keeping equipment working properly. But with so many moving parts, it can be easy to overlook something.

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Keep reading to find out some of the most common heavy equipment maintenance mistakes and how you can avoid them.

5 Common Heavy Equipment Maintenance Mistakes

There are many common mistakes made when it comes to maintaining heavy equipment. Here are five of the most common mistakes people make:

1. Not Checking the Fluids

One of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to heavy equipment is not checking the fluids. This can lead to the equipment breaking down.

Not checking the fluids can also lead to the equipment overheating and causing problems for the operator. You can prevent this by making a reminder or schedule charts that are strictly followed.

2. Ignoring the Warning Signs

Most people tend to ignore heavy equipment maintenance until something goes wrong. By then, it’s often too late, and the damage has been done.

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Warning signs that heavy equipment needs maintenance include strange noises, unusual vibrations, decreased performance, and strange smells. If you notice any of these, it’s time to take your equipment to a qualified technician for a check-up. 

All operators should also have an equipment maintenance routine before and after using any heavy equipment. You can avoid costly repairs by paying attention to the warning signs and taking care of your equipment. 

3. Skipping the Service Schedule

By skipping service, you’re missing out on essential steps that keep your equipment in top condition. Not only that, but you may also be voiding your warranty by missing required service appointments. 

4. Putting Off Repairs

Heavy equipment maintenance is often put off until repairs are necessary. However, this can be a costly mistake.

You may be causing further damage to your equipment by putting off repairs. Additionally, repairing heavy equipment that is put off too long can become much more expensive. 

5. Do-It-Yourself Maintenance

Professionals have measurements and guides that they are trained for. You should follow these guidelines to ensure quality and safety. DIY maintenance sometimes misses essential steps and may cause more issues than a fix in the long run.

You should also avoid using DIY safety measures and accessories. For example, purchasing an excavator cab protection is better than fabricating one. Commercially manufactured accessories and protective equipment have undergone testing.

Avoid Heavy Equipment Maintenance Mistakes

To avoid heavy equipment maintenance mistakes, always track what needs to be done and when. Inspect the equipment regularly to ensure that all parts are in working order. There should be no leaks or other issues.

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Additionally, a company should have a staff that personally manages just the maintenance of heavy equipment. This way, proper protocols can be followed, and issues can be avoided.

Following these tips can avoid maintenance mistakes and keep your equipment running smoothly.

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