Needless to say, heavy equipment is the lynchpin of most industrial projects, and when something goes wrong, that just means you lose more money on repairs and downtime. On top of that, not everyone who works with heavy equipment is automatically an expert on its functionality. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to know when maintenance is necessary before it becomes an expensive problem. If you want to learn how to keep your equipment in shape and potentially save yourself money, review the signs that indicate your heavy equipment needs service.
A Drop in Fuel Efficiency
If you notice your equipment is eating through excessive amounts of fuel or needs topping off more often, this indicates a drop in fuel efficiency. Increased fuel consumption is a reliable indicator that the engine isn’t operating at its maximum efficiency. The problem is that a drop in fuel efficiency can denote many engine problems, so it’s best to get the issue professionally diagnosed.
Excessive Amounts of Heat and Exhaust
All heavy equipment will produce a decent amount of heat while running, but a sudden increase is a problem. Airflow may end up restricted to some degree. Also, the coolant may need replenishing or may be leaking. Additionally, excessive overheating is a sign that regular and diesel engine oil is too thick or too thin, which can lead to dangerous conditions if left unchecked.
Fluid Levels Always Seem Low
Oil, coolant, and fuel are all essential parts of the lifeblood that keeps your machinery running, and they need proper attention and upkeep. If you keep having to top off these fluids, then you likely have a leak somewhere. The problem is that most systems containing these fluids are closed systems. So even if you don’t see evidence of an external leak, fluids may still be seeping into other parts.
New or Strange Sounds
Heavy equipment is loud, and operators learn to drown out the noise after a while, which makes noticing new sounds difficult. In truth, if you’ve learned to block out the clamor of a machine, there’s no foolproof way to determine if a noise is new or not. If something catches your attention or just doesn’t sound good, you should consider getting your equipment serviced. Juddering, hissing, and screeching are generally abnormal.
Ultimately, a major sign that your heavy equipment needs servicing is that it’s just not running like it used to. Operators are the ones who are the most intimately familiar with their machines, and if you feel like something is off, follow your gut and check it.