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7 steps to maintain your skid steer

Equipment

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Posted by Monica Gameng

Skid steers are small and versatile yet highly productive pieces of equipment. In order to extend the life of the machinery, a significant amount of effort from the owners or operators should be given to the maintenance and proper care of a skid steer.  

Breakdowns are costly and an inconvenience for any equipment hire company – it hinders you from being productive and repairing the damages on your machinery will cost you. That’s why it’s important to maintain and take care of your plant and equipment.

Here are the steps you can do to ensure that your skid steer is in tip-top shape.

  1. Have a trained operator

In order to effectively perform maintenance work on a skid steer, fleet managers, operators or technicians should be educated on the most current maintenance procedures and methods. If you have an in-house technician or if you plan to do maintenance work yourself, look at the recommendations on your skid steer’s manufacturer’s manual regarding maintenance intervals and checklists. It’s also ideal to get the proper training or assistance on proper maintenance techniques from your equipment dealer. And if you're looking for skilled skid steer operators in your area, check out these links:

  1. Attachment checks

Your skid steer’s attachment is as important as the machinery itself. Performing daily tasks – such as loading and unloading of materials – can create wear and tear on your equipment’s bucket or other attachments. Always visually inspect your skid steer’s attachment before starting a job to ensure that they are not compromised or damaged. Include hoses, tilts and lift cylinders in your inspection to see if they need repairing or maintenance.

  1. Wheel check up

Leaks or improper inflation of the wheel could occur with constant use of your skid steer which could lead to damages or tyre failure if undetected and untreated. Check your equipment’s maintenance manuals, ask from your equipment dealer or manufacturer for the correct PSI for your skid steer’s wheel and inflate them accordingly to avoid any risks.

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  1. Park brake check

A properly working and well-maintained park brake is vital to your skid steer. A skid steer's park break is operated by an electric rocker switch, so always have a spare fuse in the electrical fuse box in case the old one burns out.

  1. Hydrostatic motor chains

Skid steers are driven by chains connected to the hydrostatic motor and this drives both wheels on one side of the equipment. Trained technicians or mechanics are needed to maintain this part of the skid steer. For owners or operators, you can maintain your skid steer's engine in good working condition by keeping the belly plate area clean. Dirt and debris build up around your equipment's engine compartment will reduce its cooling efficiency..

  1. Check fluid levels and oils

The most important ones to check are engine oil and coolants. Use a dipstick or sight glasses to check the levels to ensure that your skid steer has the appropriate amount. Refer to your equipment’s manual for the instruction regarding filling your machinery at the recommended interval as well as the proper fluid in the right increment.

  1. Cooling system maintenance

Glycol percentage is vital to your skid steer's cooling system. Your equipment needs an adequate amount to ensure that the coolant's boiling and freezing points are in check as well as the anti-corrosion capabilities are still intact. Keep this in check by testing your coolant with a simple coolant glycol percentage and alkalinity test swab. Reminder: never open a hot cooling system since this could cause an injury. Another point of maintenance is to blow out the cooling system with compressed air away from the engine to ensure that there is optimal airflow through it.

Well-maintained skid steer loaders or bobcats perform more efficiently, thus increasing their chances of being hired by clients. Aside from having a well-oiled machinery for hire, there are other ways to increase your chances of winning hire work. Read the tips highlighted in the free infographic below and start winning more jobs for your business.

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Author's note: Information on this post was sourced from For Construction Pros

Monica Gameng

Monica Gameng

PlantMiner's Marketing Assistant who is a chocoholic, beach lover, frustrated photographer, animal lover and techie marketeer.