Three Tips for Compact Loader Maintenance

April 23, 2020
Maintaining equipment on the job can not only reduce downtime, but it can also prevent unexpected costs of repairs and parts.

Maintaining equipment on the job can not only reduce downtime, but it can also prevent unexpected costs of repairs and parts. To keep compact equipment performing at peak levels it’s critical that maintenance is prioritized accordingly.

John Deere Construction & Forestry’s Gregg Zupancic, product marketing manager for skid steer and compact track loaders, offers some tips on maintaining compact equipment.

“Although it’s essential to understand how to use compact track loaders and skid steers, it’s equally, if not more important, to understand how to maintain each machine to extend the lifespan of the equipment," Zupancic says. “This information can always be found in the operator’s manual, as well as through contact and support of your local dealer.

“The three key components of maintenance to understand are through fluid maintenance, mobility, and regular undercarriage maintenance,” Zupancic says. “We strive to help customers manage their equipment, and make machine maintenance an easy task versus a challenging ‘to-do’ through upgraded design and collaboration with our customers over time.”

When it comes to checking fluid levels on compact equipment, John Deere recommends changing oil in 500-hour intervals, and to use the specific fluid types listed in the operator’s manual to ensure the machine is running at its best.

“Checking fluid levels can be a quick task, as our compact track loaders and skid steers were designed to have color-coded fluid fills for easy identification, and easy access to the filters and fills so they can easily be checked on a regular basis,” Zupancic says. “John Deere offers compact equipment with the latest technology in fluids so owners can feel confident that their machine is ready to tackle any task, and hydraulics are functioning properly.”

Undercarriage maintenance is another key component to properly maintaining the machine’s life and capabilities.

“While certain points of a machine can be checked on a weekly or monthly basis, we recommend checking undercarriages on compact track loaders and skid steers daily,” Zupancic says. “Frequent undercarriage check-ins are essential to the upkeep of the machine overall. Operators should also check that the hydraulic and fluid latches are locked on both skid steers and compact track loaders, especially when rotating out attachments on the machine.

“Failing to check could lead to damage of the machine or an attachment, ultimately reducing unexpected costs associated with damages and preventing unnecessary downtime,” Zupancic says.