6 Excavator Maintenance Tips

Dec. 21, 2020
Bobcat's Jason Boerger offers six tips for hydraulic excavator maintenance.

“Managers and their operators can keep excavator operating costs down by following preventive maintenance tips,” says Jason Boerger, marketing manager–excavators, for Bobcat. “Preventive maintenance is critical to keeping an excavator running smoothly.”

Here are six of Boerger’s top tips for excavator maintenance.

1–Read the operation & maintenance Manual.

Read the operation & maintenance manual to become familiar with the machine’s safety features, instrumentation, controls, service schedules, and maintenance points. The manual contains manufacturer recommendations for maximum excavator uptime protection. Most excavators come with an operator’s handbook, conveniently stored in an easily accessible area in the excavator cab.

2–Use proper fluid levels and correct filters.

Using the correct fluids and lubricants can prevent expensive and unnecessary repairs. Changing filters at recommended intervals helps reduce potential system contamination and extend the life of core components.

3–Understand telematics.

Bobcat large excavators [and many others] offer telematics as standard equipment. This keeps owners award of the machine’s status, usage, and error codes, as well as other data points. The information allows owners and operators to stay on top of maintenance and improve efficiencies.

4–Inspect the tracked undercarriage.

Keep excavator tracks clear of debris to reduce wear and damage. Inspect tracks for signs of damage, and check rollers, idlers, and drives for fluid leaks that could lead to more serious failure.

5–Prepare attachments daily.

Visually inspect hydraulic hoses, cylinders, and guards on excavator attachments to check for damage or excessive wear before daily operation.

6–Create a planned maintenance schedule.

Prevent avoidable downtime and sudden, costly repairs by creating a planned maintenance (PM) contract with an equipment dealer. A PM contract keeps the excavator operating on the job site by ensuring service is performed on schedule and at a convenient time. A PM contract with a planned maintenance schedule can extend the life of the equipment, minimize downtime, and save money over time.