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Make Your Equipment Last and Protect Your Investments Through Preventative Maintenance

Make Your Equipment Last and Protect Your Investments Through Preventative Maintenance

26 Feb 2024 Author: Dennis Howard Read time: 3 min

From excavators and bulldozers to cranes and trucks, these machines are critical in getting projects done on time and within budget. However, even the most robust equipment can suffer from wear and tear if not properly maintained. That's why I am a big proponent of fleet managers using preventative maintenance alerts to schedule routine inspections. With a trusted partner like RDO Equipment Co., team members or fleet managers can set up machine monitoring alerts so operators will be notified when their machine needs more oil or when they need to call in an experienced technician to fix an issue.

Lubricants are essential for reducing friction and wear between moving parts, extending the life of equipment and ensuring optimal performance. Choosing the proper lubricant for your specific application can significantly affect your equipment's short-term and long-term performance. Listen to this episode to learn best practices for protecting your equipment investment.

Understand Total Life Cost vs. Purchase Cost 

When selecting a lubricant, it's essential to consider the total life cost (TLC) rather than just the upfront purchase price. While a cheaper lubricant may seem appealing initially, it may provide a different level of protection or performance than a higher-quality product. This can lead to premature equipment failure, increased downtime, and higher repair costs. 

In contrast, a higher-quality lubricant may cost more upfront but can save you money in the long run by extending the life of your equipment and reducing maintenance costs. For example, a lubricant with better anti-wear properties can help prevent bearing damage, while an improved viscosity can protect against overheating and wear. 

Ensuring Lubricant Longevity: Best Practices for Contractors

Once you've selected the suitable lubricant, it's essential to take proper care of it to ensure optimal performance and protection. Here are some best practices for contractors: 

  1. Follow the OEM's lubricant recommendations: Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have extensive knowledge of their equipment and can provide specific lubricant recommendations based on the machine's design and operating conditions. 
  2. Store lubricants properly: Store lubricants in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Proper storage will help prevent the lubricant from breaking down prematurely. 
  3. Avoid mixing different lubricants: Mixing lubricants can lead to chemical reactions that can damage equipment. Always use the same type and brand of lubricant for each application. 
  4. Read the lubricant specification sheet carefully: The specification sheet provides essential information about the lubricant's properties and application requirements. Read the sheet carefully before using the lubricant. 
  5. Follow a regular lubrication schedule: Establish a regular lubrication schedule for your equipment and follow it diligently. This will help ensure that all moving parts receive adequate lubrication and protection. 

Common Lubrication Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  • Using the wrong lubricant: Always use the lubricant recommended by the OEM or a qualified lubrication expert. 
  • Over-lubricating or under-lubricating: Over-lubrication can lead to leaks and contamination, while under-lubrication can cause premature wear and tear. 
  • Not following the proper application method: Different lubricants may have different methods. Always follow all the instructions provided. 
  • Neglecting lubrication maintenance: Regularly check lubricant levels and change lubricants as needed. 

The Bottom Line: Lubrication and Preventative Maintenance Are Essentials for Fleet Upkeep  

Proper lubrication is essential to equipment maintenance and can save contractors money in the long run by extending equipment life, reducing downtime and preventing costly repairs. By choosing the right lubricant, following best practices, avoiding common mistakes, and scheduling maintenance with a trusted dealer, contractors can ensure their equipment operates at peak performance for years. 

What happens during an annual inspection? Austin Majerus, a Service Technician at RDO Equipment Co., explains the inspection process for Motor Graders with Dennis Howard in this episode of the Track.

Want to hear more from Senior Vice President of Equipment Dennis Howard? Then follow The Track, a web series from RDO. Subscribe on YouTube or check out more episodes here. 

Dennis Howard

Dennis Howard has more than 25 years of experience with RDO Equipment Co. As a Senior Vice President of the Construction Equipment division, he focuses on all aspects of the company’s fleet management efforts. Used construction equipment values and heavy equipment sales are two of his key areas of expertise. Dennis is a member of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP), a regular contributor to and host of The Track, a web series from RDO. Subscribe to The Track on YouTube or connect with Dennis personally on LinkedIn.

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