Preventative maintenance is vital to keeping equipment up and running. However, it’s very easy to neglect attachment maintenance.
The best way to prolong the lifespan of construction attachments is to perform preventative maintenance. You can’t always control what they’ll face on the jobsite, but you can control how, and when, they are maintained and repaired.
The secret to long-lived attachments starts before they arrive on your jobsite. While attachments do expand the capabilities of your equipment, they must be chosen for, and fitted to, the correct machine.
Since each attachment is designed for a specific piece of equipment or application, you’ll have to consider jobsite conditions, climate, and material composition. Never force an attachment onto a machine it’s not made for. It can damage both the attachment and the machine.
You should always read the owner’s manual before you use the attachment for the first time, to get a sense of its operating parameters.
Proper maintenance starts with daily equipment inspections. Your operators are vital to the inspection and maintenance process. They see and use the machinery every day, so they’ll be the first to notice issues with performance.
As your operators perform their daily inspections, they should look closely at the machine, and all attachments, and check for damage or wear. Attachment areas are especially prone to damage.
Performing the following attachment maintenance tasks can help prevent some damage and wear:
- Wash and clean attachments after daily use.
- Inspect locking mechanisms.
- Check hoses and fittings for leaks or cracks.
- Clean hoses and fittings to prevent contamination.
- Ensure fittings are tight.
- Grease fittings for proper lubrication.
When an attachment has cracked or been damaged beyond what your team can fix, it’s time to call a service team or purchase a new attachment.
Storing attachments properly will help extend their lifespan. Even if the attachment stays on the machine, it should be moved to a sheltered location to protect it from moisture.
If you are putting an attachment away for an extended period of time, perform these maintenance tasks to protect them:
- Inspect for visible wear or damage.
- Remove any used grease, dirt, or debris.
- Lubricate grease fittings and fill exposed areas of cylinder rods with grease.
- Tighten hydraulic connections, loose nuts, and cap screws.
- Connect hydraulic couplers to protect the system from pollutants.
- Touch-up unpainted sections to prevent them from rusting.
Attachment maintenance is an easy way to prolong their use. Trust your team and involve them in the inspection process to catch wear before it becomes damage. Simple maintenance and daily inspections can save you money on replacement attachments and keep your jobsite productivity up.