Extend the Life of your Compact Wheel Loader with these 5 Top Tips

16th January, 2019

Wheeled Loaders are a great investment to your business and looking after them should be a top priority. However, misuse of your machine can shorten the life expectancy of parts that can be a costly outlay over time. Damage limitation of your wheeled excavator will not only save you money in replacement parts, but also make you money by limiting the amount of downtime needed to fix any issues, meaning you will have more time to work on projects.

Read the following 5 key tips from MTS Plant, with advice on how to really look after your wheel loader.

1. Easy on the breaks

Often, brake failure will occur because of an untrained operator driving too fast and applying the breaks too harshly. This unnecessary action can cause the breaks to overheat and prematurely wear them down.

If you are an operator, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get the job finished. Stopping within shorter distances, because you are rushing a project in order to finish on time, will cause more stress on the breaks once they have been applied. Slowing down earlier and allowing the weight of the machine to bring the wheeled loader to a near stop will not only limit the wear on your breaks, but it makes for a safer work site and fewer mistakes to happen.

2. Limit wheel spinning

Inexperienced drivers tend to spin the wheels when setting off, resulting in quicker wear of the tread on the tyres.

Improper inflation is another common cause for tyre wear. Should your tyres not be inflated to the correct pressure, the more weight exhorted on the tyres, the more damage the tyre will experience.

We recommend you follow the guidance manual on what pressure the tyres need to be at whilst the vehicle is in operation. Think about what application your wheel loader is used for and whether there are any potential hazards that may arise. If you are working in snow, you may want to wrap some chains around them to increase the grip and your productivity at the same time.

3. Look after the bucket

More than likely the most common areas for wear due to the nature of this machine will be the bucket, front pins, bucket wear plates and teeth. A lack of maintenance will accelerate wear in these areas.

Be careful not to hit a pile with excessive force, doing so will put the bushings and pins under a lot of stress and could fail or break. Regular greasing of the front pins will ensure the longevity of the bucket’s operation and replacing wear plates (positioned at the front of the bucket) will limit any damage to the bucket itself. Buckets are expensive to replace and are a key component to the use of this type of machine.

MTS Plant recommends you know exactly what material the bucket will be entering. Knowing what application you are using your wheeled loader for will allow you to decide on which bucket fits your requirements best, increasing efficiencies and reducing repair / replacement costs.

4. Taking shortcuts

Improper shifting through the gears by the operator can lead to wear and tear of the clutch. If the operator is not applying the breaks to stop and change direction, i.e. putting the machine in reverse from drive and then hitting the accelerator, all that extreme force is being placed on the transmission which will cause the machine to overheat. This practice can result in the failure of very expensive components and drastically decrease the life expectancy of your vehicle.

The main cause for this action may be that operators are rushing around the job site to get work completed for a deadline. We advise that operators be patient and take care when working, whilst also being allowed enough time to drive the machine correctly.

5. Don’t skip warmups and shutdown

Allowing time for the machine to warm up properly will allow any lubricants to work at their most efficient temperature. Operating the machine with cold lubricants can damage certain parts and limit your capabilities.

Whilst warming up the wheeled loader is an important factor, giving the machine time to shutdown correctly is just as important. Let the machine run for 3-4 minutes before shutting down completely. The turbocharged diesel engines run at an average of 40,000 – 50,000rpm and turning off the ignition straightaway runs the risk of the turbo continuing to run for an extra 30 minutes which could damage the bearings and cause the turbo to run dry.

Make sure you are regularly checking the fluid levels on a daily basis and are topping up when necessary. Doing so will make you aware of irregularities or if there are any leaks that might occur over time.

A final word

On top of everything mentioned above we believe it is important to remember to keep the interior clean and tidy as well as washing down the exterior of any excessive build-up of dirt. This can be extremely harmful to components and cause your machine to not be as effective as it could be.

Try to stay out of water as much as possible. Treading through deep water can damage the axels, transmission, bearings and breaks and a build-up of rust could build up over time.

In addition to the key points mentioned throughout this post, we believe conducting a regular check at the start and end of a shift is extremely important, this will give you the ability to spot any problems as soon as possible and have them fixed before they become a more major and expensive job.

MTS Plant have over 30 years of experience within the plant hire and sales industry and have machines to fit all your needs and applications with the accessories and service to match.

Contact the MTS Plant team today to discuss your requirements and learn more about our new range of Yanmar Wheel Loaders and all other options available.

T: 08000 156 555

E: info@mtsplant.co.uk