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Three Key Equipment Maintenance Times

We have several responsibilities to our customers here at The Rental Center of Monticello.  We rent equipment to customers – and that equipment is well-maintained and well-functioning.  But we also service that equipment, and as such we often have casual (and serious) advice that we pass on to our customers for self-maintenance.

Maintenance – that thing we often neglect because modern machines well enough that we forget that we have to maintain them!  So as temperatures start to rise as we slowly amble towards summer – at least here in Monticello – we wanted to share some important tips for maintaining your equipment whether it’s as basic as a mower or as complicated as a backhoe.  We wanted to arrange these by the “Times” of maintenance.

Daily

Certain things have to be done every day.  If you’re the type who forgets things, a checklist is best (In fact, even if you have an excellent memory, a checklist still provides a method and fall back to this part of your duties).  Some things to watch on a daily basis:

When doing a visual inspection

  • Look for worn parts

  • Look for signs of oil or coolant leakage

  • Check oil/coolant/hydraulics levels and fill as necessary

  • Lubricate parts that need daily grease

  • Check air filter

  • Check tire pressure

  • Check chains and belts for slack

  • Clean dirt and debris out of the machine (you don’t have to do a deep cleaning) and make sure caps are sealed

  • Make sure safety equipment and signage is properly displayed and that exterior lighting is functioning

  • If there’s trash or other debris in the cab – take it out.  While you’re in there, check on the seat belts.

Quarterly

The prevailing wisdom is that 500 service hours is when you should have some additional maintenance done outside of the suggestions we bulleted above.  The oil filter, hydraulic oil filter, and the oil itself need to be changed.  Some argue this should be done every three months regardless of usage and there definitely is some merit to that school of thought but each individual operator can make a decision on when is best – as long as they understand the principle of periodic maintenance beyond the above-mentioned daily tasks.

End of Season

It’s time to put things away at the end of the season.  Don’t forget to:

  • Change the hydraulic oil and transmission fluid

  • Check the antifreeze to make sure it’s ready for winter

  • Check belts and hoses

  • Make sure that you have arctic or blended fuel in the tank.  If you do end up needing your equipment you don’t want the fuel line clogged with summer-weight fuel that you forgot to drain

  • Wash the entire vehicle.  Make sure the undercarriage and engine get special attention.  Check the air conditioning and interior lighting – replace bulbs as necessary.

  • If the tires need changing – better to do them now than during the season so you minimize  your down time.

Heavy equipment, like all machinery, has a useful life and a strong justification for purchase will be the commitment to the maintenance.  Some of us remember begging our mom to let us take the puppy home and heard her remind us that we had to clean it and take it to the bathroom and feed it and take care of it and we nodded our heads earnestly.  Your excavator isn’t likely to lick your feet with a wagging backhoe to remind you to take care of it.  As we said above – the quality of the machinery can lull us into a false sense of security that the machinery works “because it works.”

As we’ve said other times on this blog, a big part of why people people might choose to rent first instead of buy is because it provides them with an opportunity to try before buying.  They can see if the equipment does what they need it to do and then return it without having to do any maintenance at all.  We take care of that for you before and after the rental.  You can also have conversations with us either before, during, or after your rental as you figure out what option makes the most sense for you and your project or ongoing work.

As always, we are here to answer any and all questions about equipment rental, and after today’s post, we hope you see that we can hopefully answer some of your maintenance questions as well.

As this article goes to press we are on the verge of Memorial Day weekend.  We here at the Rental Center of Monticello are grateful for the service our veterans have given to our country and we hope that you take some time to remember them throughout this weekend and on Monday especially.