Wheel I Loaders
for filters and
keep the loader
By Kim Berndtson
perators know they’re sup- operator’s manual for your specific
When approaching a pile, adjust your approach based on the type of
posed to do preventive main- machine since slight variations may material to be moved to minimize the impact on the machine.
tenance (PM) every day to exist. Many manufacturers also may
keep a wheel loader in peak post service intervals on stickers
operating condition. Yet, how will they affixed directly to the machine and
get all that dirt moved by the end of located in an easily identifiable spot,
the day if they take extra time to check such as the door.
fluid levels, tires, grease points, etc.? “Some contractors overlook the
It can be tempting to skimp on operator’s manual,” says Dave Pooley,
these tasks to gain a few extra min- Hyundai, “but that’s a mistake. The
utes and stay on schedule. But if you operator’s manual is a great source
give in to that temptation and bypass of reference. If you don’t consult the
daily service checks, you could end manual, you can miss out on changes
up short-changing the performance that have been made to the mainte-
of your machine and, in the end, you nance schedule since the last time
may actually get less done. you purchased a new machine.”
“Use of recommended mainte- For example, with the move to
nance practices is paramount to the Tier III engines, many manufacturers
well being of the product,” says Frank upped some fluid change intervals.
Hepner, senior product service engi- “If you haven’t read the manual, you
neer, Caterpillar. “Extensive testing might not be aware of that change,”
has been performed on various com- Pooley says. “That means you could
ponents to determine maintenance be missing out on some big savings.
intervals and filter requirements.” Since you don’t need to change the
fluids as often, you won’t need to
purchase as much product.”
As with other earthmoving While this scenario isn’t harmful
machines, wheel loaders call for a to the machine’s operation, other
simple daily maintenance routine to items that you miss could be. “It is
be set up and implemented. “Ideally, extremely important to read and fol-
it should be performed by the opera- low the manufacturer’s recommended
tor at the start of the day,” says Nick maintenance intervals,” says Rogers.
Rogers, product specialist, Liebherr. “These intervals have been designed
“This should begin with a check of to provide the most productive and
the fluid levels (hydraulic oil, engine efficient longevity of the machine.”
oil and fuel) and end with a walk-