"Some contractors overlook the operator's manual," says Dave Pooley, Hyundai, "but that's a mistake. The operator's manual is a great source of reference. If you don't consult the manual, you can miss out on changes that have been made to the maintenance schedule since the last time you purchased a new machine."

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									Wheel       I    Loaders

  Check the
  manual to
  determine the
  service intervals
  for filters and
  fluids. Adhering
  to these
  intervals will
  keep the loader
  more productive
  and increase

                                                                                                                 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-
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