By: Tom McIntyre

In 2014, the estimated spending by private construction companies reached $687 billion. If you own or work for such an organization, it’s vital to protect that business’s investments. Without a doubt, that includes heavy equipment and the components that make them work. By taking a proactive approach, you can perform preventative maintenance that will extend the lifespan of this equipment and ensure that it stays in excellent working order. But just how often do you really need to perform these inspections? Probably more frequently than you think. While some maintenance is performed weekly or monthly, these particular inspections should be performed every 24 hours (or sometimes, even more frequently).

Daily Heavy Equipment Inspections

The following inspections should be performed on a daily basis (or sometimes before the start and after the end of each workday). Many of these tasks are strictly visual. If you notice any issues, you can then decide how to proceed with repairs.

  • Check for wear and debris: You’ll need to carefully inspect the undercarriage (including the grouser steel tracks) every day for debris buildup, excessive or uneven wear, and damage. If you do find dirt and debris, clean it off before starting the day and after you’ve finished. You’ll also need to ascertain whether there’s enough clearance between the idler roller and the chain on which your grouser bar tracks rest. Even if you don’t notice any missing grouser bars, remember that wear and tear can lead to more complex issues.
  • Inspect track tension: Your grouser steel tracks should not be overly tight. This causes excessive wear and can compromise fuel efficiency and general power. That said, when grouser steel tracks are too loose, this can make the equipment less stable, cause wear and tear, and could even cause track derailment. Make sure that the tension adheres to manufacturer recommendations at all times. You should also make adjustments for weather or environmental conditions (like snow, mud, or sand) that can inadvertently increase track tension. Don’t forget to check the grouser track bolts and bushings during this step!
  • Look at track alignment: Proper track alignment will keep your heavy equipment working the way it should, but it will also protect all of those smaller components (like sprockets, grouser bars, roller flanges, and more) from damage. Excessive side wear can result in misaligned tracks, so make sure workers know that favoring one corner of the blade or turning only to one side of the machine can cause long-term problems.

While there are certain inspections that don’t necessarily need to be performed this often, your company will do well to enforce these daily policies. That way, your equipment will be in the best shape possible and will stay that way for far longer.