Originally based on various components created for farm tractors, bulldozers have evolved over the years to become crucial earthmoving tools. With a large flat blade and a powerful engine, even a single bulldozer can move literal tons of material quickly. Bulldozers can be either wheeled or wheeled with heavy-duty tires, making them the perfect equipment for construction sites and other rugged terrain.
Given their importance to the job site, keeping your bulldozers well-maintained is essential for reaching project milestones on schedule. So, what is the best way to manage the maintenance for your bulldozers?
Bulldozer operators can have a big impact on the maintenance, repairs, safety, and downtime of your bulldozers. A well-trained bulldozer operator can maneuver the machine in ways that reduce wear and protect your asset against damage and unplanned downtime.
For example, if the operator always turns the machine in the same direction, or always approaches a slope from the same direction, one side of the machine wears much more quickly than the less-used side. If you train your operators to vary their approach, the wear is spread across all the components and is less likely to result in failure in one area.
Bulldozers may appear indestructible, but they still require regular maintenance and repairs to keep working properly. The first step in good bulldozer maintenance is regular inspections. With regular inspections, you can spot irregular wear or other issues early. With early detection, you can schedule repairs, rather than suffering unexpected downtime from a total failure. If you notice wear that is the result of an operational problem, then you can also train your operator on how to avoid the issue in the future.
On top of inspections, your bulldozers also require routine maintenance work, such as oil changes, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Since they are often used in wet and dirty environments, regular cleaning is also an important component of bulldozer maintenance. Bulldozer maintenance inspections and tasks are usually scheduled based on the number of hours the bulldozer is used, rather than on a calendar-based timeline.
By creating a maintenance checklist for your bulldozers, you can get a lot of benefits. By creating and using a bulldozer maintenance checklist, you can:
With a customized bulldozer maintenance checklist, you can more easily maintain appropriate safety standards on the job site, which protects your operators and prevents costly fines.
Start with the recommendations from the manufacturer. All original equipment manufacturers (OEM) provide a list of recommended and required maintenance for their bulldozers.
Next, you should consider any environmental factors that might affect the use and maintenance of your bulldozers. For example, bulldozers that are used in extremely wet environments have different maintenance needs than those used in drier climates. Weather and seasons can affect maintenance requirements, as well. Very cold winters might require your bulldozers be serviced differently or more often than milder weather.
Finally, it’s important to think about how you are using your assets. Bulldozers that are used year-round have different maintenance needs than those that are put in storage for weeks or months at a time. You’ll need to plan more maintenance and repairs for bulldozers used on very rough sites than for those used on more moderate or easy jobs.
There are many different times that make sense to inspect your bulldozers for signs of wear and safety issues or do maintenance checkups.
Inspections based on calendar milestones, like days, months or years are important for assessing the condition of your bulldozers on a consistent basis. Plus, daily inspections are one of the most important factors in maintaining asset safety on the job site.
While inspections are scheduled on a calendar-based timeline, most manufacturers recommend scheduling maintenance by hours of use, since usage can vary widely from one asset to the next.
After one job is complete and the bulldozer is moving to storage or a new job site, you should do a thorough maintenance inspection to ensure the asset is safe to be transported to a new location and that there are no issues that should be addressed before it’s put back into service.
Safety incidents are a fact of life when it comes to job sites, no matter how experienced or careful your workers are. In the event of any job site accident involving a bulldozer, you should immediately shut down the asset and inspect it for problems before putting it back into service.
In all likelihood, your bulldozer maintenance schedule should include some combination of all of these inspection types.
Bulldozer maintenance isn’t a simple task, but it can be made less complicated when you put a good system in place to manage it. One great way to manage maintenance records for your assets and equipment is with computerized maintenance management software (CMMS).
A CMMS helps you streamline your record keeping and aggregate all the information about your asset maintenance in a central location that can be accessed from anywhere. You can create standardized templates for various maintenance tasks and ensure that all maintenance is completed completely and correctly.
Proper asset and equipment maintenance affects everything from project timelines to jobsite safety, so its importance can’t be overstated. However, tracking maintenance and inspection records across large amounts of assets and equipment spread over multiple job sites can be inefficient and time-consuming, if you don’t have the right tools.
A good CMMS can be the solution to that problem. With the right CMMS, you can manage all the bulldozers, as well as all other assets and equipment, at every job site, no matter how many sites you have. A great CMMS helps you create consistency in your maintenance management across your entire fleet. So, whether your bulldozers are working across town or across the country, you can ensure they are being correctly maintained, and you can access the records to verify it from anywhere. Best of all, you can use one software to track maintenance and inspections across every piece of machinery your company owns.
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