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As a landscaper, your projects are becoming larger and more complex, regulatory restrictions are increasing, and yet your schedules are only being shortened. For these reasons, compact track loaders have proven to be invaluable on job sites because of their diverse capabilities.
When a machine isn’t running, it becomes a hindrance to your operation. We caught up with our compact track loader product team to outline several tips to decrease downtime, as well as considerations to make when spec’ing your next compact track loader.
Pre-Purchase Serviceability And Maintenance Considerations
Monitoring your machine’s condition regularly can help detect potential issues that could turn into bigger problems. It is important to consider features that will make machine maintenance easier for you. Some of these include:
- Machine diagnostics and monitoring capabilities – Advanced compact track loaders have color LCD display systems with video capability, allowing the operator to quickly monitor machine systems and read machine diagnostics.
- Optimized positioning of daily maintenance check components – Components such as the engine air filter, battery, engine oil dipstick, engine oil filter, electric priming fuel filter and water separator, hydraulic oil level sight gauge and hydraulic oil filter should be easily accessed, without using tools.
- Organized component layout underneath the cab – A complicated layout will take longer to inspect or troubleshoot the machine. A machine with a well-organized component layout will be easy to clean out, inspect and identify any issues.
Optimize Maintenance Intervals
Today’s machine designs include technology that helps extend service intervals—which means less time in the shop and more time on the job site. Here are some factors that could help optimize maintenance intervals:
- Look for a compact track loader with convenient intervals that are easy to remember, such as multiples of 100 or 250 hours.
- Identify manufacturers that offer maintenance kits with purchases that include filters and fluids needed at various intervals.
- Utilize bucket and blade attachments with double-sided cutting edges. If one side reaches its wear limit, reverse it to extend the life.
Fuel System Maintenance
In order to meet stringent emissions regulations, proper fuel system maintenance is another key element of routine care.
Today’s top tier compact track loaders are equipped with fuel system advancements that improve ease-of-maintenance and decrease machine downtime. Some of these features include:
- Transparent fuel/water separator housings that allow you to inspect for water in the fuel.
- Electronic sensors on the fuel/water separator that alert you to water in the fuel.
- Tubes connected to the bottom of the fuel/water separator that allow you to drain it, as needed.
- Automatic electric priming pumps that prime the fuel system with the turn of a key switch.
- Fuel systems in which the air is automatically bled out while the machine is running.
As you know, optimal machine operation is imperative for meeting your project schedules and managing costs. It can also help shorten a long work week—in this industry, every little bit helps.
There are currently limited time offers available for a variety of Cat® machines. Visit www.catresourcecenter.com/offers/.