When you take care of your equipment, your equipment will take care of you. If your operation makes frequent use of Skid Steers, you're probably familiar with some of the problems that can crop up with these sturdy machines, so we've got a quick list of things you should keep an eye out for so you can jump on those pesky problems before they turn into a crisis!
Before you start up your skid steer for the first time each day you need to make sure you're running a thorough inspection check to identify problems before they occur. Regular wear and tear is pretty predictable, so you should make it a habit to scope out your trouble spots every day to ensure you see malfunctions coming.
The most obvious sign of wear will be leaking fluids. Make sure you're doing a visual inspection of the hydraulic oil, coolant, engine oil, and fuel systems. Make sure all hoses are in good condition, and fixed tightly. As you check out these components, give your fan belt a look to make sure it's maintaining tension, and take a look at your fuel water separator.
Moving parts should all get a look, and this gives you a chance for a little maintenance in the meantime. While you're inspecting your skid steer take the time to grease your fittings and pivot points, and give your air filter a look (this is quick to replace, so make sure you've got one on hand).
Give your tires a once over. Every job site puts different stresses on your tires, so keep that in mind and inflate your tires accordingly. Chunking is something to keep an eye on, as this can turn into a big problem in short order. Tire care isn't just a matter of your equipment's maintenance, but it helps keep the operator from becoming fatigued as well.
Every job site and Loader has it's own particular set of circumstances, but as a general rule you'll want to swap out the fluids of your vehicle at least every 250 operating hours. Oil is the most obvious fluid you'll need to change here, and you'll want to make sure you've got your operator's manual handy and change the oil at recommended intervals. Every so often you should also make sure you're checking and changing your hydraulic fluid filter. This will need replacement every 500 hours or so.
Proper Use and Care
Taking care of your skid steer in the first place is the easiest way to avoid costly downtime. Use the right loader for the right job, make sure you've got the right tires, and don't push your skid steer harder than the manual recommends. Vertical lift skid steers are for lifting and loading, radial lift skid steers are for grading and digging, if you mismatch the tool to the job you're going to have a bad time.