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Skid steers are a versatile piece of equipment, and essential to almost any worksite. Some jobs in which a skid steer can be used include digging, trenching, excavating, and more. They’re almost always available, and almost any job can be done with a skid steer on a construction site. With a range of available attachments, they really are a jack of all trades.

Despite the reliability and versatility of the equipment, you shouldn’t ignore routine maintenance. Keeping your skid steer maintenance on schedule will ensure your workhorse stays healthy and spritely.

Daily checks

Like any piece of construction equipment, there should be daily maintenance checks done to ensure any obvious defects or issues are seen to. Preventative maintenance is like an extra level of security and safety. The last thing you want is for your skid steer to break down in the middle of a job, costing money or even potentially hurting someone. Skid steer maintenance isn’t any more difficult than any other kind of construction equipment maintenance, but it’s a good idea to go through some things. 

Visual inspection

All that’s done here, is before use. Do a visual inspection, taking note of any wear or possible damage.

Give a visual check of the tracks, make sure they aren’t sagging or have too much damage and tearing. Check all the hoses, if there are any loose hoses make sure to tighten them. Loose hoses are dangerous for the operator or anyone nearby, as hydraulic fluid is hot, and can cause serious burns.

Oil levels

Checking oil levels is essential to any kind of machinery or vehicle. It’s important to know where to check for oil levels so that the equipment has the right lubrication to run properly.

To check the engine’s oil, there will likely be a dipstick. Make sure the vehicle is level so you get an accurate reading. Find a rag or cloth, pull out the dipstick, wipe away the oil on the tip, dip it again and pull it out. Doing this will give you an accurate reading of where the oil levels are at. There should be a marker on the dipstick indicating if it’s full or not. If it isn’t, consult the manual for the correct oil type, and pour the oil in slowly, checking constantly where the oil level is at. 

Hydraulic oil, on the other hand, should have a gauge, indicating where the oil is at. If it doesn’t it’ll have a dipstick similar to the engine on the reservoir tank. Do the same thing you did for the engine to check the level. Top up with hydraulic fluid if needed.

Fluid levels

Check the fluid levels, like the radiator, or windshield washer fluid if it has a windshield.

To check the radiator fluid, there should be a clear tank with a coloured fluid inside showing the level where the fluid is at. If you need to top up, make sure the radiator is cool to the touch. Don’t ever open a hot radiator.

It’s always a good idea to check underneath the radiator for any leaks. There will be a coloured watery liquid dripping out if it’s leaking. If that’s the case, you’ll need to send the skid steer in for maintenance.

Check tire pressure and tracks

If your skid steer runs on tires you should give a visual inspection of the tires each day. If they’re looking low, consult the manual for the correct PSI. You’ll need an air compressor with a gauge to ensure you’re pumping it to the correct tire pressure.

For tracks, do a visual inspection of damage and tension. To adjust track tension, there will be a grease bottle you can adjust. Consult the vehicle’s maintenance manual, for a better understanding of how it works.

Clean after use

You should always keep your equipment clean. It means that either you, or the next person, can use the equipment properly without worrying about it being covered in mud or dirt. If your skid steer has been used in an area with a lot of chemicals or salt you should definitely wash it down after use. Doing this prevents rust and corrosion from forming on your skid steer. 

Follow a maintenance schedule

The maintenance manual in the book should have a schedule, showing when certain maintenance checks and replacements should be done. There will either be a date, or an hourly limit, of, let’s say 500 hours for the tracks to have maintenance. Follow these to make sure your skid steer is at peak performance whenever you need it.

Get yourself a skid steer and we’ll keep it maintained

We at Vermeer WA & NT have a range of mini skid steers on offer with maintenance and warranty. Our team are professionals who will ensure the maintenance for your skid steer is done to the highest level. On top of that, we have a range of skid steer equipment if you need any replacements or add-ons. Get in touch with us through our contact page or call us on (08) 9479 4994.

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