Heavy Equipment Blog

Monthly Archives: November 2022

Service Tips

Avoid Machine Downtime

5 Tips for Keeping that Big Iron Working
  • Check Fluid Levels Daily – Inspect the levels of hydraulic fluid, coolant, and oils before operating your equipment
  • Ensure Radiators are Clean – Check your radiator screen for dirt, grass, or other debris and remove any blockages with compressed air
  • Turn Off Master Switch – Turn the engine off at the end of the day to avoid idling and reduce fuel usage
  • Never Run the Fuel Tank Dry – Operating your equipment on an empty tank can cause damage to components and emissions systems
  • Invest in Telematics – Reduce the cost of ownership with detailed reports on equipment use including location, idling time, and machine downtime

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Hot Weather Tips

How to Maintain Engine Cooling Systems

The cooling system in your equipment is necessary to keep it from overheating, which will lead to serious damage and costly downtime. In order to properly cool your machine and keep the engine operating as efficiently as possible, you have to take several steps to maintain the cooling system and ensure it’s working at its best.

Regularly check cooling fans

Cooling fans help remove excess heat from the engine. Cracked, scratched, or otherwise damaged blades will cause the fan to not be balanced correctly, leading to vibrations that can cause harm to internal components. Additionally, do not let debris build up around the fan, as this can cause it to blow a fuse. To avoid costly repairs and unnecessary downtime, always inspect cooling fan blades for cracks, nicks, debris build up, or any other visible signs of damage at regular intervals.

Hose to neck seals can wear out at a fast rate because hoses and clamps expand and contract as the temperature in your equipment’s cooling system rises and falls. Worn seals will eventually fail, potentially leading to costly damage and repairs, which means it’s critical to inspect all hoses and lines for cracks, leaks, or excessive softness or hardness. As a general rule of thumb, hoses should be removed and replaced every two years, or at the interval recommended by your manufacturer.

Perform routine coolant analysis

Regular fluid analysis will help you identify problems before they become major issues. Half of all water pump failures are caused by a concentration of antifreeze that is too high for the cooling system and could have been avoided with coolant analysis. The best way to prevent this type of failure is to send a sample of your coolant to a professional lab for analysis.

Keep the radiator clean

Dirt, dust, and other debris can build up on your machine’s radiator, reducing airflow, impeding heat transfer, and causing higher operating temperatures. This increase in temperature can cause your engine to overheat and shut down. Power washing the radiator and cooler should be done every few days, especially during hot weather, to prevent downtime and damage.

Contact Great Southern Equipment for More Information

Attachment Maintenance

Keep Costs Down by Extending the Life of Your Attachments

Hydraulic Hammers
Complete a Regular Three Part Inspection
  1. Check for leaks in the attachment’s fittings or hoses. Prior to use, inspect hoses for cracks and check that shielding is in place. Make sure your fittings are not loose and your hoses and fittings are free of contaminants.
  2. Inspect critical points for proper lubrication and function. Power wash the attachment to remove dirt, sand or other contaminants. Once clean, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper special grease or oil lubricant requirements for proper bushing wear. These contain special agents designed specifically for manufacturers’ units, and standard grease is not acceptable for most hammers.
  3. Make sure the locking mechanism is operating correctly. The locking mechanism should not be stiff or bent to ensure proper locking and unlocking of the attachment. Check for damage whenever attachments are changed. Never pry with a tool while operating.
Best Practices
  • Keep hydraulic hose ends out of the dirt
  • Make sure your hammer’s in and out ports are closed on the jobsite as dust and sand can easily enter if left open
  • On a weekly basis, or every 10 hours, remove and inspect the retaining pin and tool
  • On a monthly basis, or every 50 hours, inspect the tool shank and bushings, carefully checking for wear
  • Every 50 hours, inspect hydraulic hoses
  • Hammers should be serviced annually or every 600 hours
Buckets & Teeth
Bucket Inspections

A well maintained bucket can cut down on costs by digging and breaking out more efficiently, which reduces fuel consumption and increases the rate of job completion. Prior to use, carefully check the following parts of your bucket:

  • Mounting Hinges
    Inspect for cracks. A small crack can quickly become much larger, so if you see any cracks, get them fixed immediately.
  • Front Leading Edges and Corners
    Visually check to see if they are getting thinner or if there are signs of cracking. If so, the corners can be re-plated and thickened to increase the life of the bucket. If left unchecked, the corner could fail during heavy digging and the bucket edge can be torn out completely and would have to be replaced.
  • Bucket Edges
    Any signs of distress? If so, can it still be serviced? If you are working with a bucket with reversible edges, you may want to consider rotating them.
  • Bucket Teeth
    Check if they are worn or need rotating. Teeth that are regularly rotated last longer, saving you money. Because corner teeth tend to wear faster, move them to the center to increase their life. The lower edges of teeth wear faster, so you should rotate them to ensure more even wear.
  • Lost Teeth?
    Do not use a bucket with a missing tooth. Not using a full set of teeth will wear away the adapter nose and result in poor contact when new teeth are installed.
  • Correct Bucket Teeth?
    There are a wide range of bucket teeth that can be used for a variety of applications. Make sure you have the correct teeth for the job, such as penetration teeth for rock or abrasive teeth for coal.
  • Lubrication
    Is the bucket properly greased? Insert some lubrication into the proper bucket pin locations. Simple lubrication is the cheapest and best form of maintenance.
  • Check pins and bushings for wear at this time
    Worn pins & bushings cause more stress on the machine and rapidly lead to expensive and more in depth repairs when let go too long. Also, worn pins & bushings result in less control of the machine during operation.

Contact Your Local Branch for More Information

Benefits of Renting Construction Equipment

Renting heavy machines is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to purchasing. It helps you control your costs and widens your capabilities because you are not financially tied to a set inventory of equipment or features. Renting from Great Southern Equipment lets businesses complete a wider variety of projects while keeping costs low.

Expand your capabilities by renting equipment

If a job opportunity comes along that requires different capabilities than the ones your machines have, then equipment rental is your best option. At Great Southern Equipment, we rarely if ever have any shortage of specialized equipment or attachments. You can temporarily expand your fleet for projects like ground preparation, erosion control, material recycling, demolition, and other tasks that you may need to complete. Heavy equipment rental lets you be flexible and keep your options open when it comes to determining which jobs are best for your business.

Try before you buy

Purchasing heavy equipment is a very large investment. Renting equipment before you buy allows you to test out new construction machines, technologies, and features prior to making the investment commitment. You can see if the machine’s size, power, and capabilities are what you need for your typical job or not. Plus, by renting first, your crew can also weigh in on what they think the pros and cons of machine or model are, as well as their features, before you commit to ownership.

Renting construction machines keeps you modern

Modern technology is constantly changing, and features are always improving. At Great Southern Equipment, all our rental machines have the latest features, most advanced technology, and highly efficient engines. When you rent from us, you can be confident you’re using the top of the line, state-of-the-art equipment that will help you complete the job as efficiently as possible.

We keep you on the job

When you rent equipment from our fleet, we are responsible for machine breakdowns, service, repairs, and storage. If the machine fails or breaks down on the job, our rental team will simply replace it. You’ll get back to work quickly and minimize downtime as much as possible.

Want to learn more about how our rental equipment can help? Call our rental experts today.

What Are the Benefits of Renting Heavy Equipment?

Test out machines before purchasing

Renting heavy equipment from Great Southern Equipment is simple and hassle free. By being prepared before you rent and understanding requirements, you can help ensure the rental process goes smoothly, so you’re back to work quickly.

Rental equipment credit approval

Renting is the best way to try before you buy, if you aren’t sure about whether you should purchase a particular machine. You can test drive equipment on your typical jobs to see if they solve the problems you were looking to address. It’s one way to determine whether your requirements for power, productivity, and fuel efficiency will be met without a long term commitment.

Buying heavy equipment is a large investment. If you want to own a machine but lack the upfront capital to purchase it right now, we offer rent-to-own programs that provide a convenient way to grow your fleet on your schedule and within your budget.

Rent when you need it, for as long as you need it

At Great Southern Equipment, we have flexible daily, weekly, or monthly rental rates, so you only pay for construction equipment rentals when you need them and do not need to commit long term, avoiding the expense during downtime or between projects. For your convenience, we’ll deliver the machines right to your jobsite.

Don’t spend money on additional ownership costs

Owning equipment costs a lot more than just the original purchase price. Renting heavy equipment is valuable if you don’t have the resources to store and maintain large machines, or if you are trying to lower overhead storage costs. We maintain responsibility for machine breakdowns, service, or repairs, and we will provide you a new rental in those situations to minimize downtime.

Handle short term or seasonal projects

Investing in equipment for a single or short term contract may not always be the best strategy for your business. Renting equipment is often an excellent option for completing specialized, seasonal, or one time projects. Renting lets you have the tools and capabilities for specific jobs, without a large investment in a machine.

Always have the latest features

Technology is continually marching forward, and trying to keep up with the latest features is expensive. Instead of replacing your construction machines whenever a new model is released, renting lets you take advantage of the latest benefits without the long term financial commitment of owning.

Contact Great Southern Equipment for Heavy Equipment Rental Today!

What Can You Do with End of Life Equipment?

To ensure optimal performance on the job, you sometimes need to get rid of even your most trusted and longest serving heavy equipment. No matter how well you take care of and maintain your machines, they will eventually deteriorate with regular use. To minimize unexpected breakdowns, you must replace end of life equipment before the risk of failure becomes too high.

The question is, what can you do with your old machines when it comes time to part ways? You don’t want them sitting around taking up valuable space or degrading even further if they still have some value to offer you. Below are the four primary options for properly disposing of end of life equipment.

Sell it

Just because your operation is ready to stop using a piece of equipment doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone who can use it. If it is still in usable condition, you can try selling the machine directly to a buyer. The drawback to this end of life equipment disposal method is that it can take a lot of time and effort to sell directly to a buyer. You have to act as a sales rep in addition to running your operation. The other option is to contact your dealer or manufacturer and see if they are interested in purchasing it.

Trade it in

Some equipment dealers or manufacturers will gladly accept your old machine as a trade in. This route may be easier than selling, because they are used to refurbishing or remanufacturing old equipment, then reselling it. Plus, most dealers and manufacturers have an established process for reselling used equipment. While this option could help you save money on new a new machines, what you receive for your equipment will depend on what the dealer or manufacturer estimates is a fair trade in value.

Recycle or scrap it

Recycling or scrapping may be your only option if your end of life equipment is well beyond restoration and cannot be sold or traded in due to its poor condition. Although you won’t receive as much money as you would if you were selling a machine in better condition, scrap and recycling centers may help you recoup a small amount, and it is certainly a better option than leaving it to rot on your lot or behind your shop.

Auction it

If your end of life equipment is a popular model or for some reason is in high demand, then auctions can be a great alternative to selling to a dealer, even if the machine is in poor condition. Auctioning old equipment using online bidding sites requires less effort than direct selling and also broadens your reach to an extensive list of potential buyers.

Final notes

Old equipment does not need to sit idle and take up wasted space in your facility. There are ways to dispose of it while potentially recouping some of your costs. Whether you have one machine reaching its end of life or several, the options we listed will help you determine the best approach to disposing of any equipment that is no longer useful in your operations.

Contact Great Southern Equipment for Your Heavy Equipment Needs Today!

Compact Excavator Maintenance Best Practices

Compact excavators are crucial pieces of equipment for smaller jobs and on more confined jobsites. You need them operating at top performance in order to complete your projects effectively and efficiently. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of best practices to help you get the most out of your compact excavator.

Do daily inspections

Operators should conduct a daily walkaround check before beginning work each shift. It’s important to inspect the engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and coolant and top off when needed. Always ensure you’re using the manufacturer suggested fluid. It’s also important to drain any water or debris that may have built up in the fuel filter, or replace it if necessary. Lastly, check the hydraulic hoses and air system for leaks. Daily inspections will help you find problems and fix them when they are small, so you aren’t waiting until they become larger, more expensive issues.

Don’t forget the grease gun

After your daily check, inspect all pivot points on your compact excavator and grease where needed. Something that is often completely overlooked is the bucket or attachment. Be sure to check all the pivot points on the attachment as well, and grease if needed. If you aren’t sure where to grease your compact excavator or how to do it, contact our service team at Great Southern Equipment.

Wash the cooling system components

Ensure your radiator, oil cooler, and other heat exchangers are kept clean during operation. Look for any accumulated debris and wipe down the surfaces when necessary. Slow oil or coolant leaks tend to collect dust and other particulate matter. If you see this type of build up, then it could be a sign of a larger problem.

Always consult the owner’s manual

You might hear it a lot, but it is crucial to utilize OEM filters and manufacturer suggested fluids and fuel types. Your compact excavators were engineered, developed, and tested with these fluids and filters, and any difference in specs can affect the performance of the machine. You’ll want to check your equipment’s operator manual and make sure that you are keeping up with the regular maintenance intervals. Ask our service team about regular service intervals to be confident your equipment is getting the maintenance it requires at the proper intervals—again, it’s always better to stay on top of things than to wait for a bigger problem to develop.

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