With the right attachments, a single machine can carry out tasks that would normally require an entire fleet. That’s why many construction and landscaping businesses alike are investing in attachments to increase their workload capacities. Preventive maintenance is paramount to getting the most out of your attachments.
Hydromechanical attachment care is particularly important, as these tools are powered by auxiliary flow from the machine. Below, we have outlined maintenance tips for the top five most commonly-used hydromechanical attachments to keep them operating at maximum performance levels.
Daily maintenance routine: Always check for any loose hardware and tighten, if necessary. Visually inspect tires and rims. With tires elevated off the ground, move the wheels side-to-side to make sure that the bearing or axle they ride on is not showing excessive wear.
Weekly maintenance routine: Tire pressure should be checked weekly. It’s important to maintain 60 psi of tire pressure. If pressure is very low, the tire can detach from the rim. Lubricate the pivot plate and bolt, caster mount brackets and roller bearings weekly or after every 10 hours of service. Lubricant levels should be at the same level as the lubricant level hole; add fluid gear grease through the filler plug hole, if necessary.
Operational tips to prevent maintenance issues: Angle brooms are used in a wide variety of applications, including parking lot, airport runway, street, and milling clean-up, to name a few. To help ensure a long service life, there are several operational tips to keep in mind. Continuous use of the broom angled in one direction, excessive bristle engagement and/or applying too much down pressure without proper adjustment of the broom can cause premature wear of the bristles. Therefore, the broom should be adjusted to a position in which the bristles are just slightly engaging with the pavement during operation.
Daily maintenance routine: Inspect the broom bristles daily; look for uneven wear, premature breaking or bristle loss. Visually inspect the broom for damage—making sure the fasteners are tight, pivot points are not worn and the chain is properly adjusted. Refer to your angle broom operation and maintenance manual (OMM) for chain adjustment instructions. Apply lubricant to the outer bearing and inner bearing on the bristle side.
Bristle replacement tip: Angle broom bristles should be replaced when the outer diameter has worn down to 560 mm (22 inches) and the exposed bristle length has reduced to 125 mm (5 inches).
Daily maintenance routine: Always check to make sure the conical bits are rotating and turning properly before operation of the cold planer. Grinding dust from asphalt and concrete can work its way into the conical bits during operation, and cause them to stop rotating. Therefore, these bits should also be inspected hourly to make sure they are rotating properly while in service. Use caution because bits become very hot during operation, and always use a pair of thick gloves or pliers to check rotation. If the attachment continues to run while the bits are not rotating, damage can occur to the bit holders, and the drum itself.
Weekly maintenance routine: Lubricate the planer depth control cylinder ends and the control shafts. Inspect the drum frame and adjustable skid shoes for wear, and replace them as needed.
Daily maintenance routine: Hammers require lubrication every two hours during normal operation, and each hour in extreme use. General purpose grease will melt in high temperatures, so it is important to use a lubricant that can withstand hotter conditions, such as hammer paste. Check the OMM for proper attachment positioning while greasing, as improper application can cause severe damage. When greasing, apply ten to fifteen pumps for each grease zerk. It is also important to check for loose fittings and hydraulic hose leaks before use
Weekly maintenance routine: Every 40 to 50 hours of service, inspect the hammer’s pins and bushings for wear and/or damage. Never operate the attachment for longer than 15 seconds, as continual hammering will heat up the end of the tool pin (moil) and cause premature wear.
Daily maintenance routine: Inspect teeth for wear and damage, and replace as needed. Check to make sure bits are in place and all bolts are tight. Additionally, be sure to inspect the auger for cracks and lubricate the pivot pin on top of the drive motor head.
As you can see, each attachment requires its own, specific maintenance routine to keep it performing at its best. Therefore, its always important to refer to the equipment OMM. However, we hope this blog has provided you with a few helpful tips to give your attachments the TLC they need!
To learn more about Cat® Attachments, proper attachment maintenance and how these tools can benefit your business, visit Cat.com or contact your local Cat dealer.
We’d like to hear how you utilize attachments and maintain them to ensure ideal performance and longer service life.
Besides buckets, are you currently utilizing other attachments to help with projects? If so, which ones?
What benefits have you noticed since you began using attachments?
Do you have a maintenance routine in place for your attachments? If so, can you tell us about it?
If you are utilizing multiple attachments, which ones do you find easiest to maintain? Which ones are more challenging to maintain?
Are there resources that you wish your equipment manufacturer or dealer provided when you rent or purchase new attachments to assist in operation and/or maintenance?
I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
I am a Pre-Field Agriculture/Product Application Representative for Caterpillar. I recently graduated from North Carolina State University with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day. This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
I am the commercial/market consulting expert for all Caterpillar tires and rims with 14 years of experience. I provide guidance in the harsher work environments of mining and industrial/waste applications. Our goal is to turn our dealers and customers into knowledgeable and trusted resources with respect to tires and rims. Our group offers training, technical support and resources to develop a level of expertise within the Caterpillar value stream that is ordinarily reserved for tire companies and local tire service providers. Ultimately, we want to provide our customers with a total Cat solution from the ground up.
I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
I am a Filter and Fluid Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience working at Caterpillar. My focus is to ensure customers understand the importance of using superior filtration and lubrication products in their equipment.
I am a Sales Support Manager with over nine years of experience in a variety of roles with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in matching financial products and tailoring funding strategies to the specific needs of customers. This includes more than three years as a Territory Manager in Seattle partnered with N C Machinery, an authorized Cat dealer covering the states of Washington and Alaska.
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