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Posted: 03/09/2020

A service technician inspects the engine compartment on an E20 compact excavator.

What’s your parts plan? Make dealers your partners for parts and maintenance

Unexpected maintenance can slow you down – costing you time and money. Making it worse, you or your compact equipment operators may not know how to properly service your machine, or you may not have an on-site mechanic available.

Thankfully, you can partner with your local dealership for quality parts and planned maintenance. The dealer staff is trained on the latest engine emissions standards, can calibrate machines and can check diagnostics with tools and software. Besides, they know what parts are in stock – specifically fluids, filters, tires and tracks – to help you maintain a healthy equipment fleet.

Fluids and filters

Stay on top of your recommended service schedule and visit your dealership for engine oils, coolant, hydraulic fluid, grease and drive motor lubricants. They should have these items in stock and can match machine fluids to the proper ambient temperatures and to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Whether you need synthetic or synthetic-blended oils, your dealership has you covered. These oils have better cold weather starting and lubricating performance, as well as additional wear protection during high-performance operation.

Fuel and air filters should also be in stock at your dealership. Dirtier and dustier conditions may require filters to be changed more frequently. Regular inspections, as outlined in the Operation & Maintenance manual, will help you identify when to change filters and help you minimize unexpected machine downtime.

To enhance your preventive maintenance efforts, talk to your dealership about purchasing fluid and oil analysis programs. Each program provides reports and insights that can help you better understand the current operating status of your machine. The practice of regularly sampling and monitoring test data can detect ferrous (iron) particles, the existence of wear and other contaminants and fluid cleanliness.

As a general practice, consider creating a planned maintenance contract to make sure you and your dealer are following the recommended service schedule. This contract provides a comprehensive report of what parts and service you need to keep your equipment running. It also can control your cost of ownership by guarding against unexpected machine downtime. A planned maintenance program can be bundled with an extended warranty for greater peace of mind.

Tires and tracks

You rely on tires and tracks to give you long-lasting performance when paired with compact equipment. You also rely on your dealership to have the proper replacement parts in stock in case you encounter a flat tire or if a track is loose.

Make sure your dealership knows your scope of work, so they can have the proper replacement items in stock. For instance, if you are excavating, grading or performing other construction tasks, consider a pneumatic tire for superior traction. If you’re working in demolition situations, a solid tire is best to minimize machine downtime.

If you own an excavator, compact track loader or mini track loader, your dealership should have a variety of wide or narrow tracks to match ground conditions and different tread patterns on the tracks to suit your individual needs. Wide tracks work well when lower ground pressure and flotation are desired, while narrow tracks add increased ground pressure, traction and pushing force.

The tracked undercarriage provides lower ground pressure, improved flotation and traction, helping distribute the machine’s weight across a larger area. The undercarriage consists of moving components that need to be inspected frequently, especially if the machine is being used in harsh applications.

Your dealership can help educate you and your operators on steps you can take to extend tire and track life and how to be proactive on maintenance.

Genuine parts

Resist the urge to cut costs with lower-priced parts. Less expensive options can cost you more in time and revenue than using genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Your dealership should stock OEM parts and will often carry a warranty that can help protect the overall value of your machine. Using genuine parts helps extend the life of your machine. It also gives you the peace of mind that your equipment will continue to function properly.

There are many advantages to having your local dealership service your equipment. They have the time, tools, know-how and parts availability to keep your equipment up and running. Proper and timely scheduled maintenance can help extend the life of your equipment, minimize downtime and save you money over time.

Want to learn more about how to protect your investment? Talk to your dealer to see if a planned maintenance contract is right for you.