3 Tips for Troubleshooting a Failed Excavator on Your Construction Site

Downtime due to excavator failure can be detrimental to your construction project. You are forced to halt all earthmoving tasks as you repair the equipment, or find alternative machinery for the job. Therefore, if your excavator fails, you need to find the cause of the problem and fix it fast to restore operations. Below are three troubleshooting tips to help you pinpoint the faults.

Check for Overheating

One of the primary causes of failure in excavators is an overheated engine. The environment in which excavators are used exposes them to a lot of dust. Over time, the dust collects in the radiator fins and blocks the fan. A clogged fan won't properly dissipate heat to the air, which may lead to engine overheating.

Your excavator may also overheat if you overexert it. Each excavator has a prescribed load limit. If you exceed this limit, you force the equipment to work harder to meet the load requirements. This exertion can cause the engine to overheat and fail. Therefore, do not exceed the maximum load capacity of the excavator.

If you have recently refilled the coolant, make sure that you didn't overfill it. The coolant's role is to cool the system and lubricate the moving parts. However, the fluid is thick, and it does not dissipate heat quickly. If you put excess coolant or fail to balance it out with water, it may raise engine temperatures and cause overheating. Use the recommended coolant-water mix to facilitate proper cooling.

Inspect the Transmission

An excavator may fail due to transmission problems. The gearbox has several components, such as the clutch shaft, countershaft, bearings, gears, and gear selector fork. Therefore, pinpointing the faulty part can be difficult, especially if you are not familiar with the system. If you suspect a transmission problem, look for the following signs:

  • Oil leaks from behind the transmission covering
  • Unusual noises when operating the excavator
  • Excess vibration during operation
  • Uneven track speed
  • Overheating engine

These problems could occur due to worn bearings, loose bolts, faulty motor, faulty hydraulics, and low hydraulic fluid. Do not run the excavator on a failing transmission, as it could cause further damage to the gearbox components.

Check the Track Tension

For an excavator to run smoothly, you need to adjust the tracks correctly. If the tracks are too loose, they can come off during operation. If they are too tight, the equipment may fail to work. One can easily confuse track issues with transmission problems. However, if the engine is starting correctly, you need to check the track tension. Measure and adjust the tracks occasionally to enable the equipment to maneuver easily on both flat and steep sites.

Follow these tips to troubleshoot your failed excavator. For more information about earthmoving equipment repair, contact a professional for a proper diagnosis.