One of the most overlooked parts of any vehicle is the undercarriage. While rarely addressed, the undercarriage is an essential part of any motor vehicle, from cars to construction equipment. It protects sensitive internal components like the transmission, gears, the underside of the engine, and more from ground debris. However, the undercarriage is even more important for construction equipment, where it protects the internal components from potentially corrosive substances and other material common to construction sites.
It's important to invest in proper undercarriage protection. The undercarriage should be constructed of rugged, durable material that can withstand the abuse it will undergo. However, there are further steps you can take to prevent damage to the undercarriage and prolong its lifespan.
1. Regular cleaning and maintenance.
The main thing you'll need is a pressure washer. Undercarriage is exposed to dirt, grime, corrosive chemicals, and more on a regular basis. By washing the undercarriage on a monthly to bimonthly basis, you can remove chemical buildup that may lead to damage later down the line. The pressure washer will be essential for blasting away chemical and dirt deposits that have formed in the cracks and crevices of the undercarriage.
After you've thoroughly cleaned the undercarriage, you should inspect it for any damages. Consider applying a rubberized spray; this will reduce the likelihood of buildup and provide a layer of protection against the elements, which can help extend the lifespan of the undercarriage. If there is severe damage, consider seeking professional assistance or even replacing the entire undercarriage. A proactive approach to maintenance means that any necessary repairs will cost less.
2. Inspect daily as needed.
During times of heavy use, inspect the equipment on a daily basis. Look for cracks, breaks, and bends on any of the components. Take the time to ensure all nuts and bolts are tightened, and look for exposed inner components. If any damage is noted, take the time to correct it. The earlier potential problems are caught, the less likely it is they will lead to catastrophic equipment failure.
3. Minimize operating speeds.
While it can be tempting to work as quickly as possible to complete a job,by operating at the slowest possible speed, you reduce the wear the machine undergoes. You also reduce the likelihood that damage will occur to the undercarriage. Slower speeds ensure the work is likely to be higher quality, as well.
4. Observe proper safety guidelines.
Observing proper safety guidelines when inspecting heavy equipment is crucial because it ensures that the equipment is securely parked and the brakes are locked. From which prevents any activation and potential damage during the inspection.
By taking the time to inspect all equipment on a regular basis, you reduce the cost of repairs and extend the longevity of the equipment itself. Undercarriage maintenance and inspection is just one part of the overall process.