Skid steers are highly versatile machines that serve numerous important roles in a variety of applications. If a skid steer breaks down, projects can come to a screeching halt, leading to significant financial losses, hurt relationships with clients, and other negative repercussions. To avoid such consequences, you need to recognize some of the most common causes of skid steer breakdowns. In doing so, you can take the proper measures to prevent them.
Poor Maintenance Practices
Perhaps the leading cause of skid steer breakdowns is poor maintenance practices. To prevent serious skid steer problems from developing, operators should conduct regular inspections after every use. In doing so, you can identify any small issues and resolve them before they lead to a full-on breakdown.
In addition to frequent inspections, a quality maintenance program should include lubricating your machine and its attachments. Ideally, you should do this after every ten hours of operation—or even more frequently—to prevent metal parts from rubbing and grinding against each other. Following each skid steer use, you should also take some time to clean the machine and its tracks to remove any mud, dirt, and other debris that could place excess stress on the machine during its next operation.
Improper Operating Methods
Improper operating methods may also lead to skid steer breakdowns over time. For example, operating the skid steer in a rough manner, taking sharp turns, and driving over large obstacles can all place added stress on the skid steer and wear down its components prematurely. To ensure that your skid steer lasts as long as possible, train all operators on proper operating procedures.
Using Incorrect or Low-Quality Tracks
Another common cause of skid steer breakdowns is failing to select the right type of tracks. The ideal tracks for your specific application will largely depend on the operating environment you will use it in and the length of time you intend to use the skid steer.
For example, if you needed to operate your skid steer on slick, muddy surfaces, choosing a track that offered a high degree of traction to prevent slippage would prove incredibly useful in reducing the amount of stress on the machine.
You should also consider how often you plan to use your skid steer when deciding which tracks to use. If you intend to use your skid steer frequently, opting for a high-quality track will prove advantageous as it will facilitate a smoother ride. As a result, the machine will experience less vibration, minimizing the amount of wear and tear it incurs. In other words, using higher-quality tracks will help prolong the lifespan of your skid steer and minimize operational issues or breakdowns.