End-of-Day Checklist for Construction Equipment
Regardless of the brand of heavy equipment you run, end-of-day inspections and maintenance are key to help ensure machines run properly the next day. Most days it only takes a few minutes — and the savings to your company could be fairly substantial.
HOUSEKEEPING CHECKLIST FOR HEAVY CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT
Use this end-of-day heavy construction equipment checklist to safely inspect and maintain your machines at the end of each shift:
- Top off the fuel. When you mix hot fuel with cool air you end up with small amounts of water — and water in a fuel tank eventually leads to expensive downtime. At the end of a shift, always fill up your fuel tank. You’ll help eliminate condensation from forming in the tank, plus you’ll be ready to get to work first thing the next day.
- Refill the DEF tank. Diesel exhaust fluid doesn’t get hot like fuel, so you don’t have to worry about condensation, but it’s worth it to properly top off the DEF while you’re filling up the fuel tank. Just be sure not to confuse the fill holes.
- Lower hydraulic implements to the ground. Before you exit the cab, make sure booms and buckets are lowered to the ground. It’s an important safety factor while parking the machine to ensure no one walks under an unsupported hydraulic system. It also allows you to properly check the hydraulic oil at the end of your shift, as well as the next day.
- Let your machine idle for at least two minutes before shutting down. This will allow the turbo charger to cool down. A one-off hot shutdown isn’t likely to cause catastrophic damage, but if the practice becomes a habit, it can result in a blown turbocharger or irreparable damage to the engine. Volvo machines come with a delayed engine shutdown feature to help avoid costly hot turbo shutdowns.
- When exiting the machine, use three points of contact. A lot of injuries tend to be around slips, trips and falls getting on and off machines. Always have safety top of mind, even when you’re at the end of your shift.
- Turn the battery disconnect switch off. The master disconnects on Volvo wheel loaders and excavators are ground level — on the articulated hauler, it’s located in the ignition key. If you accidentally forget to turn off your radio or lights, this simple step means nothing will be drawing from the batteries overnight.
- Perform a quick machine walkaround. Check out the tires or tracks to make sure there’s nothing in them and no excessive damage. If you’re running tracks and they’re full of mud, clean them out to prevent unnecessary wear and tear the next morning. This is especially critical if you’re working in wintertime — frozen mud in tracks can end up costing thousands in repairs. You’ll also want to check the hydraulics on the machine to ensure nothing is leaking. If there is a leak, you can have your nightshift mechanic take care of it before you return the next day.
HOW LONG TO SPEND ON AN END-OF-DAY HEAVY EQUIPMENT INSPECTION
A really a good pre- and post-trip machine inspection walkaround should take about three to five minutes. And as I mentioned before, those minutes can be incredibly valuable to your company in both repair cost savings and minimized downtime.
As an example, if you notice a leak on a hydraulic line and catch it early, the repair might only be a couple hundred dollars. But if you wait until it blows out, you now have to put all the hydraulic oil back in the machine. If you’re on an EPA-regulated site, you’ll also have to pay a cleanup crew to come in and clean up the spill. That’s all on top of the repairs, which can end up costing thousands of dollars.
Use these tips and you have a better shot at avoiding costly scenarios like this. For any days you might have to skip your end-of-day checklist, this excavator prestart checklist and articulated hauler prestart checklist are great to ensure your next day is a productive one right from the start.
(“End-of-Day Checklist for Construction Equipment” was used from https://email@example.com on 8/3/21)