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How to Maintain Your Mini/Compact Excavator?

How to Maintain Your Mini/Compact Excavator?

Posted by Mike P. on Jul 5th 2022

Heavy construction vehicles are the staple piece of equipment found at practically any and all construction sites commercial and private around the globe. Focusing on type: mini or compact excavators, these extremely versatile versions of the large behemoth-sized excavators you see on construction sites in the city, are a great alternative to getting work done in smaller areas like residential or farmland properties.

Mini or compact excavators are more mobile, easier to manage in terms of maintenance, cheaper all around, and oftentimes feature more opportunities to customize certain components. These components allow the mini or compact excavators to tackle practically any small to mid-sized task around smaller-sized properties that include, Handling debris, Digging into the soil, cutting materials, and more.

Mini/Compact Excavator Maintenance

Having touched upon the mini or compact excavators' excellent reliability in getting small to mid-sized construction tasks done, ensuring that you keep up with your machine in terms of functionality and maintenance is practically the best way to cover your rear from inconveniences like faulty excavator performance, and even more problematic, a deep money pit that comes about when the bells and whistles of your mini or compact excavator are no longer belling and whistling.

Surprise! Machines are unable to fix themselves. They do not feature any self-fixing capabilities whatsoever. Ok, maybe it's not so big of a surprise that for millennia any machine constructed at the hands of highly intellectual engineers needs tender love and care or maintenance for all its systems and components in order to remain functioning at its highest potential.

It’s not so much of a surprise to say that mini or compact excavators fall under this same category. The good news is that these handy dandy machines are not so difficult to maintain. Actually, the entire process is very rewarding and also easy to endure. The entire maintenance process can be summed up with a few screws here, a few bolts there, and voila, you're done.

However, the rewarding factor is mainly in part when you catch something off with your mini or compact excavator early on in the beginning of the mechanical problem, before it has a chance to affect the components of other systems.

When an operator comes across a malfunction or the grounds in which a malfunction can arise in the near future, the sheer longevity of your machine extends itself greatly.

Now, mini or compact excavators are generally very simple to keep up with. We have formulated a constructive guide, no pun intended, to ensure that your mini or compact excavator remains operating at its fullest potential essentially for a lifetime, and most importantly with minimal monetary investment to fix any faulty mechanical issues that could have simply been dealt with relative ease.

Mini or compact excavators are the residential operators' best friends. While they have their uses in large-scale construction sites, private landowners find this classification of excavator the most reliable and effective when it comes to getting these small tasks done. If you’re experiencing any hardware malfunction or your excavator is not functioning as well as it once was, see the full maintenance checklist below to find where the issue may be coming from.

Here’s What You Need To Know

Mini or compact excavators typically are known to last way longer than any excavator of regular to larger sizes. Still, they are prone to malfunctioning at some point under the supervision of an operator that may not be well versed in how to care for such utility machines.

If this sounds like you, great job! You’ve taken the first step in doing everything you can to make sure that the mechanical quality of your excavator does not become a significant problem in your endeavors to where 1. You no longer have a working mini-excavator and, 2. You are not putting yourself in the position to unnecessarily throw funds into a deep and dark pit.

For starters, let's cover the basics.

Check Your Final Drive Motor Oil

For most and any type of excavator mechanical typically first arise in the area housing your final drive motor. This is where your gear oil is located whose purpose is to ensure that everything from ease of movement is running smoothly. This component is also associated with the hydraulic system and is also responsible for maintaining the excavator's ability to move effectively and filter out damaging components from getting lodged into the rest of your systems.

How to Check Your Final Drive Oil Levels

Locate the gearbox typically found in the front side of your excavator track identifiable by three separate plugs at the 12, 3, and 6 o’clock positionings.

To start the process of checking the quality of your final drive motor oil. Begin by removing the plug at the 3 o’clock position. Remove the plug slowly as depending on a few factors there could be some pressure behind the bolt itself.

You’ll notice that some oil will leak out of the plug itself, check the color. You’re going to be looking for bronze and relatively transparent color grades.

If you notice that the grade color grade is darkish in color and also has lost its transparency it's time to consider an oil change for your final drive motor.

Keep in mind that your final drive motor oil depending on the intensity of your operational stress on the machine should be changed once a year or once every 100 hours of operation.

Having said that, it never hurts the machine to change the oil of the machine anywhere in between these time frames.

Formulate an Inspection Routine

To become a responsible mini or compact excavator operator consider formulating an Inspection routine that you complete after any arduous operation or certain time frame in the excavator's lifespan.

Looking for a place to start, refer to the beginner's guide below to take inspiration from when formulating your own Inspection routine.

  • Check your oil 
  • Check Your Hydraulic Drain Filter 
  • Listen for any abnormalities, audio cues that could indicate a loose component 
  • Clean off the external body of your excavator 
  • Inspect your tracks flexibility (Not too loose not too tight) 
  • Consult your operator manual to get even more information on checkups for your excavator.

That should be a good starting place as it’ll ensure that if your excavator has any issues you’ll get around to noticing them as quickly as possible.