How you’re costing yourself money before the job even starts.
PERRY, Okla., May 15, 2023 – The sun is shining, the grass is growing, birds are chirping and your backlog of jobs is filling up. After a long winter of either doing different types of work to stay busy, or letting your equipment sit idle, now is the time to prep for making some money.
On the jobsite is not the time or place to find out you aren’t ready to get to work. Whether you prepped your equipment for winter work last fall or just parked it in the shed, there are a few simple actions you should take to avoid costing you time and money.
Different Work – Different Attachments
Your location and type of work you do will be major determining factors when getting geared up for the season. Those contractors using a trencher need to check the type of chain they are using. In colder, northern climates, contractors will often switch to alligator chains in the winter, due to the frozen ground. The ground shouldn’t be frozen anymore, so a cup tooth or combo chain will be more efficient.
Additionally, if your crew has been working on snow removal and other winter project, you’ll want to switch out your attachments to a more summer-friendly configuration. Some of the more popular attachments for stand-on skid steers are buckets, trenchers, plows and tillers.
Contractors should inspect attachments for damage and wear that requires immediate attention. Plows should be checked for loose hoses and fittings, while tillers need to have bearings lubricated and tines inspected for damage.
Whatever type of work you are getting ready to tackle, make sure your attachments are in good working condition.
Landscape professionals, and their equipment, are much more efficient with components in full working order. Oftentimes, contractors will avoid replacing working components and ground-engaging parts towards the end of the season and decide the investment isn’t worth the return with a short period of time left to work. However, that is no longer the case as the new season is just getting underway.
Contractors should inspect, and potentially replace wear items, like the chain, rollers, sprocket, sidebars, teeth and nuts and bolts. Worn digging teeth will not cut or carry soils out of the trench efficiently, leading to decreased productivity.
The primary wear on a digging chain occurs at the chain roller, which will begin to resemble an apple core. At this point, the chain should be replaced to avoid potential downtime.
Sprockets and digging chains have the same pitch dimensions and should be replaced at the same time. Changing one and not the other will result in a mismatch and lead to premature wear of the new component.
Stay on Track
Checking the track tension on your equipment is a quick and relatively simple way to get the most out of your equipment. Separation of the track rubber from the track system is one of the most common causes of downtime on tracked units. Too loose and your tracks may fall right off. Too tight and you risk breaking a track or motor. Neither of those options is better than a quick health check.
Additionally, a quick inspection for dirt and debris clogged in the track system is a good use of a few minutes. Rocks and other sentiments can damage the rollers and cause big problems down the road.
About the Ditch Witch® Division
Ditch Witch invented the underground utility construction industry, and today the Ditch Witch Division designs, manufactures and markets the most complete line of directional drills, drill pipe, HDD tooling, Underground Awareness electronics, vacuum excavators, trenchers, surface miners, fluid recycling systems, chain, teeth and sprockets, stand-on skid steers and vibratory plows. Handcrafted in the USA, its products are supported by the Ditch Witch dealer network with over 175 locations worldwide.
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