Add Years To Your Skid Steer's Life With These Maintenance Tips

Skids steers or skid loaders are one of the most popular pieces of heavy construction equipment on the market. Their versatility, power, and relatively small size makes them useful for a wide variety of projects. That's why you need to regularly perform the following skid steer maintenance procedures. They can keep it healthy and running for years to come.

Every Day Engine Inspection

Before you run your skid steer, you should inspect some of its most important engine components. Most of these components will remain unchanged for months, but are so important that they need to be checked every time you use your skid steer.

Skid steer engine components you should inspect include:

  • Engine oil
  • Air filter
  • Dust ejector
  • Coolant

If you're low on coolant or oil, don't be afraid to fill it up! Same with your air filter: if it's excessively dirty, simply replace it. Dust ejectors are a little more complex: only repair or replace them if you have mechanical experience.

Maintaining Tires

Without highly-maintained tires, your skid steer can't do its job. Just imagine being in the middle of a job when a tire goes flat or working with tires that simply fail to grip. Perform the following skid steer tire inspections to ensure your tires are in proper working order:

  • Torque wheel nuts to settings indicated in manual
  • Cross fix wheel studs and nuts
  • Check tires for wears and breaks prior to inflation
  • Lubricate tire bead with neutral mounting pastes
  • Never weld cracks: simply replace the tire

Checking Drive Chain Components

The skid steer's drive system is filled with a variety of pumps and hydraulic motors that help give it the power it needs to operate. It's a fairly complex system that has a wide variety of components including:

  • Sprockets
  • Drive chain
  • Oil bath
  • Drive wheel casting
  • A variety of screws, nuts, bolts, and belts

Spot check each of these components at least once a month to look for signs of fray, wear, or rust. Focus on the drive chain and the oil bath. Without a drive chain, your skid steer will simply fail to run.

Maintaining Trencher Attachment

Many skid steers come with a trencher attachment that is designed to quickly dig trenches. If you have a trencher, you need to perform a variety of inspection processes to ensure that it runs properly. Trencher component maintenance includes:

  • Inspecting hydraulic hoses
  • Spreading chain teeth pattern
  • Increasing or decreasing chain tension
  • Spotting leaks
  • Greasing headshaft every eight hours when in use

Performing these simple maintenance techniques should help add years of life to your skid steer. However, if you run into serious mechanical issues that you simply can't fix, don't be afraid to take it to a professional heavy equipment maintenance expert.