Excavator Maintenance Checklist

Maintenance is an essential part of equipment ownership. Paying close attention to your equipment’s performance and maintaining your machines regularly can save your operations thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements. 

Consider why excavator maintenance is critical and a daily checklist to keep your machine operating at its best. 

Importance of Maintenance for Excavators

Regular excavator service can add value to your operation. Explore the following reasons why maintenance is important: 

Protecting Your Investment

One of the greatest advantages of performing regular maintenance on your equipment is making the most of your investment. With the right care and attention, you can keep your equipment in good condition.

Maintenance tasks like replacing worn and damaged parts can help you avoid costly problems in the future, especially when you catch them early. You can significantly lower repair costs by following the guidelines in your manufacturer’s manual and regularly tending to your machine. 

Elongating Working Life

Keeping up with daily and preventive maintenance practices can help extend your excavator’s working life. 

When your operators complete daily checks and ensure the equipment receives service when needed, they can help maximize its life span. Replacing damaged parts with authorized replacement parts from your equipment’s manufacturer can also help your machine perform at its best for longer. 

Boosting Reliability

You want and expect your machines to operate reliably when you need them for your projects. Catching and resolving issues early can help you boost your excavator’s dependability, remain productive and stay on schedule. 

Taking steps to ensure your equipment is in peak working condition can save your operation time and money spent on unexpected repair needs and downtime. 

Maintaining Resale Value

Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to retain your equipment’s resale value. Promptly addressing repairs and keeping your excavator clean inside and out can help you maximize its worth. 

Keeping detailed records of your service history can also help you boost resale value and prove how much effort you’ve put into caring for your machine.

Keeping Your Operators Safe

Equipment maintenance can improve job site safety for your operators. Tending to your machines regularly can help prevent accidents caused by malfunctions or faulty equipment. 

If your operators know the excavator and its parts well, they can identify worn or damaged parts and address them before an issue arises.

Lowering Operating Costs

Keeping your equipment in the best condition possible can also lower operating costs. Daily maintenance allows your team to keep your excavator performing optimally. When issues with your machine go under the radar, they can add to your overall expenses. Ignoring worn or damaged parts can result in expensive repairs and impact fuel consumption.

Daily Excavator Maintenance Inspection Checklist

Use this excavator inspection checklist to promote your machine’s proper and safe operation:

  1. Inspect attachments: Look at your excavator’s attachment, paying attention to signs of wear and damage and replacing any deteriorated parts. 
  2. Check undercarriage: Inspect your machine’s undercarriage. Ensure it is clear of debris and all its parts are intact. 
  3. Clean cab: Before operating your excavator, remove any trash or debris from its cab. 
  4. Check oil levels: Check your equipment’s hydraulic and engine oil levels before starting the day. 
  5. Check coolant levels: Ensure your excavator’s coolant levels are adequate, and look for possible leaks from your oil cooler and radiator. 
  6. Inspect water and fuel separator: Check your water and fuel separator. If any build-up is present, be sure to drain the water promptly. 
  7. Test seat belt: Test your machine’s seat belt to ensure it buckles and retracts properly. 
  8. Inspect hydraulic hoses: Check the hoses on your hydraulic system for any cracks or leaks, and replace them if necessary. 
  9. Grease all pivot points: Generously lubricate the pivot points, including the pins and bushings outlined in your excavator’s manual.
  10. Check controls: Test your machine’s controls, such as your windshield wipers and the air conditioning.
  11. Clean air filter: Be sure to clean and replace your air filter as needed.
  12. Test lights: Having your lights function properly is essential for operator safety. Ensure your headlights, brake lights and signal lights illuminate. 

You’ll also want to ensure you take the following actions when finished with your machine:

  • Park on even ground: Ensure you park your equipment on stable, even ground and that its brakes are properly engaged. 
  • Fully lower attachments: Before leaving your excavator, check that you fully lowered the attachment to the ground. 
  • Check gauges: Check all the gauges on your excavator and tend to any issues promptly.

Excavator Undercarriage Care

Undercarriage care is essential to equipment upkeep, accounting for about 50% of your maintenance costs

One way to preserve your excavator’s undercarriage is to operate the machine forward as much as possible to minimize wear. Digging over the idler instead of to the side or at the back can also be beneficial. 

Your excavator’s track is crucial to monitor. This checklist can help you ensure your machine’s tracks are in working condition:

  1. Check bolts: Inspect your track for loose bolts and tighten them promptly. 
  2. Look at guides and guards: Pay attention to the bottom of the track and replace any damaged guides or guards. 
  3. Check for bent shoes: Ensure no shoes on your track are bent or broken, as this can lead to problems with the rest of the shoes. 
  4. Inspect sprocket and drive: Look for oil leaks and loose bolts at the back of the tracks. 
  5. Look for cotter pins: Inspect the master link and ensure the cotter pins are there. 
  6. Clean debris: Clear debris from around your tracks. If the tracks are loose, adjust the tension to minimize wear. 

If you go without using your machine for an extended time, you can help prevent the pins from seizing by periodically starting the equipment and exercising its tracks.

Creating a Preventive Maintenance Plan for Your Excavator

Your operation can benefit from creating a solid plan for preventive excavator maintenance. Explore the following tips for taking the best care of your equipment:

Choose and Stick to a Maintenance Routine

The best approach for managing equipment maintenance is establishing a schedule that your operators will stick to. Using daily checklists and having your machines serviced routinely will help you keep your fleet in optimal condition. 

Document Maintenance History

You can better monitor your machine’s health by tracking all excavator repairs and maintenance. Having everything documented will help you anticipate future needs and avoid preventable breakdowns. Plus, having a service record for your excavator is beneficial if you plan on selling it in the future.  

Get to Know Your Machine Very Well

Familiarizing yourself with your excavator is key to identifying when its parts begin to wear or whether something is damaged. By training your operators and consulting your manufacturer’s manual, you can spot issues early on and tend to them before they become costly problems.

Contact Louisiana Cat for Excavator Maintenance Services

If you’re looking for reliable equipment maintenance services, turn to Louisiana Cat. Our equipment experts can meet your operation’s preventive maintenance and repair needs with excavator servicing and parts. We have everything you need to take care of your entire fleet and manage ongoing maintenance needs. 

Contact Louisiana Cat to learn more about how we can help you get the most out of your machines.