Aging off-highway equipment can be a potential hazard and a drain on staff time. When off-highway equipment doesn’t function properly during scheduled hours of operation, labor hours are lost, which translates to a loss of profits. When you purchase off-highway equipment for your company, you want to know how long it will last. While the average lifespan of off-highway construction equipment varies from machine to machine, many factors influence how long your equipment lasts.

If you want to expand the lifespan of your off-highway equipment, it’s important to know the common signs of aging in off-highway equipment. When you know what to look for, you can use a combination of preventative and corrective maintenance to keep your equipment running at its best. Today, Triad Diagnostic Solutions will be exploring the most common signs of aging in off-highway equipment to give you a better idea of how to plan and perform your maintenance processes.

What Factors Impact the Lifespan of Off-Highway Equipment?

There are a variety of factors that impact the overall lifespan of off-highway equipment. In this section, we will explore a few of those factors so that you understand what can impact the functionality of your equipment as it ages.

1. Environment

When off-highway equipment is exposed to abrasive materials, irregular services, or extreme cold or heat, these environmental factors have a significant impact on the lifespan of that machinery. In order to minimize these effects as your equipment ages, you can take certain preventative actions, such as storing equipment indoors during periods of prolonged disuse and using the appropriate tires and pressure. As a general rule, off-highway equipment that is used primarily indoors, such as electric forklifts, are likely to have a longer lifespan than their outdoor counterparts.

2. Maintenance

Another factor that influences the overall lifespan of your off-highway equipment is maintenance. Keeping up to date with necessary maintenance tasks such as filter and fluid changes and performing regular inspections and repairs can greatly increase the lifespan of your equipment. Well-performed maintenance procedures are one of the biggest influencing factors in the functionality of equipment, especially as it begins to age.

3. Operator Error

Finally, another significant reason for shorter equipment lifespans is as simple as operator error. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for operators to run heavy machinery in a way that puts extra wear and tear on its components, damaging it over time. For this reason, providing sufficient training for off-highway equipment operators can greatly extend the life of your equipment.

The Common Signs of Aging in Off-Highway Equipment

So what are the most common signs of aging in off-highway equipment? In knowing the most common signs of aging in equipment, you can take the necessary steps to prioritize maintenance and repair of the equipment you depend on the most. Here is what you should be on the lookout for as your equipment ages.

1. Exhaust Problems With Heavy Equipment

One of the most common signs of aging in heavy equipment includes exhaust problems. Trust your eyes and nose in order to assess exhaust problems. Whether you notice fumes that smell different than usual or discolored discharge coming from your equipment, exhaust issues are common in aging off-highway equipment. These types of problems should be addressed immediately as these issues can lead to serious consequences. Not only do you run the risk of OSHA violations, but you also put the safety of you and your crew at risk.

2. Dashboard Warning Lights

If your off-highway equipment’s dashboard warning lights have begun to flash frequently, there is likely something wrong with the system. This is a common sign of aging in off-highway equipment and can signal poor machine functionality and productivity. In the worst cases, these lights could be the result of severe hydraulic or mechanical issues, which should be addressed immediately.

3. Frequent Engine Stalls

The next common sign of aging in off-highway equipment includes a heightened frequency of engine stalls. Engine stalls are a key indicator that your aging equipment may be in need of maintenance and/or repairs. Over time, damage to the transmission, clutches, and gears of your equipment can occur, and these can all result in frequent engine stalls.

4. Grinding or Hissing Noises in Heavy Machinery

Finally, grinding or hissing noises can be indicative of aging off-highway equipment. These types of noises are incredibly common in aging vehicles that are in dire need of service. When these sounds pop up, the machinery should immediately be turned off, and an inspection of the equipment should be performed to find the issue.

Extend the Lifespan of Your Off-Highway Equipment With Triad Diagnostic Solutions

Now that you know the most common signs of aging in off-highway equipment, you’ll know what to look out for. When these types of problems arise, maintenance and repair are crucial in order to extend the lifespan of your equipment. With Jaltest diagnostic tools offered by Triad Diagnostic Solutions, you can take preventative and corrective maintenance processes easier than ever. Check out our line of diagnostic tools today to find the tool you can use to extend the life of your machinery. You can also take a look at our free demo to see the Jaltest software in action!

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