Every season brings with it its share of meteorological conditions that can pose various risks to both employees and equipment. In the summertime, higher temperatures, higher humidity levels, increased sun exposure, or generally dry conditions, are the norm. When combined with a usually higher workload during this time of year, accidents are likelier to happen.
Your employees should be given the top priority. While some may think that summer heat is nothing more than an uncomfortable nuisance that slows us down, makes us sweat, or pushes us to look for a shady spot to lie down to take a nap. If we are not careful, it can also lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which, in turn, can result in seizures, coma, or even death.
Nevertheless, your equipment and heavy machinery are also at a higher risk of malfunction which can result in a series of maintenance and repair challenges. Higher heat and humidity, for instance, can cause machinery components to work harder and under more strain, resulting in faster wear and tear.
Preventive maintenance and close monitoring of this equipment will help you prevent any unforeseen breakdowns, downtime, and repairs. Here are some tips on what to keep your eye on and how to maintain your machinery in proper order during the summer.
The Day-to-Day Inspections
Daily inspections, especially during this time of year, are highly critical. Operators should check the coolant and hydraulic fluid to make sure that they are at the proper level to function at higher atmospheric temperatures.
Most modern radiators are built to run full to eliminate the possibility of air entering the system. Make sure that the coolant expansion reservoir is always at the full mark. Operators should also inspect the radiator cap and ensure proper valve operation and the relief pressure. The radiator, as well as all inlets and outlets of the engine hoods, should be kept clear of debris at all times to prevent clogging.
Tires and tire pressure should also be inspected regularly. At higher temperatures, the air in the tires expands - a scenario that can lead to less grip, faster tire wear, or even a tire explosion. Also, check the windshield wiper operation, as well as the status of the air conditioning system to ensure a comfortable and efficient working environment.
Operators should never overwork their equipment during the summer. Because of the generally higher temperatures, using the machinery beyond its capabilities could lead to breakdowns. It's also possible that the machine's temperature levels are elevated even if there doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary. In this case, operators need to contact the service department to check the thermostat opening temperature.
Many modern day machines come already equipped with telematics. If this is the case with your equipment as well, monitor engine temperature remotely and look for any odd spikes in temperature. These are often a reliable indicator of a malfunction somewhere in the machine.
When not in use, your heavy machinery and other equipment should be stored in a dry and sheltered space to keep them away from the elements. Moisture, in the form of dew or a flash summer rain, can lead to rust, which can result in damage to your equipment's operating systems.
Summer may seem like the time when you won't have to worry about your equipment's wellbeing, but it is not the case. High temperatures, prolonged sun exposure, and humidity can all affect the functionality of your machinery. Ensure everything is in proper working order by using The Checker Software. Besides making sure that your equipment is in top order, the software will also help you with all of your other safety checks.