Are you looking to minimize your downtime with your skid steer grapple? Outside of the machinery being potentially dangerous, you want to make sure you get the most out of your investment. Here are a handful of ways to do just that.
1. LUBRICATE, LUBRICATE, AND LUBRICATE SOME MORE
A well-oiled machine never squeaks. It’s one way to make sure you’re doing your skid steer grapple maintenance justice. If the grapple is already squeaking, then you have waited too long to lubricate. Squeaking means metal parts are rubbing together and that contaminants are getting into places they don’t belong. Keeping all attachments lubricated is one of the best ways to protect them from the elements.
Some people don’t grease their attachments, and it ends up costing them hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace parts and pay for labor. That’s a lot of money you could use for something else. Grease is always the cheaper option. Use it generously. And remember, it’s better to over-lubricate than not at all.
You can refer to the manufacturer’s operation manual for the proper maintenance schedule, and use a quality, water-resistant grease. For Virnig grapple maintenance, grease the hinge and cylinder pins.
2. CHECK THE HYDRAULICS
Hydraulic hoses can develop pinhole leaks. Walk around the grapple and check for any hydraulic cylinder or hose leaks. These leaks are hazardous and can cause serious injury to you or your workers if they aren't repaired right away.
Oil that’s injected into a person’s skin requires immediate medical treatment.
Always relieve the hydraulic pressure before performing any maintenance. It doesn’t take much time to repair safely, and it can save you in downtime and hefty expenses.
3. CHECK PINS AND BUSHINGS
Worn pins and bushings cause more stress on the machine, and they rapidly lead to expensive and more elaborate repairs when let go too long.
These worn materials also result in less control of the grapple attachment. Even though these parts make up a small part of the machine they are vital and should be checked and replaced as needed.
4. CHECK SAFETY LABELS
Safety labeling is crucial to better understanding how to operate, for example, a skid loader grapple attachment before using it. You’ll also want to thoroughly read the manual and get training from an experienced user. You should ask yourself:
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL RULES OR REGULATIONS AT THE WORKSITE?
This is where most people go wrong. It’s too easy to overlook specific rules for a worksite. Unfortunately, this can lead to some serious incidents. These can include amputations, crushing injuries, mangled limbs, and death. Take the worksite regulations with extra precaution.
People get injured because they shortcut basic safety steps or improperly use attachments. Here are some safety tips to follow when operating a skid steer grapple.
- Keep bystanders back 50 feet.
- Check for debris in
quick-tacharea before each hook up.
- Make sure the grapple is properly mounted to the skid steer before operating.
- When connecting hydraulic hoses, they should be routed to avoid pinching of the hose between the lift arms and the bucket or attachment.
- Never attempt to lift more than the operating capacity (attachment weight and load) of
- Always follow all safety and operating instructions of
- Always relieve pressure before disconnecting hydraulic hoses.
- Never hit or pound couplers.
- Never ram piles with jaw closed.
- Never hook a chain on a jaw or bucket.
- Never use a grapple jaw for hooking and/or pulling.
- Securely clamp material before transport
- Avoid side hills or sloping ground that may cause the machine to become unstable.
- Know the location of any underground utilities.
- Wear the proper work and safety equipment.
- Always shut down the skid steer and relieve the system pressure before connecting or disconnecting hoses.
PROPER MAINTENANCE SAVES Time and MONEY
When you properly maintain your equipment, you’ll make it last longer, which will save you plenty of time and money. So do it right and make a proper checklist on how to manage your skid loader grapple maintenance. It's time to get the most out of your investment.