Common causes of heavy equipment breakdowns

  • Editorial Team
  • Heavy Construction Equipment
  • 8 October 2019

There are many causes of breakdown or failure of heavy machinery with their predominance varying with the type of equipment, the industry, and conditions where it is used. Most of these causes are preventable or at least manageable and mainly revolve around the operation of the equipment. Here are the common causes of equipment failure you should be aware of during operation.

Operation by untrained or unskilled personnel

This is one of the major causes of breakdowns due to human-related errors. Untrained personnel lack the necessary skills, license, and certification needed to operate the machinery as they do not understand the key fundamentals and limitations of the equipment.

Disregarding the owner’s manual

Many breakdowns have been attributed to total disregard or lack of thorough reading of the owner’s manual. Failing to read the manual thoroughly will ensure that you don’t gain valuable knowledge relating maintenance, identification of problems, troubleshooting, and machinery tolerance.

Operating equipment beyond its limits and capability

Even the most experienced and skilled of operators often fall into the trap of pushing machinery beyond its set limits. Every equipment has its capability that when exceeded, can cause failure due to excessive strain of various systems. These limits also vary according to the conditions of operations such as weather and terrain.

Improper servicing and repairs

This is one of the obvious causes of sudden breakdowns yet is still very common. Every equipment should be serviced after certain hours of operation as prescribed by the designers. Failure to regularly lubricate parts, change filters, and other worn-out components can lead to catastrophic failures. Similarly, failure to repair and replace worn parts of equipment in time may exacerbate the problem and reduce its life.

Misalignment of machinery components

When sprockets, pulleys, or drives are misaligned, the likelihood of equipment failure increases. It causes extreme tension on chains leading to wearing or breaking of parts. When belts are pushed sideways, they may eventually lead to a breakdown.

Disregarding warning cues

Operators, whether skilled or untrained, who ignore warning signs, can lead to the breakdown of equipment. Most of the heavy equipment has special gauges, alarms, and buzzers that warn operators of some mechanical or electrical problem. When careful attention is not paid to these warnings, the machinery becomes highly susceptible to breakdowns.

Poor storage of machinery

Depending on the mobility and size of equipment, different storage methods should be used when the machinery is not in operation. However, improper storage can expose it to severe or extreme weather conditions or cause corrosion of parts. These not only lead to eventual failure but also reduce the service life of the equipment.

Prospective buyers of heavy equipment should be aware of these common causes of breakdowns. Having understood some of the leading causes of failure, you can now become a proud owner of heavy equipment. At MY Equipment, we offer you the best deals for both new and used construction equipment. We ensure you get value for your money by providing the best quality of tested and safe machinery. Contact us today for more details.