Aggregates Manager

December 2013

Aggregates Manager Digital Magazine

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Page 14 of 88

EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENT Keep Quarry Trucks Productive Good maintenance and loading operations are key to extending equipment life and avoiding unplanned downtime. by Mark W. Sprouls C aterpillar studies show that rigid-frame haulers most often deliver the lowest cost per ton in high-volume aggregates operations that manage the trucks as part of a system. Truck maintenance planning and execution is a key component of the system, but loading and operating techniques, as well as haul road design and upkeep, have big impacts on truck productivity and mechanical availability. Keeping quarry trucks rolling is largely a routine job. Following the inspection guidelines and maintenance intervals detailed in your truck's operation and maintenance (O&M) manual is the way to keep operating costs down. And, when coupled with a good fluids condition-monitoring program, it's a big part of avoiding mechanical failures that result in costly unplanned downtime and lost production. Routine maintenance is a shared responsibility of maintenance technicians and truck operators. The pre-shift truck inspection conducted by the operator is both a safety inspection and a maintenance inspection. Ideally, the operator would use a checklist for the walk-around inspection (for a full checklist, go to The problems that the operator detects and reports during the walk-around inspection and during the operating shift often can avert costly mechanical failures. With the growing sophistication of onboard machine information systems, the operator can play an even greater role in catching developing problems before they create major downtime. Similarly, remote monitoring of trucks can improve overall fleet management effectiveness. For example, Cat Product Link sends event reports and diagnostic AGGREGATES MANAGER December 2013 13

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