6 Overlooked Heavy-Equipment Maintenance Tips

There are a number of overlooked aspects of heavy-equipment maintenance that can reduce equipment life and performance. Adhering to these six maintenance practices helps increase your return on investment (ROI) and extend equipment life.

1. Keep a maintenance log

Companies both big and small rarely keep in-depth service logs. Sometimes workers keep track of the basics, like repairs and oil changes. To maximize your ROI, it is critical to keep track of maintenance. It’s far too difficult to remember, and it gets harder the more equipment you have.


MyAMSOILGarage is a handy (and free) tool for tracking maintenance and services. Another benefit of maintenance logs? You can show potential buyers the equipment’s track record when it’s time to sell.

2. Regularly wash heavy equipment

Frequent washing and cleaning as part of heavy-equipment maintenance has significant benefits.

First, mud and dirt can make it difficult to watch for fluid leaks, broken parts and other safety issues. Extended exposure to mud, dirt and dust can also accelerate rust formation and wear. Apply AMSOIL Heavy-Duty Metal Protector on important areas for an added dose of protection.


3. Use a grease that resists pound-out

While most workers grease equipment periodically, they may not use a quality synthetic grease that resists impact and washout.

If you’re hard on equipment, upgrade to AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Off-Road Grease or Synthetic Polymeric Truck, Chassis and Equipment Grease. They offer resistance to impact, helping prevent the grease from pounding out in heavily loaded, extreme applications. They’re also recommended for extended service intervals, which helps reduce downtime.

4. Check tires and tracks frequently

Tires – Heavy-equipment tires aren’t cheap. Sets run in the thousands, and you likely won’t find a “Buy-3-Get-1-Free” deal. Take care of them by checking the tread and inflation (psi) daily.

Tracks – Keep them clean! Get a narrow shovel and dig into all the narrow spaces to get the dirt out. Try to avoid slopes, blacktop and concrete. And, although it may be impossible, try not to spin the tracks.

5. Change the air filters

Air entering the engine requires filtration, especially considering the constant dirt and dust on a worksite. Contaminants can breach the engine and slowly scour away metal components. It’s just a matter of time until something fails. Check your air filters often.

6. Maintain the cooling system

Like the cooling system on your car or truck, cooling systems when it comes to heavy equipment maintenance are often overlooked.

Proper cooling-system maintenance is essential in both diesel and gasoline applications. In diesel applications, pitting, overheating, over-cooling and cracked heads are just some of the common cooling-system catastrophes.

AMSOIL Heavy-Duty Antifreeze & Coolant offers an extensive service life of 1,000,000 miles, 20,000 hours of operation or eight years, whichever comes first, in heavy-duty and off-road applications.

AMSOIL heavy-duty coolant

Bonus round: fluid analysis

Conducting fluid analysis provides a number of benefits, including…

1. Maximum drain intervals
2. Long equipment life
3. Reduced instances of major mechanical problems
4. Increased resale value

Oil Analyzers Inc. (OAI) has many options for testing. Check out the OAI user guide for more details. Fluid analysis is well worth the investment in comparison to the investment of heavy machinery. Fluid analysis can help identify potential sources of contaminants while providing an idea of what mechanical issues may be looming.

It all boils down to performing these often-overlooked heavy-equipment maintenance tasks to maximizing ROI.

Updated. Originally published July 10, 2017.


  1. It’s great that you talked about how important it is to keep track of your heavy machinery maintenance. The other day the family got together for a bbq, and one of my uncles mentioned he was thinking about investing in heavy machinery for a construction job. That’s why I believe he could benefit from this information, and I’ll be sure to tell how essential it is to record any check-up or repair for the machinery. I appreciate you helping me learn more about how to make the best of your heavy equipment.

  2. Every equipment has a significant impact on the overall business; therefore, it is critical to make sure that your equipment doesn’t break down. And if the equipment break downs happen, it can result in a massive loss to this provider. Thank you for sharing the care strategies for heavy equipment.

  3. Keeping your equipment and the jobsite clean just shows pride in what you do. We’ve been awarded contracts because people approached us at our site and saw that we are a professional operation.

  4. Another way you can get into those deep, hard to reach places is by getting it pressure washed. It will not only help get rid of those hard to reach places, it’ll also make short work of all those hard and gunky build ups. Thanks again on this help post!

  5. Thank you very much for 6-overlooked-maintenance tips for heavy equipment owners, it’s difficult for me to get such kind of information most of the time always… I really hope I can work on your tips and it works for me too, I am happy to come across your article.

  6. I like that you made a list of the maintenance tips that should be followed, especially when you talked about checking air filters, greasing, and tires. My husband and I have been thinking about acquiring some heavy equipment we need for our farm. I will very much do what you recommended to keep our equipment working properly, and I will make sure my husband is aware of this too.

  7. It makes sense that you would want to make sure to clean all of your machinery since dirt and mud can make it harder to see broken parts or fluid leaks. I think that it would also be smart to work with professionals on which parts you would need to be replaced and when so that you could have them on hand just in case something happened. That would help everyone be safer and help make sure you could keep all your equipment in good condition.

  8. Thanks for explaining that cleaning mud and dirt off of equipment can help avoid serious safety issues like broken parts. My brother is looking for a diesel fuel delivery service in his area because he just got an industrial generator for his manufacturing plant that’s powered by it. I’ll send him your article to make sure he knows what to do to help the diesel generator last as long as possible!

  9. Checking your heavy machinery equipment and applying grease is always rule number one, you don’t want the wear and tear to commence sooner than expected. I really liked the fact that you added Air Filters as some people ignore them completely and forget about them

  10. With my work, I think doing these maintenance items would be a good idea. I think that the tires and tracks can be one of the more important ones. If they are in a bad state, then there will be problems with keeping traction. I’ll mention this to my boss to see if we can get some new tracks for one of the loaders.

  11. One of the simplest solutions for taking care of your heavy construction equipment also happens to be one of the most important: keep your equipment squeaky clean! Set your schedule for pressure washing your equipment to remove hardened mud and grease buildup; create a separate schedule for additional cleaning procedures like replacing filters and cleaning your engine.

  12. It’s good to know this about heavy construction equipment maintenance. I like how you said that there needs to be frequent washing, cleaning, and greasing to make sure it performs. We’re looking to rent one for our landscape project, so I’ll look for a company that does all of this!

  13. Every equipment has a big impact on the overall business hence it is necessary to make sure that your equipment doesn’t break down. And if the equipment breaks down happen it can cause a huge loss to the company. Thanks for sharing the maintenance tips for heavy equipment. These are really useful tips and following this tips will extend the equipment’s life as well as RIO.

  14. Good reminder to regularly clean your air filters. I can only imagine how quickly those can get clogged up, especially if you work in an area with bad air quality to begin with. I’s always fascinating to me to learn about different methods of construction.

  15. It’s astonishing to learn that workers and companies tend to keep maintenance logs that take note of everything that the equipment is going through from repairs to oil changes. That is great to have learned as being able to see these logs would make choosing a used construction equipment a lot easier. Hopefully, once we do need to obtain these types of equipment we would be able to know their history properly for assessment. Thanks!

  16. I’m glad that you brought up that it can be hard to check for any issues if your construction equipment is too dirty. Regardless if you’re renting or buying, it’s important to keep your equipment clean because it helps it last longer. The better you take care of it, the longer it will last and the more usage you’ll get out of it.

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