Businesses want to have good customer service, appropriate pricing, and top quality service or products. Combining each of these variables together would be the perfect ingredients for a highly effective and organized business operation.
Translating this into a company that provides vacuum truck services means supplying customers with top quality service while keeping low overhead in maintenance costs. Then clients can be provided with superior workmanship and services at a reasonable price. Following are some ideas on how to maintain the entire truck to ensure high quality productivity.
Maintaining the Vehicle
With vacuum trucks, owners do not just want optimum performance and productivity; they also want the vehicle to have an extended life span. Taking shortcuts will greatly reduce the quality and durability of this truck. It is mistakenly thought that purchasing top quality equipment means it will last for a long time: this is only half of the entire equation. The other half lies with giving the vehicle the proper attention through maintenance. Just like any other equipment, prolonging the life of this truck via maintenance is the key to getting the best performance out of this powerful and useful vehicle.
There are different routines that should be performed on a regular basis on vacuum trucks so that the best return can be seen on an investment.
• Daily Preventive Maintenance - When the vehicle is shut down at the end of each shift, the water system should be emptied by opening all drain valves and the debris body. This will allow thorough circulation of air to the components. In cases where the vehicle will be stored for a longer period of time, be sure to prop open the tailgate, supporting it with the rear door so that it is partially raised and blocked from the debris body.
• Weekly Preventive Maintenance - This includes checking the fluid levels in the hydraulic tank and blower so that no cylinders are in a retracted position. The debris body needs to be cleaned using a hand sprayer. After washing, dry the moisture from the body by running the engine for a moment. Cyclone screens need to be free from debris or liquid and it needs to be ensured that the air access areas are free from wear. Boom enclosures need to be cleaned of dirt and the inside edges need to have a light coat of grease applied.
• Monthly Preventive Maintenance - This involves inspecting the upper and lower ends of the cylinders, cross shafts, lifting lever, pump, and valves. Hose lines should be inspected for wear or damage and hose ends should be tight. Checking hydraulic fluid is very important since most problems with the hydraulic components can be directly traced to that. Hydraulic fluid testing can be done commercially or by doing it in-house. This is accomplished by taking a sample of the fluid; letting it sit for about thirty minutes to eliminate bubbles; and then holding up the sample container to the light to inspect for debris. Solid debris found in the fluid may mean that there is a severe problem of solid contamination while a cloudy fluid may be an indication of water contamination. Fluids may need to be changed if any severe contamination is detected.
• Semi-Annual and Yearly Preventive Maintenance - There are also semi-annual and yearly routines necessary to keep the vehicle in top running condition. An example of semi-yearly maintenance is changing hydraulic filters or removing filter elements and replacing with new ones. Yearly maintenance includes draining all fluids from the tank’s hydraulic and fluid reservoir by unplugging the drain plug and replacing that with enough fresh fluid to fill the tank.
At the end of the day, more productivity and efficiency can have been accomplished if no work shifts were interrupted due to mechanical failures. Be sure to keep the vacuum trucks running like new by performing preventive maintenance and expect to be amazed by the improvement in productivity, as this will surely be the overwhelming outcome!