Maintenance Tips for Attachments

Attachments enormously expand the capabilities of construction equipment. Once fitted to the appropriate machine, construction attachments can be used to dig holes, cut trenches, pull trees from the ground, remove debris, and transport materials, among other tasks. They are invaluable tools that enable a small fleet to perform a wide array of applications.

To ensure optimal performance, however, attachments must be as well-maintained as the machines they’re connected to.

Here are some maintenance tips for common construction attachments:

Here are some maintenance tips for common construction attachments:

Buckets – A ubiquitous presence on construction sites, buckets should be inspected daily for cracks and stress fractures. Also be sure to inspect the bucket blade (whether weld-on or bolt-on) or teeth for damage. If teeth are missing, replace them immediately (it’s a good idea to keep a supply of bucket teeth on hand for this exact purpose). Working with missing teeth will cause additional wear. Make sure the screws are sufficiently tight. and that bushings and pins are performing as they should. Before your shift, clean any mud off the coupler and inspect the hydraulic connections for damage or disruption.

Tree/Post Puller – Grease your cylinder and hinge pins and inspect hydraulic fittings, and hoses for damage or leaks every day. Replace damaged components before using the tree/post puller. When inspecting the attachment, make sure the machine is turned off. Check that hydraulic pressure has been relieved prior to looking for leaks. Routinely inspect hinge and cylinder pins to make sure they are still securely in place.

Cold Planer – Cold planer attachments can be utilized to repair potholes, cut utility trenches, and mill asphalt, among other tasks. It’s important to keep the picks in good working condition. There are different kinds of picks for different applications, so select the appropriate picks for the job at hand. Picks that are missing should be replaced right away. Also, check the hoses every day for leaks and wear, remove debris from hoses and valves, ensure that bolts and fasteners are attached properly and are sufficiently tight before commencing work. Moving parts (flat bars, skids, side shift rods, bearings, etc.) should be lubricated frequently.

Trenchers – Before each shift, make sure you are using the appropriate trencher teeth for your selected application. Check that all teeth are in place and that digging chain tension falls within the parameters specified in the operator’s manual. Hoses must be carefully inspected for damage or leaks and the head-shaft requires daily lubrication. Periodically give the trencher attachment a comprehensive cleaning with a power washer to remove debris and oil.

Grapples – Lubricate the grapple parts with water-resistant grease (it’s always better to apply too much lubrication than too little). Regularly inspect hydraulic hoses for leaks (a hydraulic leak can cause serious damage to equipment and injury to workers) and check bushings and pins for wear. Avoid working on sloped ground to prevent wear and/or accidents. Before you start working, double-check that your grapple attachment is properly secured.

Another simple maintenance tip: always read the owner’s manual prior to using an attachment, to get a sense of operating parameters, best practices, recommended maintenance schedule and other insights.

It’s also wise to only use rugged, reliable, top-of-the-line attachments. Consider Kubota’s expansive line of construction equipment attachments and follow a regular maintenance routine to keep your attachments in prime working condition.