There’s no better way to increase the versatility and productivity of your machines than having a selection of interchangeable Work Tool attachments. But a resource as valuable as Work Tool attachments must be stored properly to remain in good working order. Don’t ride ’em hard and put ’em up wet. These simple storage practices will ensure your Work Tool attachments are always ready to go and perform reliably whenever you need them.
1. All hydraulic hose/tube ends must be properly capped or plugged. This is done best with hydraulic quick disconnect fittings. These quick disconnect fittings must be kept clean or they can introduce dirt and contamination into the hydraulic system. An excellent practice is to connect the male and female quick disconnect fittings together when a work tool attachment is removed from the machine. This not only keeps contamination out of the system but also eliminates pressure build up in the hoses. When too much pressure is allowed to build up in the hoses, they can be difficult or impossible to connect together.
2. Work Tool attachments should be placed on dedicated stands or shelves for easy retrieval. You can also store them on pallets or wood blocks, but they must be kept off the ground to avoid moisture damage from dew and condensation. Most brooms have storage legs. These legs should be used to keep the rotating bristles off the ground so the bristles don’t permanently bend and create flat spots. Don’t let hoses or wiring harnesses and connectors hang freely where they can be crushed or touching the ground.
3. In an ideal world, Work Tool attachment hydraulic oil would be filtered/cleaned before connecting to the carrier machine. Filtering the hydraulic oil left in a Work Tool attachment prevents the carrier’s hydraulic system from becoming cross-contaminated. Keep the carrier machine’s hydraulic oil clean, change hydraulic filters on a regular schedule, keep quick disconnect fittings clean, and don’t connect machines and work tool attachments together if you are not sure that the oil in both is clean and of the same type.
4. Clean the Work Tool attachments before you remove them from the machine for storage. Clean dirt from pivots and joints so they are free to move. Make sure that all grease points are clean and lubricated after each use. Follow the Work Tool attachment maintenance instructions. Some tools such as cold planers require the teeth to be cleaned after each use or they will not turn freely. If the teeth tips can not turn freely, they will wear too quickly and must be replaced.
5. Keep your storage yard orderly and clear of trash and debris. When aisles are free of obstructions, accessing Work Tool attachments is quick, safe and easy.
I once met a contractor that would remove his hydraulic hammer from his mini excavator at the end of each day. He would then use his excavator to dig a hole; he would bury the hammer in the hole, and then park the machine on top of the hammer. The next morning he would move the machine, dig out the hammer, reinstall it, and get back to work. That is certainly a unique way to store a Work Tool attachment so it doesn’t get stolen. Do you have an ideal system or an interesting experience for storing Work Tool attachments?
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