From scrapers and dozers to backhoes and motor graders, “sacrificial iron,” or Ground Engaging Tools (GET), bears the brunt of the everyday equipment wear and tear on the jobsite. Your GET makes sure that your machine isn’t sustaining damage that could be very costly or time-consuming to repair – just remove the old GET, add new, and you’re back to work!
However, did you know that your lifetime investment in GET can actually exceed the original purchase price of your machine? That’s why it’s important to a) choose the right GET, and b) manage your GET to maximize its life.
There are several factors that affect getting the most productivity and value out of your GET.
Any time an inspection reveals a problem, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. A single loose bolt could cause a failure. Missing tips could result in premature wear of more expensive components. Other seemingly minor problems could have a negative impact on safety, productivity, performance, and operating costs.
Some of the most common GET maintenance procedures include the following.
– Adjust the bucket positioner properly, verifying that the operator understands its function and does not override the adjustment.
– Rotate bucket tips regularly. Faster wearing corner tips should be switched with slower wearing center tips when possible.
– If repairing or replacing GET requires welding, always follow the OEM’s welding procedures.
– Change edge segments before wear can extend into a dozer or motor grader moldboard.
– “Propel” overlay end bits (on a motor grader moldboard) when corner wear is high.
– Install ripper tips correctly (penetration tips with the rib up.)
– Tighten any loose hardware. Prolonged operation with loose hardware will cause bolt holes to elongate, GET to break and give rise to other maintenance problems.
– Use the proper procedure to tighten GET hardware, cleaning all surfaces of rust, paint, nicks and burrs, then tightening nut to the proper torque specification. Next, carefully strike the plow bolt head with a hammer. Finally, re-tighten nut to the published torque specification.
– When replacing missing or damaged hardware, always use hardened washers, nuts, and bolts.
– Repair all weld cracks.
– Replace worn protection material.
The ultimate goal of GET is to increase your machines’ productivity and protect more expensive components, but that doesn’t mean you can’t implement a comprehensive GET management plan to help you reduce your costs even further.
Maintaining a log for each job or jobsite to record the type of GET, how many hours each lasts, and production helps determine how to improve GET selection, performance, and managing costs. These records can help eliminate the need to keep a large stock of GET parts in the repair inventory because you’ll be able to anticipate when a set of GET will wear out.
Cashman’s experts can help you manage these tools effectively and efficiently, so call your product support sales representative at 1.800.937.2326 for more information.