Best Practices

Heavy Equipment Cooling System Tips

Your equipment’s cooling system keeps it from over heating and ensures it operates at optimal temperatures. If your engine’s cooling system is not maintained correctly, it will have to work harder to prevent overheating, and your machine won’t operate as efficiently, and internal components could be damaged. At Heavy Machines, about 40% of downtime that we see is related to cooling system problems.

To help you avoid downtime, we put together some cooling system tips and best practices for you to follow with your machines.

Inspect your cooling fans

It’s crucial that you regularly check the fans in your equipment’s cooling system. You should look for loose or damaged fan blades, because cracks or nicks can cause the fan to become out of balance and vibrate, which can destroy water pump bearings and other related components. This situation can eventually lead to total system failure. We also recommend inspecting the fan for excessive debris buildup and clean regularly.

Clean the cooler and radiator

It’s important to power wash the radiator and cooler every few days, especially during hot weather or if you’re working in dusty conditions. Humidity and dust buildup will coat radiators, air coolers, and oil coolers, significantly reducing airflow and heat transfer. As a result, operating temperatures increase dramatically and cause the engine to overheat and, ultimately, shut down.

Conduct coolant analysis

Coolant that looks cloudy or that has floating particulates could be an indication of corrosion, cavitation, and rust. Regardless of coolant type, all coolants should be clear. If it’s not clear, you should check the radiator for corrosion and inspect the coolant for signs of rust or debris. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended drain intervals. At a minimum, coolant should be drained and flushed annually.

It’s crucial to perform coolant analyses every 1,000 hours to ensure the system is working properly. Test the additive concentrations by taking a sample and submitting it for analysis. Heavy Machines has sample kits available that are easy to use.

Replace damaged hoses and clamps

Frequently check the condition of your coolant hoses and clamps. As the temperature rises in the cooling system, the hoses and clamps expand and contract at different rates. This expanding and contracting of the hoses and clamps, repeated over and over, causes the hose-to-neck seal to wear. Inspect all radiator and heater core hoses and lines for excessive softness or hardness, and check for cracks and leaks. Be sure all the connections are tight to avoid water leakage and hydraulic hose failures. We recommend replacing hoses every two years.

If you have any questions about your equipment’s cooling system, then please reach out to the Heavy Machines team today!