Symposium covers critical equipment issues

Coming engine technology will create tougher lubrication challenges, said Len Badal, Chevron Lubricants, speaking at the Chevron Construction Symposium 2011, held in November. One example: piston design changes that reduce the crevice volume.

Len BadalLen Badal

“Low-emission design places greater demands on engine oil due to higher top ring temperatures,” Badal said.

Increasing biodiesel use, Badal noted, also creates lubricant performance concerns, including fuel dilution, corrosion, viscosity increase, oxidation, piston and sludge deposits and wear.

The symposium offered a variety of speakers on effective equipment management. A sampling:

Philip JohnsonPhilip Johnson

Measure productivity: Monitoring your equipment via telematics offers several benefits, said Mike Baker, vice president of sales, North America, Navman Wireless. “It helps you the make the rent-versus-buy decision,” he said. And it can be used to monitor productivity. One quarry uses it to measure load cycle times by using geo fences around the load and dump zones. “Whatever system you use,” Baker said, “make sure it gives you information that’s actionable. If you don’t take immediate action, it won’t help you.”

Contamination control: Be aware that delivered oils and fuels typically have a level of contamination, so you need to pre-clean them before you use them. “This pre-cleaning will take out some of the larger contaminates, and will significantly reduce wear, although it doesn’t stop it,” said Philip Johnson, Donaldson.

Grade yourself: “When your operators complain, do something, because they will only complain so long and then figure you don’t care,” says Gerald Green, strategic development manager, dealer capability development, Caterpillar. So grade yourself on these 10 questions:

Do you know…

1. Your equipment cost per hour at the serial number level?

2. Your cost at the major component level?

3. Your idle time per unit?

4. Your annual utilization per unit?

5. If you have a good inspection program?

6. If you have a system to track and manage your equipment?

7. If your preventive maintenance products are adequately performing?

8. If your operators are well trained?

9. If your vendors are partnering with you to reduce costs?

For a copy of all presentations made during the Chevron Construction Symposium, go to




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