Safety should always be the most important concern during heavy equipment maintenance. Whenever a piece of heavy equipment is being worked on, the power supply should be completely disconnected, and if it is a vehicle, it should be blocked or stabilized so it will not move at any point during the maintenance process. Only heavy equipment maintenance professionals should work on the equipment, unless that person is working under the guidance and supervision or a trained professional. Maintenance workers should also have all appropriate certifications and clearances regarding equipment maintenance.
Many pieces of heavy equipment feature hydraulic components to articulate moving parts. Part of heavy equipment maintenance is recognizing when such components need servicing and understanding how to complete such servicing. Hydraulic cylinders will feature pressurized fluid, usually some sort of oil, that can leak out if bushings or seals rot, wear, or otherwise crack. It is important to monitor hydraulic arms carefully to spot excess build-up of oil or grease on the piston, signs of wear on the piston shaft, and other signs that may indicate the hydraulic system needs servicing. If such signs of wear are noticeable, it is important to shut down the vehicle and perform heavy equipment maintenance as soon as possible.
A good way to stay on top of heavy equipment maintenance, especially if an owner is responsible for the maintenance of several vehicles, is to adhere to a maintenance schedule. Each machine should be inspected at the time of purchase and then put on a regular maintenance schedule that ensures all fluids are changed or monitored, tires are inspected for wear, tracks are inspected for excess play, electrical systems are tested to ensure they are working properly, and so on. A technician can sign off on the maintenance schedule after every instance of repair or maintenance to ensure the equipment is properly cared for.
Of course, one way to ensure good heavy equipment maintenance is to store all pieces of equipment properly. Leaving heavy equipment out and exposed to the elements may be unavoidable at times, but whenever possible, the equipment should be stored where rain and snow will not constantly coat the machines. Excess moisture can lead to excess rust on body panels, moving components, and other parts of the machine that can lead to failure. If the machines will be stored for long periods of time, it is a good idea to run them periodically to ensure all systems are still working properly.