Trenchless Technology

SEP 2018

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iied ser vice inter val is changing out hydraulic ilters , a root cause of some expensive repairs . " The heart of these machines is their hydrau- lics . You don't want to forget that . Change the ilters out as speciied in the ser vice manual ," Slarb advises . Slarb describes a repair call for a customer who had run it s new rig only a couple thousand hours . The ield technician sent to trouble - shoot the problem discovered the rig 's hydraulic ilters had disinte - g rated. Filter material had corrupted the hydraulic luid, causing damage throughout the hydraulic system . Slarb relates , " The tech's irst ques- t ion to the owner was , ' How often do you change the ilters? ' The owner told him he had never changed them since he bought the rig ." Even with so much damage, the rig was repairable, a tribute to just how robust these machines are. However, it meant lushing out the hydraulic circuits and inspecting and repairing the motors and pumps. The cost of making these repairs on any given rig can total tens of thousands of dollars. Slarb says, "Oh, we can do a lot for a rig . We can almost always bring it right back to OEM specs, no problem – but how much do you really want us to be ixing something so easy and so inexpensive to maintain? Follow the service manual , you'll keep your rig in the ield making money for you, not in our shop ringing up a tab for prevent- able component failures." Slarb says since almost all a maxi rig 's components are rebuildable or replaceable, they have remarkable longevity. Yet recently there has been a growing trend for owners to sell or trade in their older rigs for new mod- els. " Lately we're seeing more projects specifying Tier 4 Final compliance. Some won't let maxi rigs with pre-Tier 4 engines on their jobs," he says. From an engineering point , Slarb says, a legacy rig could be upgraded with a Tier 4-compliant engine and the latest electronics packages. " But when you're looking at the expense of retroitting an engine to an older ma- chine," he said, "it makes more sense to most owners just to invest in a new rig altogether." Newer rig or older, Slarb said the best way to ensure it 's paying you back for your investment is follow the man- ufacturer 's maintenance routines. Joe Bradfield is senior writer at Ellenbecker Communications. 70 T R E N C H L E S S T EC H N O LO GY S E P T E M B E R 2018

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