Top Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Sideloaders

Top Tips for Extending the Lifespan of Your Sideloaders

Regardless of what freight industry you operate, sideloaders are a critical piece of material handling equipment that allow large, long, and bulky loads to be offloaded with ease. They are also a significant investment in your business, therefore keeping them in top condition and maximising their lifespan may be on your priority list.

Just like any piece of machinery, sideloaders require proper care and maintenance to ensure they operate at peak performance and have a long lifespan. Neglecting maintenance can lead to costly breakdowns, downtime, and premature replacement. At WA Haulage Repairs, we know the common issues that can affect sideloaders, that’s why we’ve out together our top tips to help you extend the lifespan of your sideloader.

Tip 1. Conduct regular inspections

Conducting regular inspections of your sideloader will identify any potential issues before they escalate into major problems. Your time is valuable, so inspections can be split between daily checks and weekly checks so that your team can get on the road quicker.

By developing a comprehensive checklist, covering critical components such as hydraulics, brakes, steering, tyres, and electrical systems, you can ensure that any wear and tear is addressed promptly. If you need assistance with developing a checklist, then contact us as we are than happy to help you.

Example of Daily Checklist

  • Test all functions
  • Check fluid levels, including hydraulic levels.
  • Check for any leaks
  • Check for any external damage
  • Test the brake system

Example of Weekly Checklist

  • Test the lifting unit and loading forks
  • Check the battery acid levels
  • Check tyres for additional wear and tear/potential issues

Tip 2: Have a properly trained team

Anybody that operates your sideloader needs to be adequately trained. This not only helps you to comply with the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) and maintaining the safety of your team, but it also helps to ensure that your sideloader is being operated correctly.

Inadequate training can lead to accidents, damage to the equipment, and premature wear which could result in costly repairs and major downtime.

Tip 3: Keep it clean

Your sideloader is exposed to different environments depending on the job at hand. From dusty construction sites to busy ports, the amount of dirt, debris, and contaminants it is exposed to will differ.

Long term exposure to dirt and debris can cause damage. Regularly washing the exterior of the machine and paying special attention to the engine compartment, hydraulic systems, and cooling fins will help to extend the life of your sideloader.

Tip 4: Keep moving parts lubricated

The constant repetitive motion of your sideloader can cause premature wear and tear on moving parts if not properly looked after. Proper lubrication on the moving parts is essential for reducing friction, extending the lifespan of your sideloader. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for lubrication intervals and to use high quality lubricants suitable for the specific components. Pay close attention to pivot points, chains, bearings, and other areas prone to friction.

Tip 5: Monitor fluid levels

Monitoring fluid levels is just as important as keeping any moving parts lubricated. Regularly check hydraulic fluid, coolant, and engine oil levels to ensure they are at optimum levels. Low fluid levels can lead to overheating, component damage, and eventual failure.

Additionally, inspect fluids for any signs of contamination and replace them as needed to maintain optimal performance.

Tip 6: Replace worn parts promptly

As your sideloader ages, certain components will require replacement. It’s best practice to replace any faulty or worn parts quickly to reduce any downtime. Delaying replacement can lead to further damage to other components and increase repair costs.

At WA Haulage Repairs, we have access to common parts like tyres, hydraulic seals, filters, and brake pads, and can replace them quickly so your team can get back on the road sooner.

Tip 7: Operate within capacity limits

Avoid overloading your sideloader beyond its rated capacity. Even though it may seem that it can lift heavier loads, doing this can put excessive strain on components, lead to breakdowns and shorten the lifespan of your sideloader.

It’s best to train your team to correctly assess load weights and distribute them evenly to maintain stability and prevent tipping. Additionally, refrain from using your sideloader for tasks they are not designed for, as this can also contribute to accelerated wear and tear.

Tip 8: Address issues promptly

If you notice any unusual noises, vibrations, or performance issues with your sideloader, address them promptly before they escalate. Ignoring warning signs can result in more extensive damage and costly repairs.

You can also encourage your team to report any abnormalities immediately so that maintenance can be performed as soon as possible.

If you have any concerns about your sideloader, please reach out to our team. We can discuss what is affecting your sideloader and help you troubleshoot the issue or book it in for a timely repair.

Tip 9: Invest in quality equipment

The purchase of a sideloader is a significant investment, however the quality of your purchase can impact the lifespan of your sideloader. Investing in high-quality sideloaders from reputable manufacturers, may cost more in the beginning, however, the superior craftsmanship and materials will pay off in the form of fewer breakdowns, longer lifespan, and lower overall operating costs over time.

With such a valuable piece of equipment, you want your sideloader to last. By implementing our tips and utilising a combination of proper training care and maintenance, you can maximise the performance and lifespan of your sideloader.

We’re here to help

Whether you have a question, concern, or need a repair done quickly, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced and knowledgeable team will be able to point you in the right direction and help preserve the life of your sideloader.