How to Maintain Earth Drill for Maximum Uptime
1) Hydraulic earth drills: These drills are created to withstand extreme conditions and have relatively fewer parts. Like any other attachment and machine these also need to maintained regularly to ensure maximum up time.
2) Hydraulic Fluid: Always make sure that the hydraulic reservoir is filled till the top of the sight gauge. The return line filter and the hydraulic oil need to be kept clean at all times. Always ensure that all the connecting bolts and fasteners are properly in place and tight. Loose fittings can cause premature wear. The hydraulic oil and return line filter need to be replaced and cleaned on regular intervals as specified by the manufacturer.
3) Hoses and disconnects: The Hoses quick needs to be cleaned regularly before and after the drilling is done. Once a job is completed and the drill is being taken apart the hydraulic output hose needs to be disconnected onto its input coupler and vice versa. This helps keep the hydraulic system clean and free of any dust. Should the disconnect fitting start leaking, the coupling will require to be replaced. The drill hoses and pipes need to be regularly checked for cracks, leaks and abrasions. In case any of these are present the parts need to be replaced. The drill works best when the hose connections are kept properly tight and fit.
4) Drill Blades and points: If the blades or points get worn out or dull, then they need to be replaced. Pre and post drilling check ups are a must for the blades and points. A worn out blade requires prompt replacement failing which it may cause damage to other parts and eventually require costly replacements and or repairs.
5) Control valve: Any hydraulic leaks observed by the operator, require the power to be cut off. After cutting off the power, the hydraulic pressure needs to be relieved by moving the control valves in both directions, which will in turn opens up the hydraulic flow. The screw fittings at both ends of the hoses need to be screwed tightly in place. In case the leakage doesnt stop, it could indicate that the hose assembly needs to be replaced. The seal kit might need to be replaced if the control valve leaks around the spool shaft.
6)Torque Tube: The tube needs to be checked before and after each use. The attachments need to be checked to see if they are secured in place. In case of a bend or break, it needs to be replaced.
7) Storage: Once used, the drills need to be thoroughly checked and stored in a clean dry place protected form moisture to avoid rusting. Storage is a very important part of the maintenance process to increase the life of the drill.
8) Mechanical Earth drills: These are usually used for relatively smaller jobs. Similar to the hydraulic drill, simple maintenance of the various parts can help increase its uptime.
9) Transmission and gear box: Should it start making any unfamiliar sounds or heat up more than usual, it needs to be checked and repaired or replaced. Unusual sounds are usually the first indicators of something being wrong and can easily cause the motor to start locking up when in use. Heat can be detected by the operator through the smell of burnt oils and or extreme heating. Either of these can be a sign of low oil. Leaks around the bottom seal, along the top of the transmission and lower output shaft, the fluid in the gearbox needs to be checked and an oil change may be required if deemed necessary.
10) Drive Shaft: The driveshaft needs to be cleaned and greased regularly as specified by the manufacturer. Torn wires, deep cuts, or torn wire braids warrant the shaft housing to be replaced. The core of the shaft might need replacing in case sharp kinks, broken wires are found or in case gear box doesnt turn despite the running motor. An appropriate amount of grease should be used, not too much or too little. A dried out cable might break or burn damaging the outer housing.
11) Clutch: The clutch needs to be checked regularly as and when the drive shaft is lubricated. The shoes and drums need to be cleaned as well. A jerking drill is an indicator of a problem. A clutch lacking a padding will continue working but with a reduced efficiency while the engine runs at full speed. The auger spinning at idle or overheating is indicative of a clutch spring requiring replacement.
12) Points and Blades: Similar to the hydraulic ones, the points an blades need to be checked regularly for any kind of wear and tear. The blades need to be kept sharp to ensure that the drill works efficiently failing which the point will wear out and become cone shaped thereby reducing efficiency.
13) Engine: Mechanical drills may be different from the engine that powers it. However its a sensible thing to check the engine oil on a daily basis and changed regularly as instructed by the manufacturer. Air Filters need to be changed similarly to protect the internal engine parts from dust and dirt.