Your heavy-duty equipment is beginning to slow down. Considering that you use it for pretty much all your work processes, you can’t have that. You’ll have to replace the machines in question.
Or you can clean them.
Dirty construction equipment bogged down with grease and dirt can’t function up to standards. All the grime makes it overheat and it does a number on the moving parts.
The question is, how can you clean the machines the right way? Do you use a rag and a spray bottle of degreaser? That might not cut it, depending on how bad the issue is.
We can walk you through the entire scrubbing process. Check out this guide to learn how to keep all your work equipment squeaky clean.
Benefits of Keeping Your Heavy Duty Equipment Clean
Before we get into the actual process, let’s talk about why you would want to bother with industrial equipment cleaning. Thick layers of dirt and grime put a strain on the complex moving parts of the equipment. It creates friction that will make these parts wear out a lot faster than they would normally.
Dirty equipment works harder to get the job done. This causes the machine to get hot. After a while, it will overheat and stop in its tracks.
It’s hard to see cracks and other potential problems if the machine is coated in dirt. By keeping the equipment squeaky clean, you’ll notice these issues ahead of time and be able to fix them before you have to replace the entire machine.
Cleaning heavy equipment on a normal basis puts a lot less work on you. You won’t have to go through the entire process every time if you keep up with regular maintenance.
Finally, having clean machines acts as a statement to potential customers and clients. If they can see that you work to maintain your machines, it will instill trust. It makes a great first impression.
Put On Your Safety Gear
You shouldn’t get anywhere near your construction equipment without putting on the right safety gear. The water that you’ll be using to dislodge dirt out of the machine is pretty hot.
You don’t want to let it touch your skin. To this end, put on a pair of coveralls that protects your arms and legs, especially if you’re using a high-powered pressure washer.
You’ll be standing on wash pads while you’re cleaning the equipment. Something you need to know about these surfaces is that they’re slippery. If you’re not wearing boots with anti-skid soles, you risk having a devastating fall.
As you use the pressure washer, dirt and grime will come flying off the machine. To stop these contaminants from getting in your eyes and causing a nasty infection or chemical burn, wear protective goggles.
No matter how hard you go with the water cannons, there’s still a chance that you’ll run into stubborn chunks of clay that you have to pry off with your hands. Don’t do this without wearing gloves. You don’t want to accidentally cut your hand open on a sharp piece of metal.
Not using wash pads is a huge no-no. Without them, containments that run off the machine will end up in groundwater reservoirs. Not to mention, the harsh chemicals from the degreasers can do some serious environmental damage.
You could end up having to pay heavy fines or even spend some time in the slammer unless you use a pad. They’re made to contain all the dirty water and grease that drips off the machines when you clean them. The water runs into something known as a sump where it can be recycled and reused.
Ready the Water Cannon
Now that you’re armed with the right protective equipment, it’s time to get to work. The first step is to spray your machine with a high-powered water cannon.
The warm water will dislodge any big pieces of debris. After round one with the water cannon is done, you can apply a detergent to the entire machine. If there are any stubborn chunks of clay that the cannon left behind, remove them by hand.
Let the detergent sit for about 20 minutes before you spray it with the water cannon once again. There still might be some dirt lodged into the fine crevices of the machine, but the cannon should have gotten the equipment mostly clean.
Use a Pressure Washer
To get rid of the grease and clay build-up in those small crevices, you’ll have to use a pressure washer. They’re a little more precise than the cannons.
Make sure that you read up on how to use the pressure washer before you turn it on. The instruction manual will tell you the right settings to use for your equipment. Knowing how to use the pressure washer will also stop you from injuring yourself.
The Power of Steam Cleaning
The problem with using water cannons and pressure washers to clean your machine is that water isn’t that effective when it comes to grease.
Unless you find some way to remove it, the grease will drip off the equipment where it can pose a tripping hazard. It can also gunk up the machine.
You’ll find that steam is the best solution to this issue. It cuts through grease in ways that water can not. As it removes the oil build-up, it also disinfects, eliminating your need to use harsh chemicals.
On top of keeping chemicals away from yourself and the environment, they also use less water. It’s the most cost-effective, eco-friendly option there is!
You may see vapor blasting also referred to as slurry blasting. It involves using pressurized water and an abrasive to remove oil and other debris from industrial equipment.
You combine the abrasive agent with the water in the machine where it’s pressurized using compressed air. When you pull the nozzle, all of this bolts out of the machine to provide a thorough clean.
The main benefit of this process is that it’s basically chemical-free. If you want to learn more about this cleaning method, you can visit vaporhoningtechnologies.com. For now, let’s move on to choosing your degreaser.
Choosing Your Degreaser
If you’re going to get all the nastiness off your equipment and return it to its original splendor, you’re going to need to use the right degreaser. There are four categories that you should know about.
The first is butyl degreasers. These are typically water-based and used in the automobile field more often than not. When you use it on your machinery, it will turn the thick grease into a liquid that will make it easier for you to remove with a cloth.
Non-butyl degreasers are used in cafeterias because they’re good at removing animal fat. If you’re trying to clean industrial equipment, heavy-duty degreasers are going to be your bread and butter.
They’re the most powerful degreasers on the market that you can get your hands on. If you keep up with your equipment, you might be able to use a casual everyday degreaser instead of going with the strong stuff.
Let the Machine Dry
Unless you’re using a steam cleaner, you’re going to get your equipment soaked with water. You can’t run it or do anything else with it until it dries.
You can let the machine air dry if you don’t need to use it anytime soon. If you need to speed things along, however, compressed air should do the trick.
Lubricate the Machines
Most industrial equipment works off a system of complex moving parts. Without the proper lubrication, all these gears and parts will rub against each other and cause unnecessary friction.
After you’re done cleaning, check the machines to make sure they’re properly lubricated. Be careful of what kind of oil you use. Different parts need different types of lubrication.
Keep Organized Records
After you’ve washed down one machine, make a record of it. This will help you keep track of the equipment you’ve already maintained, so you avoid cleaning the same machines over and over.
All your equipment needs the proper TLC if you want to keep it going. You can’t afford to neglect them because you can’t keep track of your cleaning schedule.
Keep Your Equipment Sparkling Clean
If you work in the industrial industry, you’ll be using a lot of heavy duty equipment. If you don’t perform the right cleaning and maintenance steps, you’ll find yourself replacing your machines on a normal basis.
That gets expensive! Stop this from happening by following the tips you’ve read here today to keep your equipment sparkling clean.
Maintaining your equipment is only one part of running your industrial business. For more information on keeping your company working like a well-oiled machine, visit our blog.