Construction Equipment Air Filters I Repair & Maintenance
Although construction equipment air filters might be neglected and overlooked in the daily maintenance checklist, it only takes a very small quantity of dust to completely ruin their engines. Silica is the main component in the dust, it’s very abrasive and functions as a lapping compound – it contaminates hydraulic systems, polishes the crankshafts, cams, valves, piston rings and sandblasts fuel injectors as well as moving parts that have the critical tolerances.
The good news is that the filtration components on construction equipment air filters do a really good job of cleaning the intake air prior to it reaching internal components. Because of how easily and quickly an engine could be damaged by pollution, it is critical to have a clean and preventative maintenance (PM) program including servicing air filters. One careless mistake could have a serious impact.
Rich Kacsuta, Vice President & General Manager of RL Miller LLC. understands that tolerances are tighter on heavy-duty construction equipment with diesel engines, which makes airflow and clean air management quality more important than ever.
Crankcases, hydraulic and fuel systems have greater pressure and turbos push excessive levels of air into and through the motor. A sealed environment has a much higher sensitivity to air ventilation and dust contamination. Machine operators, mechanics, and maintenance technicians are becoming more aware of the importance of air filtration and more receptive to preventive maintenance.
The body of construction equipment air filters
Today, most construction equipment air filters require a multi-stage filter: a protective outer barrier along with a duplex lining inside the outer enclosure. The use of multiple chambers are not to include extra filtration or enhance the air during regular functioning, but to add additional layers of filtration to protect the motor in case the exterior becomes damaged and to prevent dust from getting into the engine.
After a filter has been removed, blown out, and reinstalled you’ll want to keep in mind that the filter is not going to have or return to like-new functionality, so each time this occurs your filter gets less and less efficient. In reality– it comes down to this question. Would you prefer to change your engine frequently or your filters often? Some models which come with a reservoir for holding contaminants and they need to be emptied periodically.
Do not just guess
The air flow gauge monitors air intake and circulation limitations. Mounted inside the cab, It’s a convenient visual indicator for the operator to see when the filter is overly clogged with dirt and dust on many types of off-road construction equipment. If there’s no air intake restriction indicator you should remove the air filter from its housing and inspect it visually, but be cautious, as this procedure might enable contaminants to fall into the system.
Many construction equipment air filters come with restriction gauges, which are mounted either on the filter housing or near the housing on the air duct. Indicators range from fundamental screw-in gauges up to highly sophisticated electronic screens. More significant, expensive and larger equipment more than likely require gauges that are highly sensitive and have indicators displayed inside the cab or wired into alarms, which can be useful in environments with acute dust. Once the air-flow becomes clogged or damaged the air-flow indicator may prevent the driver from operating the machine.
Grab the large particles in construction equipment air filters
The construction equipment air filters housing can aid to increase the primary filter’s life by mechanically breakdown and removing large particles. The exterior surface can really help your air filter application, particularly in environments with high levels of dust such as highway construction, surface mining, and oil well drilling applications.
A majority of today’s construction equipment air filters are made from lightweight mesh and synthetic fabrics which do a much better job at preventing dust and contamination. Today’s air filters are tough, rigid, and more durable than ever before and can be used in all types of machines including equipment that sustain heavy shock loads and high-heat applications.
In most cases, it’s not how long that the filter has been used, it’s the quality and quantity of air flowing through. The most reliable way to know when a filter needs to be changed is by simply studying the restriction gauge. An air filter caked with dust and dirt will have an extremely high air flow restriction. This means it is not filtering air as required with a new filter.
Removing the filter to conduct unnecessary inspections in the field is actually among the worst things that you can potentially do. Each time the filter housing is opened it introduces the possibility that contamination will get inside of the motor.
In temperate environments you often see service technicians or operators removing the main filter then tapping it onto a tire or bumper or using an air compressor to blow it out and then reinstalling it. RL Miller’s factory-trained and master technicians advise against this practice.
Kacsuta says that first of all, tapping the filter against a solid object will create enough shock loading that it can potentially cause the filter media to rip. Using compressed air to blow out a filter is not too bad if blown from the inside out. However, the operation is much less than pristine, and still, there is the risk that the element is more susceptible to failure.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Modern electronics help monitor big engines but don’t wait for the restriction gauge to make sure your expensive piece of equipment is not at risk of damage and in need of serious repair. As less atmosphere is received by the motor it tends to use more fuel and produce less energy, but in fact, the electronically controlled engines of today will operate beyond this point. When there is a significant air pressure increase caused by restricted air flow or high temperature is indicated; switch the engine off immediately. In this situation call RL Miller’s 24/7 Emergency Service Hot Line: (412) 463-8433
What the future holds
Now, with the new emissions-compliant motors being introduced, the cooling package sizes have been increased by numerous manufacturers. Many will also be sloping their machines’ front hoods for trendy looks and better sight lines. Both of those trends result in there being less space underneath the hood for air filters and other components. With these additional restrictions, there’s a higher potential for clogging and damage. Scheduled maintenance and proper air filter replacement are necessary to still have the Identical life expectancy and atmosphere flow of filters.
Preventive maintenance and air flow control help keep jobs on schedule
During every workday, your heavy-duty construction equipment, and machinery filters are exposed to a toxic mix of engine-killing contaminants – dusty and dirt from job sites, polluted air, heat, cold, and whatever else Mother’s throws your way. When a construction superintendent experiences equipment failure on-site, it has a snowball effect, causing costly delays for everyone on and off-site including contractors.
RL Millers’ heavy-duty construction equipment air filters and scheduled maintenance can help keep deadlines and projects moving forward.