A piece of heavy machinery on a worksite
Tips to keep your fleet performing in top condition

Unexpected maintenance can slow you down, costing you both time and money, and risking the successful outcomes of each project.

However, by being proactive and prepared through planned maintenance and understanding your equipment protection and warranty options, you will remain on top of your game.

If you are looking for ways to avoid downtime and make the most of your uptime, the following strategies can be implemented across a variety of equipment types. In addition to these tips, meeting with your dealer is encouraged.

Their experts can provide additional advice to keep your machines in good shape and ready to work.

Be Prepared: Extended Warranties

Selecting the right equipment warranty goes a long way toward your peace of mind. Some dealers provide a variety of extended warranty options to help you avoid unplanned expenses and downtime. While adding new equipment to your fleet, consider the benefits of what an extended warranty plan can do for your business.

Extended warranty options go above and beyond a standard warranty package, and, typically, can cover your powertrain and hydraulic systems, or offer a full-machine coverage option. Try to identify an extended warranty package that provides full-coverage options to maximize the benefits, which include:

  • Lower repair costs — Without a protection plan, unexpected equipment repairs could be costly and have a negative impact on your bottom line. That’s why finding the best protection plan for your situation is essential to keeping your equipment — and your wallet — in the best shape possible.
  • Reduced downtime — When you are working, your equipment needs to be working too. Having an extended warranty protection plan can help you get back on the job faster in the event of unexpected downtime. You don’t have to worry about the funds necessary to cover repair costs. Simply visit your local dealer for timely service that won’t compromise your budget.
  • Quality parts and service — After selecting an extended warranty option, you can expect coverage on any part or component that fails due to defects in materials or workmanship. All repairs are made by experienced service technicians who are dedicated to providing the highest-quality maintenance and repairs for your equipment. Leaving the dealership feeling confident in your equipment is priceless.
  • Higher resale value — Did you know that regularly maintained equipment kept under warranty has higher resale value potential? It indicates to buyers that the machine has been well maintained and that if any issues occurred, they were promptly addressed by qualified service technicians. Some warranty options are also transferable. This is attractive to new buyers because they can now enjoy similar warranty benefits as the previous owners did.

Simply put, extended warranty packages can help you avoid costly, unexpected expenses for your machine and help keep your asset in the field where it boosts your bottom line.

Be Proactive: Scheduled Maintenance

Your equipment manufacturer and dealer should have everything you need to complete your equipment maintenance requirements. Some dealers offer a variety of maintenance kits to help owners make maintenance intervals easy and seamless. Additionally, it’s a good idea to stock up on those frequently needed items so when you need them, they’re ready and you can keep working with minimal downtime.

Fluids and filters

Stay on top of your recommended service schedule by regularly checking and changing engine oils, coolant, hydraulic fluid, grease and drive motor lubricants. Your dealer should have these items in stock and can match machine fluids to the proper ambient temperatures and to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Whether you need synthetic or synthetic-blended oils, your dealership has you covered. These oils have better cold weather starting and lubricating performance, as well as additional wear protection during high-performance operation.

Fuel and air filters should also be in stock at your dealership. Dirtier and dustier conditions may require filters to be changed more frequently. Regular inspections, as outlined in the operation and maintenance manual, will help you identify when to change filters and help you minimize unexpected machine downtime.

To enhance your preventive maintenance efforts, talk to your dealership about purchasing fluid and oil analysis programs. Each program provides reports and insights that can help you better understand the current operating status of your machine. The practice of regularly sampling and monitoring test data can detect ferrous (iron) particles, the existence of wear and other contaminants and fluid cleanliness.

As a general practice, consider creating a planned maintenance contract to make sure you and your dealer are following the recommended service schedule. This contract provides a comprehensive report of what parts and service you need to keep your equipment running. It also can control your cost of ownership by guarding against unexpected machine downtime. A planned maintenance program can be bundled with an extended warranty for greater peace of mind.

Tires and tracks

You rely on tires and tracks to give you long-lasting performance when paired with compact equipment. You also rely on your dealership to have the proper replacement parts in stock in case you encounter a flat tire or if a track is loose. Make sure your dealership knows your scope of work, so they can have the proper replacement items in stock. If you own an excavator, compact track loader or mini track loader, your dealership should have a variety of wide or narrow tracks to match ground conditions and different tread patterns on the tracks to suit your individual needs. Wide tracks work well when lower ground pressure and flotation are desired, while narrow tracks add increased ground pressure, traction and pushing force.


The tracked undercarriage provides lower ground pressure, improved flotation and traction, helping distribute the machine’s weight across a larger area. The undercarriage consists of moving components that need to be inspected frequently, especially if the machine is being used in harsh applications.

Genuine parts

Resist the urge to cut costs with lower-priced parts. Less expensive options can cost you more in time and revenue than using genuine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Your dealership should stock OEM parts and will often carry a warranty that can help protect the overall value of your machine. Using genuine parts helps extend the life of your machine. It also gives you the peace of mind that your equipment will continue to function properly.

There are many uptime advantages, both short- and long-term, to being prepared and proactive with your fleet. With an advanced warranty and a proactive maintenance schedule, you can eliminate downtime and keep your investments running in top shape.