Oil analysis for heavy equipment

What is oil sampling and how to do it?

Analyzing the oils used in construction machinery can be useful because you can read information about wear from the contents of the used oil. To do this, a mechanic or technician uses a very clean container and a pump to remove oil, e.g. from the engine, from the hydraulic circuit or from the gearbox. The extracted oils are sent to a certified laboratory. There, the lubricants are analyzed for their ingredients using various methods. It can be used to determine whether there are increased levels of silicon, sulphur, copper, coolant or other trace elements in the oil.

Inspector Wolfgang just took an oil sample
Heavy Machinery Oil sampling

When is it reasonable to analyse oils of used heavy equipment?

An analysis of the existing oils only makes sense if you have an approximate idea of ​​how long the oil was in use. If the oil has only recently been changed, an analysis of the condition is not very useful. There are then too few analyzable particles in the oil. If the oil used is much older than permitted, i.e. the change intervals have been significantly exceeded, the values ​​will also be incorrect. But if the oil is in a normal change cycle, you can read a lot of information from the trace elements. It is therefore important to know whether the prescribed maintenance intervals on the construction machine have been observed.

What influence have working hours and temperatures to oil condition?

As already described above, it is important to know or to be able to estimate the service life of the existing oils. And to get meaningful results, it is necessary to warm up the machine. Otherwise there will be many particles, e.g. deposited on the bottom of the oil pan or in the filter. The oil must therefore be vigorously moved and the viscosity increased in order to obtain meaningful results.

What info does an oil sample report contain and what does it tell us?

A professional laboratory for the analysis of construction machine oils usually provides us with an interpretation of the analyzed values. Too much silicon means dirt gets into the machine’s systems and you have to look at where and how dirt gets into the system. If coolant is found in the engine oil, there is a problem in the cooling system. If traces of aluminum are found in the transmission oil, one can conclude that there is increased wear in some components. The same applies to the presence of chromium, copper or magnesium. As soon as we have the results of an oil analysis, our technicians will advise you and describe the possible causes. A hint is given on what to do to avoid early problems.

By the way, to guarantee high quality of our oil analysis we work on this sector with the lab of Zeppelin Baumaschinen which is the CAT dealer for several countries in Europe.

Mevas Screen Plant Inspections

Who can offer inspections for used screen plant in Europe?

Mevas is known as a inspection service for used construction machinery. Did you know we also inspect screening and processing equipment? Mobile Crushing & Screening Equipment is often in bad condition when it hits the used-market. Screening plant, especially when used in recycling aggregate applications have in many cases worn screen boxes. Tough job to exchange.

What to look for when buying used screen equipment?

Conveyors have damaged belts and seized rollers. Often, we see cracks in frames and leaks on hydraulics. Of course this is just the special part of inspection. All other components of a used screen are of course inspected as well. Our inspectors use a detailed screen plant inspection checklist. We can offer inspections in all areas of the Europe.

We hope our article was helpful for you. Feel free to comment below the post about your experiences looking for used screening equipment.

Terex Finlay Supertrack

Buying used machines in South Africa

How can I check if a used machine is in good condition?

South Africa is a gigantic market for the mining and construction industry. Manufacturers from Caterpillar to Liebherr and Bell are present with branches and sales. Mining and construction companies have a great need for machines. As a result, used machines keep coming onto and from the market.

Export to other African areas

Due to the short transport routes, the machines are of interest to many construction companies and mines in other parts of Africa. So what could be closer to buying machines there? Of course, it would be good to know whether the machines are in reasonable condition.

Which company can inspect machines in South Africa?

Mevas has local inspectors available in South Africa which can help with the inspection of used construction equipment and civil engineering. Qualified engineers inspect the machines, create a report, take various photos and can also create a video of the machine in operation. Our team knows about excavators, wheel loaders, motor graders, backhoe loaders, quarry trucks, and bulldozers. We check a single machine as well as fleets of machinery.

CAT 745 dump truck

How to check the hydraulic pump?

How can I check if my excavator hydraulic pump is working well?

In the event that the hydraulic excavator does not have enough power or even when buying an excavator, it is useful to check whether the hydraulic pump has enough power. Normally, however, you do not have any equipment for measuring pressure with you. Don’t forget that pressure alone is not a criterion for sufficient power. You would also have to measure the volume of the oil flow.

Hydraulic Pressure Testing during inspection of an excavator

So what can be done to check the performance of the hydraulic pump?

An excavator usually has a so-called load-sensing pump. The pump’s sensors constantly check the pressure and the oil volume demanded. The pump permanently adjusts the volume flow and the pressure to the requirements during work. To check performance, an experienced inspector will usually test whether the excavator can make three different working movements at the same time without slowing down the flow of one working movement. For example, lifting the boom, extending the arm and extending the bucket at the same time. The inspector must note whether there are one or more hydraulic pumps for the different components. Often the traction drive has a separate pump.

Pressure test for comparison with the manufacturer’s data

The type of test described so far is helpful if you do not have a pressure gauge available. However, for a more accurate test of performance, it is helpful to be able to measure pressures. To do this, the inspector needs to connect a pressure gauge to the test ports and measure the pressures for the pump and the pilot pressure. The recorded data must be compared with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Hydraulic-Pressure gauge for excavator testing

Which company can inspect an excavator with pressure measurement?

Some MEVAS inspectors are equipped with dial gauges. We can offer a very thorough examination of the condition of used hydraulic excavators in various countries. Of course, we are also responsible for any other construction machine and for large equipment from the mining industry. The guide can be downloaded here.

How to measure swing bearing play?

Excavator swing bearing play measuring

The swing bearing is one of the weakest points in the structure of an excavator. At this point, the stable undercarriage, the so-called X-frame, is connected to the superstructure. The superstructure rotates endlessly on this pivot. On a larger excavator, you will find a counterweight weighing perhaps 15 tonnes. It balances the whole machine and is designed to keep the machine stable and balanced with the arm extended and the bucket full. On the other hand, this means that when the bucket is empty and the arm is close to the machine, the rear side of the machine is loaded.

To ensure that everything runs well, the pivot bearing, also called the slewing ring, has several lubrication points. Ideally, these are supplied with grease of the right consistency by an automatic lubrication system.

Swing bearing play measurement for excavator

The rollers or rolls of the large bearing now run permanently over the running surfaces, generating wear through friction and pressure. At some point, the play becomes so large that machine safety is endangered. When inspecting a used excavator, it therefore makes sense to measure whether the play is still within the permissible tolerance.

How to measure?

To do this, the slewing ring must be loaded once and then unloaded again after the dial gauge has been placed on it. The play is measured between these two states. Most inspectors for construction machinery know the procedure. Depending on the equipment of the machine, one must decide whether a filled excavator bucket is sufficient to achieve the load on the front, or whether additional weights are required. Also the use of a hydraulic jack can be considered.

When to measure, cost for replacing?

Our inspectors have the necessary knowledge to carry out a measurement correctly. During used machine inspection process the inspector does a functional test. Experienced technicians can feel already at this stage if a measurement is required. After the measurement, we can help to decide whether the play is acceptable or whether you need to replace the slewing ring. The Liebherr R964 excavator pictured above had 5mm clearance across the front of the frame and 4.7mm across the side. It is not safe to continue working with this slew ring. Exchange will cost probably more than 12.000 $

Used shredder wanted?

Who can inspect used shredders and recycling equipment?

The search for used recycling technology is not so easy. Once you have found what you are looking for, the question is whether the machine is in good condition. We offer technical inspections for such equipment to check that.

Whether high-speed or low-speed, the bearing arrangement of the shredder rollers must be examined. Additional equipment such as hammers etc. must be looked at closely. In shredders sometimes material is fed by roller or chain conveyors. The technician must therefore understand how the plant is constructed and which component has what function. We have the necessary background knowledge.

Mevas inspectors are available in Europe and many countries around the globe. And we are constantly expanding our network to support our customers in the best possible way.

We do not deal in technology ourselves, all we do is inspect used machines.

Do you have any questions? Let us know!

Used Civil Engineering Equipment Inspection

Who can inspect used civil engineering equipment?

A exciting part of our work is machine inspections of used Civil Engineering Equipment. These machines are particularly complex and have diverse specifications. We can check drill rigs, pilling machinery, desanding machines, vibrators, vibration hammers and leaders, diesel impact hammers, telescopic leaders, RTG equipment, grab systems, duty-cycle cranes and diaphragm wall grabs.

By the way do you have experience with this kind of machines? Do you know what a kelly bar is and on which machine it is in use? Let us know in the comments!

If you do not have a qualified technician at hand or the machine is located far away from them, you are welcome to contact us.

Bauma 2022

After long time it was good to be on Bauma exhibition again. Meeting with friends and customers, watching the shows and being amazed by the big iron. Although we have been to the fair several times, we are always overwhelmed by the dimensions and the amount of material that is brought there. There must be over 2000 machines, cranes and trucks on site. And in two months the place will be empty again. Anyway, it was good to meet our customers and friends at Caterpillar, Hyundai, Liebherr, Komatsu, Manitowoc, Tadano and the independent dealers and contractors. As always the time on site was too short to see everything and to meet with all contacts.

Fleet machinery inspections in quarries

Which company can inspect used quarry and mining equipment?

When it comes to negotiating the sale of entire fleets of machines, the question of an independent appraisal of the machines in order to realistically assess their condition and value arises for the interested party. Mevas is able to support you with fleet machinery inspections in quarries.

We have a large network of technicians who are very familiar with large machines in the construction and mining industry. In the last few years, we have been able to be part of some interesting projects worldwide. We can easily realise the reliable assessment of many machines in a short time.

If you would like to know more about this, please contact us. You can also find some interesting pictures on our website under “Pictures and stories

Do you like this article? Let us know.

CAT dump truck inspection

Buying used machinery on auctions?

Is it a good idea to purchase used heavy equipment on auctions?

When you are looking for used machinery but you can’t find any, it might be an idea to check used machinery auctions. To reduce your risk before buying, you can book a Mevas technican for an inspection. He will check the machine or the machines for you. On auction sites we offer a special kind of inspection for a lower fee.

We are specialized in inspection of heavy machinery. We can deliver detailed inspection for small machines such as a mini digger of 2 ton but of course we can also inspect a 100ton mining truck, a 200ton capacity mobile crane or big excavators.

What kind of experiences have you had when buying used machines? Let us know in the comments.

Mevas inspections in Europe and countries worldwide