LUBRICATION EQUIPMENT NEWS — Customized PM Trucks Boost Productivity

Trucks customized to a contractor's specific application can help crews and equipment work at full capacity while a...


Trucks customized to a contractor's specific application can help crews and equipment work at full capacity while avoiding missed deadlines, voided warrantees, and unnecessary capital outlays.

While a decade or two ago construction, mining, site preparation, and earth-moving contractors may still have had the luxury of maintaining their equipment fleet at centralized locations, supplemented with handheld greasers or cans of oil onsite, that's no longer true today. As bids in the business are now highly competitive and margins low, successful managers must track work cycle times as never before. Any interruption of the work cycle could cost thousands of dollars per day per incident. For this reason, efficient, onsite preventative maintenance and repair - in the form of lube, fuel, water, and maintenance trucks - is now essential.

"Without preventive maintenance, you're in serious trouble," said Rodger McGrady, equipment manager at Riverton Coal'ss Charleston, West Virginia location. "Oil needs to be checked daily, as do bearings and moving parts. Neglecting to do so can ruin engines,
transmissions, differentials, or drivelines, especially for the heavy loads we carry. If you don't properly service and maintain your equipment, you won't be in business very long."

Not only must increasingly complex and expensive equipment be properly maintained according to stringent warrantee requirements, but also it must be done efficiently. Simply missing a maintenance interval, for example, could make a company liable for a $30,000 engine replacement, if needed.

Even slight miscalculations can be costly in terms of wasteful logistics and downtime, and could be the mistake that voids a warrantee, or triggers a premature and costly repair. Buying an improperly outfitted lube truck could mean failing to complete necessary lubes each day, while carrying around too much oil of other types.

Furthermore, every truck a contractor owns or uses must meet myriad federal and state regulations just to be allowed on the road. Failure to comply with federal or state/provincial regulations could require extensive body, suspension, or cab adjustments before road use is permitted.

Elliott Machine Works is a leading manufacturer of mobile service equipment since 1948, specializes in providing custom solutions based on individual consultations with each client. These consultations are designed to elicit exactly what is needed and wanted for each specific application, so the final product matches the needs of its owner.

For efficient lube/fuel use, one of Elliott Machine Works' exclusive features is a hydraulic dispensing system that delivers from 9 to 12 gal/min of up to three products simultaneously - with a single touch of an electric-powered master switch that controls the load-sensing, pressure-compensated system. Hydraulic or pneumatic fuel pumping systems can deliver up to 90 gal/min of product and for safety, fuel tanks offer flanged heads and baffles, full-length flashing, and roll-over protection.

At Riverton Coal, equipment manager McGrady faced a number of special concerns that standard lube or fuel trucks couldn't begin to address. Since mining operations had to continue almost 120 hours per week - on equipment capable of hauling 150 tons per load and costing more than $1,000,000 in some cases - he had to get preventive maintenance right. Furthermore, preventative maintenance had to be done efficiently, despite 10F overnight weather that made pumping unheated oil and grease take three times as long as normal.

McGrady found a solution with Elliott Machine Works, which custom outfitted three lube/fuel trucks with tanks for seven types of oil, two types of chassis grease, waste oil recovery, and antifreeze. The enclosed truck bodies have heated interiors that keep the oil and grease at room temperature for fast delivery, as well as interior and exterior lights for nighttime use.

"Elliott Machine Works addressed our specific needs," says McGrady. "Based on the rough terrain at our location and our requirements, they helped us spec out the lube/fuel trucks' length, width, wheel base, load both full and empty, as well as front and rear axle capacities. For efficiency, operators just quick connect a hose, and turn on a vacuum pump to recover oil out of an engine or transmission. They put another hose in and pull a trigger to fill up what's needed. It's all hydraulic driven, and keeps things efficient and clean."

For convenience, Elliott Machine Works offers hydraulic driven compressor packages furnishing up to 60 cfm, along with pneumatic waste oil systems with both suction and discharge capacity. Reel compartments on request can be separated from the cab body by an insulated bulkhead for temperature control. Swing-out doors, dome lights, and a drop deck reel compartment are also available.

For applicability in a variety of cleaning and dust control situations, Elliott Machine Works offers water tanks of up to 5,000 gallon capacity, with spray capability up to 45 feet in width and 150 feet in distance, which puts even coal piles and cranes within reach. Pump drives offer up to 650 gpm at 70 psi. Flusher heads, spray heads, spray bars, water cannons, and three-way piping are available in both remote and manual control.

For more info, contact Elliott Machine Works, Inc. at ellio[email protected] or visit


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