Picture this: You’re just starting the day with a full schedule ahead and you get hit with a maintenance set back. Now, the whole day is thrown off — you might even have to reschedule a few things on the list. Whether it’s just bad luck or something you could have prevented, regular and thorough care of your equipment is the best bet for a smooth day on the job. Sage Oil Vac is always here to help, so we’ve compiled a list of preventative maintenance tips, tricks and advice to keep the odds in your favor:
Air Compressors: Your Sage Oil Vac is built to be dependable and long-lasting — this is in-part due to its very few moving parts. So, the air compressor is the most important part to keep maintained on your unit. Use the recommended maintenance schedules that come with the system for the engine and the compressor pump. An oil change on the engine and pump should be performed at least one time per year regardless of use on your system. Intake air filters should also be replaced at least one time per year.
Compressor air tanks should be drained daily during use. The Sage Oil Vac design (on some models) can result in a collection of used oil in the holding tanks that can accumulate from oil mist vacuumed into the holding tanks. This is harmless to the design of the system however, the used oil should be drained and disposed of properly to properly maintain the compressor.
Pro Tip: Operating your Sage Oil Vac continuously with the used oil tank completely full could result in a large amount of used oil accumulating within the compressor heads and air tanks. It’s important to unload the used oil tank if its capacity reaches 95 percent or before.
Ball Valves: Ball valve actuation can become loose over time and may need to be replaced. Check that that ball valve actuation on each ball valve is not so loose that they can open or close during routine travel to the jobsite.
Cam Locks: Cam lock fittings should have caps and plugs installed to reduce drips and spills. Female cam connections need to have both actuating arms intact and working to secure a good connection.
Filters: Sage units come with 10- to 25-micron fresh fluid filters for all new fluids. We recommend that these are changed two times per year or every 1,000 gallons of oil filtered.
Hose reels: Check the spring latch assembly of the hose reel to ensure that the reel is performing properly. Grease swivels should be greased at least once a year and more often for heavy use depending on the model. Double check that all ball stops are installed and tight to keep the hose reel tension in good shape.
Hoses: Sage Oil Vac uses 1,000+ psi hoses for their systems. Check the outer hose covers and look for any gouges or wear — this is especially important on spring retractable hose reels. Keep a lookout for spots where oil is seeping through the outer cover, as this could indicate that the inner lining of the hose has a rip or tear.
Hydraulic Connections: Clean off any grime or dirt from the hydraulic fittings for a secure connection to meters and equipment — any leaks should be addressed promptly.
Lug Nuts: The lug nuts on trailer wheels need to be tightened to the proper torque — this is an important responsibility that trailer owners and users need to be familiar with. Inadequate and/or inappropriate wheel nut torque (tightness) is a major reason that lug nuts loosen in service. Loose lug nuts can rapidly lead to a wheel separation and serious safety consequences.
Lug nuts are prone to loosen right after a wheel is mounted to a hub. When driving on a new or remounted wheel, check the lug nut tightness frequently during the first few hundred miles of the trailer’s use. A good rule of thumb is to check after the first 10, 25 and 50 miles of driving, before each tow, and at least twice per year thereafter.
It’s also important that you tighten lug nuts to the proper torque for the axle size on your trailer to prevent wheels from coming loose. The only way to be certain you have tightened the lug nuts properly is with a torque wrench. Four-way wrenches, ratchets and similar tools can be useful for short-term emergency repairs but they’re not appropriate tools for adequately tightening lug nuts.
While tightness is important, be warned that overtightening can result in breaking the studs or permanently deforming the mounting stud holes in the wheels. Tighten per sequence in Figure 1 below. Using this sequence, tighten all lug nuts in three stages and to the torque values listed in Figure 2 for each stage.
Pro Tip: Keep a record of the date and approximate mileage of your last torque check somewhere on or inside your equipment. Make note of any lug nut that is loose and investigate the reason(s). If the lug nut tightness is not maintained after more than one re-tightening application, this indicates there is something wrong with the lug nuts, studs, wheels and/or hubs and must be corrected.
Figure 1. Lug Tightening Sequence
Figure 2. Lug Torque Requirements
Meters: Electronic meters will occasionally need new batteries. High flow non-drip ends should be cleaned regularly to for a proper close to keep drips and spills to a minimum.
Running Lights: Make sure all brake lights, turn signals, license plate lights and market lights work correctly.
Tires: Check the condition of the tire tread, and make sure there is adequate air pressure. Also inspect for gouges or other defects.
Sage Oil Vac Tanks: The Sage Oil Vac design ensures that very little outside dirt and elements are introduced into the tanks, protecting their cleanliness, but an annual flushing of the used oil tank is recommended to flush out sludge and other contaminants that have been vacuumed out of engines and drain pans with debris. To do this, vacuum 5-10 gallons of diesel, pressurize the tank (no more than 5 psi) and dispense the fluid to flush the tank and hose circuit. This same method can be used to switch fluids in new oil tanks if necessary — i.e., switching a 15W-40 motor oil tank to a hydraulic fluid tank.
Wheel Bearings: It’s recommended to grease wheel bearings every 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. You can use red grease for trailer wheel bearings or wheel bearing grease, which is specially designed for use on trailer running gear. Wheel bearing grease has a slightly higher temperature rating, 520 degrees, compared to 510 degrees for the red grease.
When adding grease, make sure that the new is compatible with the old or remove the old grease completely. Incompatible greases can break each other down. Also, inspect the bearings and races before repacking them and replace the grease seals since they will likely be damaged in the process.
Regular maintenance is essential to keep equipment, accessories and your work environment safe and reliable. Do not hesitate to contact your Sage Oil Vac Dealer for any maintenance and equipment questions.