Service Tips

Here you'll find a few helpful tips, CMI checklists, and maintenance charts for the equipment we sell, rent and service. If you can't find what you need, don't hesitate to contact our product support team and they'll be happy to help!

  • Cutting Edge Tips

    Operating Tips

    Avoid back dragging

    Back dragging reduces cutting edge life by causing it to break before it wears down.

    Minimize excessive down pressure

    Buckets last longer if the operator minimizes the amount of pressure applied when the bucket is engaged with the ground.

    Avoid using blades in wet conditions

    Blades wear faster in wet conditions.

    Equipment Tips

    Use corner attachments

    Corner guards increase the bucket's strength. Not using corner guards can cause premature wear.

    Use a thicker edge

    More powerful machines can use thicker edges, and, in most cases, they should.

    For grader blades, consider using single bevel curved blades instead of double bevel curved

    The leading bevel on double bevel curved blades wears out quickly, turning it into a single bevel curved blade. Single bevel curved blades last longer and are more cost effective.

    Use proper bolts and nuts

    Loose bolts and nuts cause the cutting edge to be loose on the moldboard, which can lead to breakage. Use Grade 8 bolts or higher; lower quality may stretch and loosen.

    Rotate the cutting edge consistently

    Flipping the blade regularly can double the blade life. The flipping interval depends upon what type of material it's used for, and the application.

    Protect snowplow cutting edges with a standard flat blade

    The steel in carbide snow plow blades can erode, causing the carbide inserts to fall out.

    Inspection Tips

    Inspect loader edge position

    The base edge is the primary support for the bucket system, while the primary engagement edge should be the bolt-on cutting edge. If the base edge is worn out, the bucket is not as stable.

    Inspect loader wear plates and replace when needed

    Increase the life of the bucket and cutting edge by replacing wear plates regularly.

    Routinely inspect and secure bolts

    Loose cutting edges can easily be damaged and may fall off and damage surrounding equipment.

  • Track Tension Tips

    Adjusting Tension

    Improper tension

    Loose tracks can detrack. Over-tightening can cause power loss, excessive roller and idler wear, and could tear the tracks. Refer to your operator's manual for track inspection and tensioning procedures.

    How to adjust

    Track tension is controlled by a track adjuster located behind the front idler. Tension adjustments are made by pumping or draining grease through the track adjuster valve. Even small adjustments in track sag have a big impact on tension. A change in sag from 1'' to 0.5'' increases tension by about 3,000 pounds. Refer to your operator's manual for specific information on how to adjust the track tension of your machine.

    Inspect adjuster valve periodically

    Make sure your adjuster valve is working properly by visually inspecting it periodically. If the valve shows signs of leakage, bring your machine in for repair as soon as possible. Leakage can lead to a loss of track tension and increased wear.

    Match Tension to Operating conditions

    Adjust track tension on-site

    Make tension adjustments on the job site rather than in the shop. Track tension may increase if the sprocket and chain are packed with mud or other materials. A track that is properly tensioned in the shop may become too tight when packed with mud.

    Test packing conditions before adjusting

    To match track tension with the specific packing conditions of the job site, run your machine for a short while on the job site, then make the necessary adjustments.

    Make frequent adjustments

    Changes in weather can alter the packing conditions of the job site throughout the day. Making tension adjustments in response to these changes can help reduce track wear and costs.

    Do not operate your machine if the tracks are frozen

    Wait for the weather to improve if your tracks become frozen. If you try to use power to force the tracks to move you might destroy them.


    Avoid abrupt turns and high speeds

    Do not make abrupt turns, because they place unnecessary stress on the track and undercarriage. Continuous turning to the same side can cause asymmetrical wear. Higher speeds cause more wear on the undercarriage. Use the slowest possible operating speed for the job.

    Avoid excessive reverse operation

    Do not operate in reverse unless necessary. Reverse operation wears tracks up to three times as quickly as forward operation. Highspeed reverse is particularly destructive to tracks and undercarriage components.


    Have your undercarriage inspected annually by a trained technician to catch problems early before they lead to unnecessary damage.

  • Quick Coupler Tips

    Quick couplers are used on most job sites. Using quick couplers safely and responsibly can reduce risk of injury and damage on the job. Follow the below tips to make sure you are taking proper precautions when using quick couplers for your attachments.

    Take Precautions

    Train your operators

    To prevent accidents related to quick coupler systems, thoroughly train operators in their use. All operators and supervisors should receive training on making visual inspections, the procedures for engaging attachments, and methods of evaluating and testing connections.

    Install cautionary labels

    Most excavator and quick coupler manufacturers provide warning labels reminding operators not to use the coupler without a safety pin. Warning labels should be placed in the cab where the operator can clearly see them as well as on the dipper arm. The condition of the labels should be inspected daily, and the labels should be replaced if they become damaged or illegible.

    Only use approved attachments

    Do not use attachments that exceed the limits outlined by the excavator and coupler manufacturers. Not all manufacturers approve the use of breakers or other attachments. Always consult the coupler manufacturer when uncertain about attachment use.

    Upgrade your equipment

    Newer quick coupler models are specifically designed to prevent unexpected release of attachments. If you are using an older model quick coupler, upgrading to a new system may help prevent accidents. Alternatively, you can install retrofits.

    Maintain Your Couplers

    Inspect quick couplers regularly

    Visually inspect quick couplers before each use to ensure that they are not subject to hazards associated with accidental release. Quick couplers should be inspected before each use to ensure that the safety pin is in the correct position. With many coupler systems the operator will need to manually inspect the safety pin. With fully automated systems the operator may be able to visually verify that the safety pin is in position from the cab.

    Regularly maintain your couplers

    Maintenance is essential to safe operation of quick couplers. Regular maintenance can prevent deterioration and wear of quick couplers. Manufacturer's preventative maintenance should be strictly observed to ensure safety.

    Practice Safe Operation

    Exercise caution when changing buckets

    High-risk activities, such as bucket changing and attachment testing, should be designated to clearly defined areas. The operator must ensure that the safety pin is in place before lifting the quick coupler. Once the bucket is attached, secured, and checked, the quick coupler should be shaken vigorously to ensure a secure connection with the coupler.

    Removing the quick coupler safely

    Do not remove the quick coupler from the dipper while a bucket or attachment is still connected, as this can damage the coupler and the attachment. For safe removal, lower the coupler onto a structure at level height. Release all hydraulic pressure from the circuit and make sure that the machine is off before removing. To prevent contamination, immediately plug the quick coupler hoses and pipe work of the machine after disconnecting. After disconnecting the coupler, remove all dirt and debris from the operating mechanism before placing in storage.

CMI Checklists

Maintenance Charts

In addition to these heavy machinery maintenance and service tips, we occasionally write about related service topics in our blog. Feel free to browse our latest articles through the link provided, or we've pulled out a selection below you can explore at your convenience.

Machine Specific Maintenance Tips

Seasonal Maintenance Tips

General Info & Tips