Backhoe-loaders: Walkaround Inspection Tips

Greg Worley, Caterpillar, provides detailed instructions for backhoe-loader walkarounds.

“You start a walkaround visual inspection from the bucket on the left hand side of the machine,” he says. “Look for damage on the bucket or attached tool. Check for damage to any hydraulic hoses, checking that the bucket or tool is attached and there is nothing in the bucket that should not be there.

“Look under the machine for any leaks and check to see that the drive shaft guard is secure (if fitted),” he continues. “Check the front tire for damage and visually inspect it for pressure. Check the step for damage or debris. Check the rear tire for damage and visually inspect it for pressure.”

At the rear of the machine, check underneath for leaks. “Check the swing casting area for damage to the structure, pins and hoses,” says Worley. “Visually check the boom, stick and bucket structure, pins and hoses for any damage, looseness or missing parts.”

Check the right-hand side of the machine in the same way as the left-hand side. Before coming back around to the cab, survey the surrounding area for operating conditions, other machines, people and any other obstacles.

Then conduct the daily fluids check. On Caterpillar backhoes, Worley notes, you can stand on the stamped tread plate, nonskid surface of the fuel tank, open the hood and conduct daily fluid checks (glycol, engine oil, transmission fluid, air filter indicator and hydraulic oil) from that spot. “All of this can be done without having to start the engine or raise the loader arms,” he says.

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