- Inspect the bolts that fasten the ROPS/FOPS structure to the roller; tighten them to the torque setting recommended by the manufacturer.
- Inspect all welds for cracks, breakage, rust or other problems. If any damage is found, contact your supplier immediately.
- Check other safety related items, such as seat belts and safety decals/placards, to be sure they're in proper working order.
According to sources, there are some housekeeping tasks that should be performed daily before roller operation begins.
"Fluid levels need to be checked on a daily basis," says Meyer with Vibromax. "The hydraulic reservoir, engine oil level and fuel level should be checked before beginning operations. A complete walk-around inspection, which should include all safety-related items, should also be performed."
Daily fluid checks are vital to a properly functioning asphalt roller. With a simple daily check of fluid levels, you'll find small problems before they become big problems. For example, if the roller is using a lot of oil, you can find out what's causing the usage before the whole system shuts down.
Other important items to keep a sharp eye on include drum scraper condition, greasing the articulation joint, rubber buffers (between the drum and frame) condition and draining the fuel pre-cleaner or water separator.
The best way to avoid costly mistakes and keep your asphalt rollers in tip-top shape is to follow a systematic, preventive maintenance schedule. Whether it's manual or from a computer, sticking to the manufacturer recommended maintenance checklist is the best and easiest way to keep your rollers up and running.
"Properly maintained machines perform better and cost less to operate than those that are neglected," says Jeff Fox, product/marketing manager with Ammann America Inc. "Not following the manufacturers recommended service interval chart can result in the premature failure of expensive components as well as extended downtime while major repairs are completed."
Keep them rolling after winter
Now is the time of year when you need to think about winterizing your asphalt rollers for cold weather storage. If you plan on putting your units in moth balls for the winter (or storing for more than 30 days) follow these steps:
- Clean the machine.
- Paint any areas that have chips or missing paint.
- Prepare the fuel tank. Some sources prefer draining the fuel tank; others say to fill the fuel tank completely and treat it with a fuel preservative. It's always best to read your unit's owner's manual for manufacturer recommendations.
- Change the engine oil and replace the engine oil filter.
- Service the air filter.
- Completely drain the water tanks, water supply lines and spray bars of water. Apply low compressed air to these parts to remove any water still remaining in them. The best method to eliminate freeze damage is to drain the system as far as possible then run just enough propylene-glycol (engine anti-freeze) through the system to flush out any residual water. Remove the water pump assembly, completely drain all remaining water from the pump and reinstall the pump on the roller. Put a plastic cover or tape over each water spray nozzle.
- Cap, tape or otherwise seal all openings such as the air cleaner and exhaust to prevent entry of moisture (or small animals looking for a warm home).
- Loosen or remove the engine drive belts.
- Coat the steering cylinder rod with a corrosion-preventive treatment.
- Remove the battery and clean, charge and store in a cool place. Charge the battery again every 30 days.
- Attach a DO NOT OPERATE sign on the machine. Remove the ignition key; put it in a safe place.
- Cover the machine to protect it.
If the unit will be used in the winter months, it's still a good idea to prepare it for colder weather. You might want a lighter viscosity fluid for cooler temperatures, and you might want to add antifreeze to some of your systems. Remember to always follow the manufacturer's recommended procedures for proper storage.