Since its inception in 1997 Worldwide Rental Services has changed engine oil on 250-hour intervals. During this time many equipment manufacturers have moved this parameter up to 500-hour intervals. However according to most operating manuals, this extended amount of time between changes is only applicable when the equipment is not operating in a severe condition.
According to Caterpillar “Severe Environmental” factors are:
- Frequent operation in dirty air
- Frequent operation at an altitude which is above 1525 m (5,000 ft)
- Frequent operation in ambient temperatures which are above 90°F
- Frequent operation in ambient temperature which are below 32°F
(Source:Caterpillar Operation and Maintenance Manual, D8T Track-Type Tractor. Mar. 2019)
With branches, and therefore unique challenges in every time zone, we believe our equipment is continuously working in conditions deemed “Severe”. From the elevations of Colorado and Utah, the frigid cold of North Dakota and Ohio, or the heat (ambient temp 90°+) of our southern branches; our customers jobsite’s meet at least one of the conditions, often times multiple. Not to mention, the vague bullet point of “frequent operation in dirty air”, which is applicable to almost every construction site. As a result of meeting these conditions we choose to perform preventative maintenance at 250 hours to maximize our customers’ productivity .
Next we have Severe Operating Conditions. Of the conditions listed in this category, three factors are commonly on the equipment that we rent and sell:
- Extended Operation at low idle (more than 20% of hours)
- Frequent cold starts at temperatures below 32°F
- Frequent dry starts (starting after more than 72 hours of shutdown)
(Source: Caterpillar Operation and Maintenance Manual, D8T Track-Type Tractor. Mar. 2019)
We would all like to think that hours are not wasted idling machines but one hook up to most ECM’s will tell a different story. Moreover, frequent cold and dry starts as outlined above, support maintaining equipment on a 250-hour interval.
As the Vice President of Worldwide Machinery, I am certainly not writing this to tell someone they are doing anything incorrectly but I do hope it sheds light on the information in the manual and gives you helpful information for making your own decisions on how to maintain your fleet. Worldwide will continue to use 250 hour intervals to ensure maximum availability while the machine operates in our rental fleet and also to follow through on the Worldwide Machinery Advantage of supplying a high quality, long lasting machine for our customers from location to location and owner to owner.
What Preventative Maintenance schedule do you use on your own fleet?