There are a wide variety of factors to maintaining pile driving rigs and drilling rigs that can be overlooked during the completion of heavy construction projects with broad scopes and lengthy schedules. Due to the nature of the work they perform, drilling rigs are subject to considerable exposure to dust, debris, and harsh conditions. It is important to perform oil and lubricant analysis to determine if there has been degradation during every phase of the project.
Pile driving rigs also require considerable analysis to ensure optimal performance and avoid costly downtime, repairs, or outright malfunction. While most pile and drill operators understand the importance of maintenance, oil and lubricant analyses can help keep all equipment fully operational.
Whether you’re looking into drilling equipment rental or maintaining your own fleet of piling and drilling equipment, you should have a comprehensive plan for analyzing oil and lubricants and should develop and implement this into your ongoing maintenance schedule and inspections.
Key Benefits of Oil & Lubricant Analysis
The key benefits of an oil and lubricant analysis are multi-faceted and will help ensure proper operation to keep your crews in the field working, not waiting on expensive repairs or maintenance.
A detailed analysis can save operators and contractors significant money in the long term when comparing conventional oil and lubricant changes which can drain oil that is still lubricating all technical systems properly.
Another considerable benefit is that analyses are a proactive solution and not a reactive solution which means you will avoid unexpected work stoppages or equipment malfunction. At its basic level, an oil analysis is designed to get the most out of your lubricants to help save money while ensuring your equipment is operating correctly and not exposed to seizure or mechanical breakdown.
Pile driving rigs and drilling equipment are composed of thousands of moving parts, and by having a clear picture of the condition of your oil, you can sometimes keep the oil and lubricants in the system longer to save money on replacement costs and downtime for equipment maintenance or repair.
What is an Oil Analysis?
Fundamentally, an oil analysis takes a sample of the oil in your equipment and evaluates its critical properties, including suspended contaminants and wear debris across every system. It can be implemented in your weekly or monthly inspection checklists and yearly troubleshooting or maintenance.
Another benefit of an oil analysis is that when conducted over more extended periods of time, it can help to establish certain baselines over equipment’s lifespan, which will ultimately lead to longer operation and can help to eliminate costly repairs. Pile driving equipment rental is an attractive option for many operators and contractors for this reason alone. When you work with a trusted vendor, you can let them handle the maintenance and analysis without having to deal with the logistics of fleet maintenance across numerous sites or storage facilities.
Who Should Perform a Lubricant Analysis?
There is no industry standard answer to this question, and approaches can be influenced by equipment age, project scope, and site conditions. These can range from no analysis at all and changing oil and lubricants at established milestones or intervals to standardized, routine sampling.
The sampling process is relatively straightforward and can be conducted at varying intervals, though it’s the analysis that presents more challenges and complexity.
Lubrication engineers and tribologists perform specialized tests and can thoroughly analyze lubrication and the effects of wear and tear on any machinery.
Systems and Best Practices
There are no specific guidelines on this topic though these solutions can help operators at any scale develop and implement a comprehensive oil analysis plan.
When identifying a partner to complete your oil analysis, opt for one that offers a clearly defined schedule for sampling intervals, i.e., bi-monthly, monthly, quarterly. Once this protocol is established, it’s imperative to maintain this schedule for the duration of the equipment’s lifespan. They should also be able to clearly explain their analysis and recommend solutions to optimize lubrication.
Some manufacturers offer in-house oil analysis though it is often best to go with a third-party analysis as the lab is independent and has no vested interest in the results. While manufacturer labs may offer complimentary testing, the benefits of an independent lab often outweigh those initial savings.
An in-depth analysis will be prepared considering a wide variety of factors to deliver a comprehensive snapshot of oil quality. It should include a viscosity check, total acid number, which shows the useful lifespan of the lubricant, any presence of water contamination, the elemental content, which indicates contamination by petroleum, additives, and wear.
With over fifty years of experience selling and renting drilling and pile driving equipment, RPI Equipment’s service technicians are experienced in troubleshooting and analyzing equipment during every phase of its lifespan.
Preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to maintain proper operation. By conducting regular oil inspections, owners and operators can help keep their equipment in the field and avoid costly repairs or downtime.