5 Construction Equipment Problems You Can't Ignore (and How To Fix Them!)

Don't let equipment breakdowns stall your construction project! Fleetworks Inc. identifies 5 common problems & solutions: engine issues, hydraulics, electrics, tires/tracks, & warning lights. Learn how to prevent costly downtime & keep your crew safe.

5 Construction Equipment Problems You Can't Ignore (and How To Fix Them!)

Imagine this: you're on a tight deadline for a crucial project. Your crew is ready, materials are prepped, but then – your excavator coughs, sputters, and dies. Downtime on construction equipment is a costly headache, causing delays, impacting budgets, and jeopardizing worker safety. 

But don't panic! Here at Fleetworks Inc., we understand the pressure you face. That's why we've compiled a list of the 5 most common construction equipment problems you simply can't ignore — along with solutions to get you back on track quickly and efficiently.

Engine Issues: The Heart of the Problem

The engine is the lifeblood of your construction equipment. Without proper maintenance, problems like clogged air filters, dirty oil, or failing spark plugs can cripple your operations, Especially since engine problems account for a large percentage of construction equipment downtime. Ignoring these issues can lead to costly repairs and even engine failure, putting a major dent in your project timeline and budget.

Solutions for a Healthy Engine

  • Preventative Maintenance is Key: Implement a regular preventative maintenance schedule for oil changes, filter replacements, and fluid checks. A consistent schedule helps catch minor issues before they snowball into major problems, which not only saves you money on heavy equipment repair costs but also extends the lifespan of your engine. And what’s nice is you can DIY preventative maintenance!
  • Invest in Quality Products: Don't skimp on lubricants and filters. Invest in high-quality products recommended by your equipment manufacturer. Using the wrong oil or a cheap filter might seem like a cost-saving measure initially, but it can lead to premature engine wear and potential damage in the long run.
  • Train Your Operators: Train your operators to identify early warning signs of engine trouble, like unusual noises or vibrations. Empowering your crew to recognize these signs allows them to report issues promptly, enabling you to address problems before they escalate.

Hydraulic System Problems: Keeping the Power Flowing

Construction equipment relies heavily on hydraulic systems for powering functions like lifting, digging, and pushing. Leaks, contaminated fluids, or worn components can significantly impact performance. For instance, a leaky hydraulic hose can lead to a loss of power, hindering productivity and potentially causing safety hazards.

Solutions for a Smooth-Running Hydraulic System

  • Regular Inspections are Crucial: Regularly inspect hydraulic lines and hoses for cracks, wear, or leaks. Early detection of a small leak prevents a larger problem down the road.
  • Timely Fluid Changes Matter: Schedule timely hydraulic fluid changes to prevent contamination and wear on components. Contaminated fluid can damage pumps, valves, and cylinders, leading to expensive construction equipment repairs.
  • Don't Delay Repairs: Address any hydraulic issues promptly to avoid further damage. Ignoring a minor leak can lead to a complete system breakdown, causing significant downtime and associated costs.

Electrical System Faults: A Shocking Reality

Modern construction equipment relies heavily on complex electrical systems. Faulty batteries, loose connections, or malfunctioning sensors can cause a range of problems, from flickering lights to complete loss of power. Did you know a simple dead battery can bring your entire project to a standstill?

Solutions to Keep Your Electrical System Charged Up

  • Maintain a Clean System: Maintain a clean and corrosion-free electrical system by checking connections regularly. Corrosion can disrupt the flow of electricity, leading to malfunctions.
  • Test and Replace Batteries: Test batteries periodically and replace them when they reach the end of their lifespan. A failing battery can leave you stranded and cause delays.
  • Invest in a Multimeter: Invest in a digital multimeter for troubleshooting basic electrical problems. A multimeter allows your equipment mechanic to diagnose electrical issues quickly and efficiently.

Tire and Track Issues: Keeping You on the Right Track

Construction sites often present challenging terrain, leading to uneven wear and tear on tires and tracks. Underinflated tires or damaged tracks can lead to blowouts, decreased traction, and even equipment damage. Proper tire and track maintenance is crucial for ensuring operator safety and preventing accidents.

Solutions for Optimal Traction

  • Regular Inspections are Key: Conduct regular tire inspections to check for wear, damage, and proper inflation. Uneven wear or improper inflation can lead to premature tire failure and potential safety hazards.
  • Rotate Your Tires: Rotate tires frequently to ensure even wear. This extends the lifespan of your tires and saves you money on replacements in the long run.
  • Replace Damaged Tracks Promptly: Don't wait to replace damaged tracks. Operating with damaged tracks can cause further damage to your equipment and potentially lead to accidents.

Ignoring Warning Lights and Indicators: A Recipe for Disaster

Modern construction equipment is equipped with a sophisticated network of warning lights and indicators. These act as your early warning system for potential problems. Think of warning lights like the check engine light in your car. Ignoring them can lead to a minor issue snowballing into a major repair, resulting in significant downtime and construction equipment repair costs.

Solutions for Heeding the Warning Signs

  • Educate Your Operators: Train your operators to understand the meaning of different warning lights and indicators. Equipping your crew with this knowledge empowers them to identify potential problems before they escalate.
  • Develop a Protocol: Develop a protocol for addressing warning lights promptly and appropriately. This protocol should outline the steps operators need to take depending on the specific warning light.
  • Seek Professional Help: Don't hesitate to seek professional help from a qualified equipment mechanic if a warning light persists. Ignoring a persistent warning light can lead to serious damage and potentially put your operators at risk.

Final Words

By recognizing the warning signs of common construction equipment problems and taking proactive steps, you can minimize downtime and keep your projects on track. Remember, Fleetworks Inc. is your one-stop shop for all your construction equipment repair needs. Our team of certified equipment mechanics is equipped to handle a wide range of issues, from routine maintenance to complex repairs on excavators, backhoes, bulldozers, and other construction equipment. We also offer a comprehensive selection of genuine parts to ensure your equipment is operating at peak performance.

Don't let equipment breakdowns disrupt your construction projects! Contact Fleetworks Inc. today to schedule a maintenance inspection or discuss your specific repair needs. Visit our website or call us to speak with a qualified technician. We're committed to helping you keep your construction equipment running smoothly and efficiently, so you can focus on getting the job done.

Repair Shop Locations

Fleetworks Inc. is proud to have expanded to three locations across California, providing a wide-range of truck repair & fleet services from our locations in Oakland, Santa Fe Springs, Riverside, & the surrounding areas.

Santa Fe Location

14011 Marquardt Ave, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670


Oakland Location

72 – 98th Ave. Oakland, CA 94603


Riverside Location

*Equipment Service & Repairs only*

1310 Dodson Way, Riverside CA, 92507