Check body bolts to make sure they are snug and free of rust and wear.
12 • October 2021 | Towman.com
grease should be cleared prior to pumping in new lube as the fitting could have accident debris, rocks, dirt, or old paint mixed inside, which could cause a blockage or create friction on the slide portion. The manufacturer will specify which type of grease should be used for each unit, and it is usually a pressure and/or a water-resistant formula. Understanding the components will help prevent smaller issues from becoming large ones such as failures. One personal choice is to build an inspection process for the wheel lift and wrecker system. The inspections should include many different components, not just the obvious ones. Check hydraulic fluid levels and confirm the vent bolts are snug, as vibration tends to loosen these and cause small leaks with heated hydraulic oil. Often overlooked is the hydraulic filter. This unit should be changed every three to six months.
Some maintenance can be more visual than physical. Inspections should include checking for worn or loose items, stress cracks, fatigue, PTO leaks, loose attachment bolts, wheel lift pin bolts, wheel lift pins, strap attachment points, winch bracket, roller guides, leaks from hydraulic hoses, and winch motors. Knowing what to look for can help prevent long downtimes. For example, inspection of hydraulic hoses can involve more than just checking for leaks. Look closely for rub marks against metal where a wire tie or bracket might have broken and allowed the line to rub on a piece of metal or against another line. Search for tight turns in hoses that could have adverse effects on the life of the hose. Replace these lines if they show wear as it could cause a weak spot in the line and fail. These failures sometimes are more than just downtime and can create a big mess. A blown hydraulic line in