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2016WinterShotcreteEMag

Nozzleman Knowledge Is Your Compressor Trying to Tell You Something? Warning signs that compressor failure could be in your future By Oscar Duckworth Anyone can check the fuel, oil, and coolant level of an air compressor prior to use. Unfortunately, these basic steps overlook critically important on-job maintenance essentials that, if ignored, have caused countless costly compressor failures. An air compressor used for shotcrete service requires specific on-job inspection, use, and maintenance procedures. Do you and your crew know what they are? If It’s Running, Don’t Mess With It A compressor that starts easily and runs smoothly may not initially appear in need of immediate maintenance. The classic phrase, “If it’s running, don’t mess with it,” seems ideally suited for air compressors used in shotcrete service. Although most workers can demonstrate how to fuel a compressor or check engine oil, few can provide more than casual information regarding operation, care, and maintenance. Worse, signs of compressor trouble often go overlooked because the symptoms are not well understood. Routine air compressor maintenance is usually performed at certain intervals defined in the manufacturer’s literature. Like other construction equipment, lubrication, filters, and other scheduled maintenance by qualified personnel is the best method to assure reliable operation. Scheduled maintenance however, cannot take the place of the proper operation, daily inspection, and awareness of potential trouble by on-job personnel. Although portable air compressors’ primary components have not changed dramatically in decades, reliability and longevity have steadily increased. With newer models, low maintenance is an expectation. But even the newest models, when used in shotcrete operations, require specific on-job maintenance steps. Shotcrete compressors operate almost continuously at the maximum 42 Shotcrete • Winter 2016


2016WinterShotcreteEMag
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