Guide to Heavy Equipment Field Service

Occasionally your heavy equipment will need repairs and service. When that happens, you may choose field service for construction equipment rather than transport your machinery to a shop.

There are several instances where booking field service for your equipment may be your best option. Learn more about what you can expect from field service and the most common types of repairs.

Field Service vs. In-Shop Repairs

You have two options when your equipment needs repairs. You can bring it into a shop for service, or you can have a trained technician visit your site and make the repairs there.

Field service is often ideal during emergency situations but may also be a good choice for basic maintenance and repairs. In-shop service is typically the best option if your equipment needs a major overhaul, such as a complete rebuild. Otherwise, the types of repairs that can be performed in the field and in the shop are similar.

Field repairs may be performed at any time and any day of the week. Typically, in-shop repairs only occur when a shop is open, usually during weekday business hours.

Common Reasons for Heavy Equipment Field Service

Field service has multiple benefits for businesses, starting with saving you the time, effort and expense of hauling your equipment into the shop. It can also keep your job site and project on schedule. Some of the most common reasons companies decide to have their equipment repaired in the field include:

  • The equipment can’t be moved: If a large piece of equipment is completely broken down, you may be unable to move it or transport it to a shop for repairs. Sometimes, trying to move an immobilized piece of equipment can make the damage worse. In those instances, scheduling field service makes sense.
  • The equipment is bulky: Heavy and oversized equipment can be challenging to transport. Sometimes, the cost of transporting large equipment is prohibitive, and it makes more financial sense to schedule field service.
  • The equipment needs service as soon as possible: Your job site is busy and needs to stay on schedule, and that means preventing downtime. Field service gets your equipment back up and running quickly to keep your project on track.

Different Types of Field Services Explained

Field service typically falls into one of two categories. You may need to schedule on-site repairs in emergencies. Another common reason for field service is preventive maintenance.

Emergency Field Service Repairs

If your heavy equipment is immobilized, emergency field service repair is likely your best option. A trained, certified technician will visit your job site to inspect the equipment and repair it.

You may need to schedule emergency field service repairs in the following situations:

  • The equipment’s transmission or engine is damaged
  • The equipment’s wheels or tracks are damaged
  • The equipment is too large to transport
  • You can’t afford extended downtime and need to get the equipment working again immediately

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Scheduled and Preventive Maintenance

Field service can also be an appropriate choice for preventive maintenance, particularly for large pieces of equipment. As with emergency field repair, this service involves a certified technician traveling to your job site and inspecting your equipment.

The frequency of the maintenance visits will depend on the equipment and its associated recommended service schedule.

One notable benefit of field service for scheduled preventive maintenance is minimizing downtime. Unless the technician identifies a point of concern, you won’t have to take a machine out of commission and lose a workday, as you can schedule the maintenance visits for after-hours or during breaks.

Equipment That Field Services Cover

Field service is often ideal for larger equipment, which can be difficult to transport to the shop. Examples of the types of equipment that benefit from field service include:

  • Material handlers
  • Excavators
  • Cold planers
  • Dozers
  • Compactors
  • Asphalt pavers
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Wheel loaders
  • Skid steers

Field service is an excellent choice for repairing and maintaining your company’s trucks, including articulated and off-highway models. This option may also be the best choice if your company uses generators for backup power or to provide electricity in remote areas, particularly for larger units. Maintenance services for generators can also be performed at your job site.

Common Types of Field Service Repairs

Our technicians can do a lot in the field, including transmission, engine and hydraulics repairs. When we dispatch a technician to your job site, they arrive in one of our 75 field service trucks. Our trucks are fully equipped with the equipment and tools they need to make the necessary repairs on the spot. They can also evaluate your equipment in the field and determine if it needs an upgrade such as a software update.

Some examples of commonly performed field repairs include:

  • Oil sampling: During oil sampling, a technician takes samples from coolant, fuel and oil, analyzes them and then makes recommendations based on the results. Oil sampling can detect minor issues early on, which cuts down on repair costs. It can also help to increase the value of your equipment if you decide to sell it.
  • Engine repairs: Engine repairs are a common reason for field service, as it’s usually difficult to transport equipment with a faulty engine. H.O. Penn’s technicians can repair diesel engines, generators and other engines in the field.
  • Hydraulics repairs: Today’s hydraulics systems are complex and need their maintenance and emergency repair requirements met by a trained professional.
  • Welding: Welding can be performed in the field, particularly if a part needs to be repaired or replaced. Often, welding up broken components costs less than replacing those parts with new ones.
  • Undercarriage repairs and maintenance: Equipment undercarriages can become cracked or misaligned after heavy use. Regular field maintenance can repair cracks while they are still small and correct misalignments before they cause problems during a project. If an equipment’s undercarriage becomes damaged, repairs can be completed in the field to get your equipment operational again quickly.

Schedule Cat® Equipment Field Service Today

H.O. Penn rents, sells and services Cat® heavy equipment. Our field services keep your job site on schedule while saving you time and money. If you need field service on the job, give us a call. We can send out a technician 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We’re also available for routine field service maintenance and repairs. Contact us today to schedule a visit or request a quote.

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