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How to make your equipment last.

Neil from Messick's here. I have to talk to you today about a very special and interesting Kubota RTV that we just traded in. This guy has a whopping 7,386 hours on it. We're going to talk just a little bit today about how long you can expect equipment to last and some of the things that you should be able to do in order to help it get these really high hour numbers. When we're talking with customers, people often approach a piece of equipment and ask specifically, "How long is the engine going to last?" In a modern piece of equipment, the engine more often than not is usually not the limiting factor and how long a piece of machine really will hold up. 


When you look at these small diesel engines, these things are incredibly rugged and can run for an incredible amount of time. The most common application for a small Kubota diesel engine is actually not in their equipment bit, believe it or not, it's in their reefer trucks. Very many of the trucks that you see going up and down the road with refrigerated load in the back are powered by little Kubota diesel engines. It's not at all unusual in order to see those things run for 20,000 hours or so before they have to be replaced. 


Now, they are being run well, they're having fluids changed, they've got fresh filters on them, they're running up the temperature, but you really look that's a hard load. 

They're being switched on and off and they hit amazing numbers of hours. That's going to be common among across a lot of other stuff as well. This RTV even at 7,300 hours the engine's got some blow-by and it can probably use a new head gasket but it still runs. 


The rear end of this machine has now taken a crap. It is probably going to take more money into it than what it really is worth for most people. That's what you're often going to see. If you start looking through that equipment, you're going to see things like transmissions wearing out, implement starting to keep more money [unintelligible 00:01:54] pushings and that kind of stuff. 


They just start to add up to more money than what the machine is really worth to continue to keep it in operation. The engine is not the first thing that we often look at when we're trading a piece of equipment, it's the rest of the machine. That's not to say that you shouldn't keep an eye on that and care for your equipment. Doing things like changing your fluids according to the owner's manual and the recommended intervals that they have there, using the right fluids when you do that is going to really help the longevity of all this stuff. 


When we look at those engines specifically, it's right about the 4,000 to 5,000-hour mark that we start to look a little bit more closely the machine in order to see what kind of wear and tear it has and how it's been upcap, but before that point, you'd be really surprised what some people seem to get away with. In summary, if you're evaluating a piece of equipment for trade-in as a dealership or you're picking up a used piece, you certainly do want to go through and look at the engine. Realize that you're going to start to bump up with problems in other areas of the machine long before you exhaust the potential that engine has. 


Be going around looking at things like transmissions and axles and implements and that kind of stuff for where you're really going to run into some of that unexpected wear and tear. If you've got a piece of equipment yourself and you're really pushing those hours do be keeping after the periodic maintenance, changing the filters and fluids appropriately according to the owner's manuals running around for the grease gun and just take it excess care of that machine, we absolutely can tell when guys do that when we go to trade those pieces back in again. 


If you're going through the buying process of a piece of equipment, if you have parts or service needs that we can help with, give us a call at Messick's. We're available at 800-222-3373 or online at 

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