Operators, here are some preventive maintenance tips to keep your loader in action.
Make sure you use the 966H wheel loader’s battery disconnect switch whenever the vehicle sits idle for a month or longer. The batteries will lose their charge when the switch is in the ON position. No charge means your loader will need a slave start to get back to work at the construction site.
Whatever you do, don’t confuse the battery disconnect switch and the ignition switch: the latter is used to turn off your loader. Using the disconnect switch to shut down the vehicle could fry out the loader’s electrical circuits! You’ll find this information in the CAUTION in WP 0004 00-6 of TM 5-3805-291-10 (Jan 10).
Battery disconnect switch instructions (click image to open full-sized PDF)
By the way, when the battery disconnect switch is turned off, battery power is retained for another 30 seconds. That gives the vehicle’s electronics enough time to properly shut down.
Hood Tilt Switch
Just below the battery disconnect switch is the toggle switch for the vehicle’s hood tilt. Pay close attention to the CAUTION in WP 0004 00-26 of TM 5-3805-291-10 (Jan 10).
Use the switch to open or close the hood only until the hood stops moving. By holding the switch up to the ON position, the hood will open. When the hood stops, you’ll hear a clicking noise. That’s your signal to release the switch. If you don’t, you’ll burn out the hood’s actuator motor! The toggle switch will automatically return to the middle position when you release it. The same goes for when lowering the hood, release the switch when you hear the clicking noise.
Engine Oil Level
Check the oil level on level or flat ground before operation while the engine is shut off. Open the service door on the right side of the vehicle and remove the dipstick. Wipe it off, slide it back in place and then remove it one more time to get a clean reading.
Transmission Oil Level
The transmission’s oil level sight gage is on the front of the transfer case, on the left side of the vehicle. The gage’s red indicator should be within the WARM IDLE range when the oil is warm and the engine is running at low idle.
Check to make sure the red indicator is within the cold start range when the oil is cold and the engine isn’t running. If necessary, open the fill cap and add oil through the filler tube.
Open the access door on the left-rear side of the vehicle to access the coolant level sight gage. You’ll find the gage on top of the radiator. With the engine off, check the level in the sight gage. It should be at least half full. Maintain the coolant level within the sight gage.
Hydraulic Oil Level
The loader’s hydraulic tank is on the left of the vehicle behind the cab. Before checking the tank’s oil level gage, make sure the loader’s lift arms are lowered, and the bucket is flat on the ground. That way you’ll get an accurate reading.
Check the oil level before operation with the engine shut off. Make sure the level is above the ADD mark on the sight. If necessary, remove the filler cap and slowly add oil.
Lube the Bucket
Pivot pins and lift arms on the wheel loader’s bucket need lots of lube to do their job.
Without lube, the bucket will start to squeak while it’s being raised or lowered. You’ll know something’s up when it starts to move erratically during construction operations.
The bucket’s grease fitting bank is located on the roadside of the vehicle at ground level. Each week, give each fitting three (3) to five (5) pumps of grease.
If a fitting is clogged and won’t take grease, report it. Your mechanic will replace the clogged fitting with NSN 4730-00-050-4208.