Many sites use heavier, bulky wear parts and ground engagement tools (G.E.T) thinking they are protecting their assets, when it is doing more harm than good.
If your loader buckets or excavator buckets are overweight or bulky, you will face increased resistance and friction when digging, reducing productivity and increasing maintenance costs.
Using these you will see less tonnes per hour, use more fuel, and put excess strain on the machine, than if you utilise a nice streamlined bucket that slices easily through the ground.
Persisting with bulky wear parts also means you are more likely to blow hydraulic hoses, crack booms and damage your bucket.
Operators are better off using thinner, lighter, high quality wear parts and ground engaging tools (G.E.T) that help reduce resistance.
You are not compromising on protection if you are using the right products, but you will see improved productivity and reduced maintenance costs.
It is also important to maintain ground engaging tools (G.E.T) which will similarly lead to improved fuel consumption and reduced stress on engines, linkages, hydraulic hoses, and other assemblies.
Fixed plant wear part weight:
Fixed plant machinery such as screen decks and apron feeders will also benefit from lighter, thinner wear parts, due to the efficiencies of ergonomics and aerodynamics.
Heavy, bulky wear plates on fixed plant machinery produces strain on the entire system, leading to more frequent maintenance schedules and increasing the likelihood of a breakdown.
For example, screen decks only work effectively if the screen ergonomics are working properly. If you install wear plates that are too heavy, you compromise those ergonomics.
Furthermore, given vibration is the main cause of mechanical failure in screen decks and other fixed plant machinery, anything that adds further stress on the system should be avoided where possible.
Lighter equals safer:
Bulky, heavy wear parts are not only more difficult and dangerous to install, but the associated increased maintenance schedules and likelihood of a breakdown add further risk.
By reducing the number of times you have to replace wear plates, you lessen the risk of being exposed to an accident. Working towards reducing breakdowns also drives positive safety outcomes.
As the hierarchy of control states, the safest way to do a job is not to do it. And the most dangerous job to do is the job that is unplanned.