How to Repair Caterpillar 518 Skidders

by Amy Rodriguez; Updated September 26, 2017

Heavy machinery, such as Caterpillar's 518 skidder, requires periodic maintenance for proper operation in the field. Skidders are mainly used for moving heavy items on a job site, such as logs. The machine must hold and transport these heavy objects in a timely manner. However, an unexpected 518 skidder malfunction can stop an entire job site from functioning. As a result, the skidder will require a precise and rapid repair process.

Visually verify the winch oil level through its viewing cut out on the skidder. The winch cannot haul or move properly without an adequate oil level. Refill as necessary.

Inspect and adjust the winch spool and cable. Make sure there is no excessive slack on the cable. Replace the cable if it is damaged or stretched.

Confirm that the winch drive shaft is lubricated generously with grease. Add more grease, if necessary. A dry drive shaft can easily snap from weight stresses.

Check all oil levels for the transmission, hydraulics and engine. Add oil, if necessary. Low oil levels can cause the mechanical parts to bind and contribute to engine damage.

Empty the fuel tank out. Make sure there is no sediment remaining within the tank. Sediment, such as dirt or sand, can easily infiltrate the 518 skidder's fuel tank during normal operation. However, the sediment can build up over time, causing clogs within the fuel system.

Place the battery tester's leads onto the 518 skidder's battery contacts. Verify that the battery is still operational. Replace the battery if it cannot hold a charge. In addition, confirm that the battery's electrolyte level is adequate. Low electrolyte levels may indicate a bad battery.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities.

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