Recurring causes of machine fire outbreaks

Three elements will have to be considered, the oil, the engine that heats the oil and what will trigger a spark.

Oil is omnipresent in public works machines such as excavators equipped with hydraulic cylinders. With engines that overheat as a result of continuous work in the quarry or on a construction site, the oil is very hot, and a fire has quickly started in the event of a hydraulic hose failure.

Of course, the origin of the fire can be external, but in most cases, it is a short circuit or a bare electrical cable that triggers a spark. The start of a fire in case of contact with the oil (previously heated by the engine) will trigger a larger fire.

Dumpers are also victims of fire. This is evidenced by the dumper below, the spare parts for which are available at Codimatra.

Dumper-victim-of-fire

Good practices to prevent fires

- Equipment is important, always place fire extinguishers within reach and check if they are functional. And always notify the fire brigade as soon as a fire starts (even if you assess that the fire is manageable or under control).

- Training and prevention of teams and the machine operator, at the slightest sign of the start of a fire, the driver must quickly get out of the cab.

- Clean your construction equipment from flammable trash (grease traps, fuel tank, green waste) accumulated during waste.

- Never leave engine oil level control cloths in the diesel engine compartment.

- Store battery boxes properly: no steel tools near terminals that could accidentally come into contact with the terminals.

- Store construction or industrial materials away from flammable sources and in an enclosed area.

- Regular inspection and maintenance of the machine, especially of electrical circuits in poor condition that may cause the fire.

The driver's cab, a part that often catches fire

To ensure his own safety and that of his colleagues, the driver must be vigilant at the slightest sign or smell of a fire because he is quickly exposed to flames. It cannot be repeated enough that it is important to train and warn your teams of the dangers associated with the use of such public works machinery.

And as proof, some of the machines intended for deconstruction to remove spare parts have suffered fires. And for these, the cabin was burned down. If your machine is still functional and you need a cabin that complies with the regulations in France, you can find it at Codimatra.

Machines with a fire protection system

According to the manufacturers, the most recent models sometimes benefit from a system that protects the machine and the driver from fire starts.

Most of the time it is a pressure sprinkler system connected to a fire extinguisher tank. System copied from rally cars.

For the others, it is possible to opt for the addition of fire-fighting equipment that can be provided by specialized companies.

In the field of fire machine protection, Caterpillar is a good student.

Indeed, on the bull D10T2 or the 777G dumper, there is a fire safety device that detects and smothers fire. It triggers a fire extinguishing agent that cools the overheated parts and smothers the fuel to reduce oxygen and extinguish the fire.

In some applications such as steel mills, hydraulic oil from base oil is replaced by a water-soap mix that limits firing in the event of contact with burning foundry residues.

If you want to buy a new machine or spare parts to allow you to continue working:

Our selection of machines and spare parts available for sale:

Excavators

Dumpers

Complete cabin

Spare parts for motors

You can also benefit from repair and overhaul services at Codimatra.