When a piece of equipment breaks down on site, rental agreements, subcontractor contracts and other arrangements generally make it clear who gets to open the hood and start tinkering. But heavy equipment made in the last two decades increasingly relies on digital components for many basic functions. Embedded computer systems oversee electronically controlled hydraulics and regulate engine behavior and emissions-control systems. The tools to access these firmware and software systems are not always easy to come by, and in some cases repairs can’t be done without working directly with a manufacturer-approved dealer or technician. Some repairs may require a digital handshake to take effect.
Reprinted courtesy of Jeff Rubenstone, Engineering News-Record
Mr. Rubenstone may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org