A practical guide to learn to recognize the Symbology of Heavy Machinery 4 perfect options

A practical guide to learn to recognize the Symbology of Heavy Machinery.

 Heavy machinery is a marvelous engineering machine. To ensure the health of construction equipment, the operator must regularly monitor each of his many high-tech systems. Is commonly unknown, but what characterizes the dashboard of heavy machinery is the endless number of symbols that can appear. At parts conexion we show you how to interpret the symbols of heavy machinery and thus avoid severe damage to the machine.

 ISO symbology – that is, standardized – is used to indicate to the driver the good condition or possible faults that could affect the machine’s components. Then, let’s see how to learn to recognize them!

1.Primary heavy machinery symbols

Heavy machinery symbology is built from primary symbols that indicate a part of the system. By looking at the machine dash or console, the operator will be able to recognize the following symbols:


Hydraulic system






Hour meter

Each of these primary symbols points to a specific component. Whether we refer to the engine, the hydraulic system, the transmission, the brakes and any other part of the machinery.

2.Secondary heavy machinery symbols

In addition to the above, indicators that we call secondary symbols appear together. These provide some precision on the operating status of the component in question.

Parking lot





Low level

Medium level

High level





As you can see, these are quite intuitive symbols that are easily recognizable by any heavy machinery operator. Some will refer to the pressure or temperature of the component, while others will provide more details on the level or arrival of oil, air or coolant.

3.Combination of heavy machinery symbols

Taking into account the meaning of the primary and secondary symbols, we can combine the symbols to give more concrete indications.

Following this logic, we can quickly intuit what each button on the console is pointing to. For example; the symbols of levels + oil + transmission, give us as a result the combined symbol of Oil level of the transmission system. Another combination of heavy machinery symbols that would give information about fuel pressure, It would be the fuel + pressure symbols.

4.Heavy machinery warning symbols

In complex systems, it is quite common to see a notice indicated by a warning symbol on the dashboard of heavy machinery. These notices stand out for having an exclamation point or having the shape of a triangle.

Combined with the primary and secondary symbols, the system gives us more precision about the component in question and the nature of the problem. In most cases, these warnings are only intended to draw our attention to a component that should be watched. However, these warnings should be heeded before the problem causes damage to the machine.

Depending on the importance and urgency of the problem, one of the 3 alarm levels that exist will be activated.

Warning level 1

If the alert indicator is flashing, this means that the component does not require immediate action. This level only signals to the operator that a point in the system will need to be checked very soon.

Warning level 2

In this case, the alarm indicator and the action lamp blink at the same time. This alarm level alerts the operator that the action carried out at the time should be canceled or that the machine requires some type of maintenance.

Warning level 3

This time, the alarm indicator and action lamp blink, but the action alarm also sounds. This level is the most critical of the 3. For operator safety and to avoid damage to systems, heavy machinery needs to be safely shut down.

Learn the symbols of heavy machinery

It may seem difficult, it may be believed to have in mind and at all times all the icons that make up the symbols of heavy machinery.

However, this is something that is acquired with time and experience, especially with the latter, since it is continuous practice that will allow you to manage and fully understand the symbols.

However, considering that each indicator is actually made up of a combination of several standardized primary and secondary symbols, it shouldn’t be too complex to learn how to interpret them. This way you will be able to extend the useful life of your equipment, carrying out maintenance of heavy machinery at the right time.

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