Cranes are a necessity in the construction industry. By using their hooks and booms, cranes…
Heavy Machinery Care Routine
In the past, implementing a Preventative Maintenance program into your heavy machinery care routine was considered a costly and unnecessary decision. It was often a scenario where the mindset was to fight the problems as they arose with heavy equipment, instead of performing the preventative care necessary to keep breakdowns from occurring in the first place.
Yet, as it is well documented that preventative maintenance keeps breakdowns to a minimum, and when breakdowns occur, they are limited to less costly and quicker repairs being needed, we’re seeing the implementation of preventative maintenance programs in shops much more frequently than before. A perfect time to implement such a program is when you are winterizing your heavy equipment. If you’re already prepping your equipment, checking fluids, and replacing worn parts to ensure it will run through the rougher weather, why not go ahead and put a preventative maintenance program into place?
The benefits you’ll see that are nearly instantaneous are:
Problems With Machinery Are Caught Early
Instead of a hydraulic pump completely blown and in need of replacement, you notice the leaking hydraulic fluid, and the seals can be replaced. These are the type of immediate cost and labor savings that a preventative maintenance program can ensure that you will see almost immediately when you put a preventative maintenance program in place.
Everyone knows that if you continue to run a piece of machinery on a failing part, you will see a continuous downhill slide in that machinery’s performance. You can go from a few failing seals to a pump, seals, and blown lines quickly if you don’t address the problem when it is in the beginning stages.
Minimizing Fuel And Other Fluid Waste
Let’s face it, fuel and other fluids are not cheap. It’s a costly venture to own and operate heavy equipment. The price of oil for a front-end loader alone can quickly drain your vendor credit account. Multiply that expense by every piece of machinery you’re running in your fleet, and you have a major expense on your hands.
When you’re operating your machinery at less than optimum performance, you’re putting equipment drag into play on your fluids and fuel levels. You’ll burn through your fuel at an accelerated speed, and depending on the maintenance that piece of machinery needs, you may very well run through all of the machine’s other fluids at breakneck speed as well.
The Number Of Major Repairs Are Decreased with Preventative Maintenance
If you catch a breakdown in the early stages, you can prevent major parts from being destroyed. As we discussed earlier, it’s much easier and cheaper to replace seals than it is to replace the entire hydraulic pump. If you allow a failing part to affect every part down the line, you’re turning an already fragile situation into a potentially harmful and very expensive breakdown, where the entire issue could be resolved with just a few seals being replaced.
Protects Employees From Machinery That Isn’t Operating Safely
The last thing, any heavy equipment owner needs is an OSHA recordable. Not only are you risking such an occurrence by not properly maintaining your heavy equipment, but when OSHA shows up on-site, they will expect to see every maintenance record that you have on that piece of equipment.
When you put a reliable preventative maintenance program or a CMMS into place, you arm yourself with records that are indisputable, and with the knowledge that you did everything possible to protect your employees from the harm that can come when they run faulty equipment.
Extends Heavy Equipment Life By Significant Time Periods
We all want to get the maximum mileage out of our heavy equipment. It is expensive to purchase, and if you’re not getting maximum value from your heavy equipment, it is a huge waste of your hard-earned money. Why not properly maintain your equipment and ensure that every engine hour possible is worked on your equipment?
When you implement a preventative maintenance program and address minor issues with your equipment while they are still minor, you’re maximizing your equipment hours and preventing small parts breakdown from becoming time and labor-consuming major breakdowns. By simply addressing your equipment needs in a timely and preventative fashion, you can and will see major breakdowns decrease. In addition, you will extend the life of your equipment every time by reducing wear and stress on the machinery, and ensuring that the equipment maintenance is addressed on time and with the proper frequency as recommended by the manufacturer.