When your equipment seems to function just fine, it’s pretty tempting to defer maintenance to save on your operational budget. But that’s a lot like trying to defer employee paychecks to save on payroll. Eventually, your employees will stop working for you. Unless you stay on top of routine maintenance, your equipment will quit on you, too. Nothing devours your margins like operating in crisis mode after equipment failure.
The lesson? Never put off maintenance and repairs of your concrete equipment. But the more light and heavy machines you have, the more difficult it can be to keep an organized maintenance schedule. Use the following tips to help your equipment stay healthy longer.
Sensible Daily Routines
Your tools for concrete work run the gamut from simple hand tools to larger power tools to heavy equipment. With a little daily care between scheduled maintenance, they should serve you well for their anticipated lifecycles. Use this checklist whether the equipment in use comes back to your shop at the end of the day or stays on-site for the duration of the project.
- Wash, wipe or powerwash at day’s end. — Keep the item clean to avoid premature rusting or corrosion.
- Check air filters daily. — They can clog before you know it.
- Check oil daily — Engines and hydraulics that seem to be losing oil too quickly need immediate attention.
- Listen to your operators. — Ask to find out if they notice any unusual noises or performance behavior.
Use the Right Equipment
Finding skilled operators can be a challenge, but using the wrong equipment for the job can mean forking out for extra maintenance (or new machines) too soon. Does it make sense to use a skid-steer when your need a 600hp bulldozer? Of course not, not even if you don’t have an experienced operator at hand.
A better option may be to train your crews on all of your equipment. Then train some more. Not only should your equipment operators develop the skills for all your machines — when practical — they should also know enough about them to perform field maintenance and repairs.
Always Maintain per Manufacturer’s Guidelines
Nobody knows your equipment like the those who built it. To wring every dollar’s worth of production out of your machines, you need to believe and follow the manufacturers’ maintenance guidelines. For new equipment, the warranty may require it. Even machinery long out of warranty will benefit from the maintenance prescribed by the maker.
Use Software Maintenance Tracking Tools
Organizing equipment maintenance timetables can seem like a project larger than those you build. You can get a handle on it with any number of software programs on the market. While the initial set-up will take some serious time and concentration, once your program is up and running, it should take the burden off of manual tracking.
Many Enterprise Resource Programs (ERPs) for the concrete construction industry have equipement maintenance plugged right in. Not only can you stay organized with the software, integrated equipment features might also calculate your costs for more accurate job estimation, bidding and overhead cost planning.
Bring it in to Barnsco
What should you do when your concrete tool and equipment fleet is large but not enough to justify an entire new department that does nothing but take care of your machines? Easy. Bring your equipment to Barnsco Fleet Maintenance. Our experienced staff can keep your equipment in good working order on a proper maintenance schedule.
Don’t risk costly breakdowns in the middle of a job. Give Barnsco Fleet Maintenance a call today.