Tips for Maintaining Heavy Construction Equipment
The purchase of heavy construction equipment is a big investment for any business. You want to make sure you see a solid return on that investment, so it is worthwhile protecting your equipment with regular maintenance. Establishing a regular maintenance schedule is a simple way to avoid costly breakdowns, extend the life of your equipment and save you time and money.
Implement Regular Maintenance
Establishing a regular routine for inspecting and maintaining equipment is really important to ensure any issues or problems are identified and addressed. Without a regular routine, it is easy to let small problems develop into much bigger ones.
Your maintenance routine should include:
Checks for fluid levels, proper tire inflation, leaks in fluid lines, and/or any loose, cracked, or missing teeth on attachments’ cutting edges.
Regular maintenance needs (as per manufacturers’ guidance) such as oil changes or new brakes. It’s worthwhile scheduling these in advance to avoid lost productivity as you can plan around the machine’s downtime.
If you work in an environment where your equipment is exposed to particularly harsh conditions such as extreme dust you may need to adjust manufacturer recommendations and increase frequency of servicing.
Regular cleans! Debris and dirt can cause corrosion and other damage so ensuring your equipment is cleaned regularly can extend its lifetime.
Follow Manufacturer Recommendations
Any piece of heavy construction equipment will always come with manufacturers’ guidance on how it should be used. This guidance really needs to be read and followed. Equipment is always designed and built with a specific task in mind, with specific attachments and parts. The risk of equipment breakdown is much higher when used for jobs they are not designed for, repaired inappropriately, or used with incorrect attachments. It’s important for operators to be aware of how the machine should and should not be used, as well as following the manufacturers’ recommended maintenance schedule. This will help prevent machine failure and extend machine life.
Ensure appropriate equipment operation training
Your equipment will always last longer if the operator knows how to use it properly. Understanding a machine’s capabilities and limitations will mean there is less unnecessary wear and prevent damage.
Any quality equipment training program should include:
A review of the operating manual for the specific piece of equipment.
A demonstration of the equipment’s systems and controls.
Appropriate testing to ensure the operator has sufficient skills and knowledge for safe use.
A review of the necessary maintenance of the equipment.
A final step in maintaining your equipment is ensuring it is stored in a secure, dry location so it is protected from the elements. Keeping your equipment in a covered location, away from moisture and direct sunlight when not in use, will reduce the risk of rust, corrosion, and other degradation, and help extend the lifetime of the machine.
Every business wants to increase the productivity, efficiency and lifetime of their heavy construction equipment. One of the simplest and smartest ways to do this, is by setting up a regular and consistent maintenance schedule. With these tips, you can establish a solid plan for preventative maintenance, operation training, servicing and storage.
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