Effective Ways to Keep Up With Equipment Maintenance

The saying “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” is too often the way some view construction equipment maintenance. Why would you pay for service on your equipment if there’s nothing wrong with it, Right? …Wrong!!!! Believe it or not, there are several reasons. Construction equipment is an investment, one that requires time and money to keep in optimal shape. Construction equipment is often extremely expensive, and keeping up with the proper maintenance is the first step in maximizing usage out of each item. The benefits of having this function within an organization can include:

  • Safer Workplace – Planned work is inherently safer to perform than unplanned tasks
  • Labour Productivity increases up to 60%
  • Ability to collect and analyze data for failure analysis/trending
  • Accurate Budget Forecasting
  • The ability to measure workload and compliance to process

The prime objective of good maintenance planning and scheduling is to allow maintenance personnel to prepare and perform the required task in a safe and cost effective manner without encountering time wasting delays.

Here are five tips that can make you a more effective Planner/Scheduler.

  1. Refer to Your Trained Operator–  Operator training often occurs once at the beginning of an equipment purchase; this particular person plays an important role in the maintenance process. Those who are trained on a specific piece of equipment are more likely to use, store and transport the equipment and will be the best person to identify any problems in its early stages. Once equipment issues arise and are recognized, fixing the issue is made easier and less expensive.
  2. Build a culture of teamwork with your Supply Function- Parts and Materials are one of the most important aspects of successful planning and scheduling. Given the importance of this, a lot of organizations are ensuring that their supply/warehouse personnel attend the maintenance planning/scheduling meetings that occur weekly in most cases. In some cases, a Materials Coordinator role has been established to ensure there is supply/warehouse buy-in at these meetings and that missed items or delayed parts are identified prior to locking in a planned maintenance schedule. Just like planners, these Materials Coordinators have KPI measures that they will be measured against.  For the business it is a win-win situation in reducing delays and ensuring that work is performed safely.
  3. Maximize Access to Field Support- Not all equipment issues can be handled internally, and this is where the need for a reputable dealer comes into play. During the purchasing process, establishing a relationship with a supplier or dealer is extremely important. When any problems or equipment maintenance issues occur, your dealer can provide you with the proper customer service and technical support you need. Some of the duties of the field support includes;
    • Analyze issues and develop resolutions in a timely fashion.
    • Provides guidance and training to customer personnel in establishing Educate customer about the product operation and maintenance procedures.
    • Complete service orders and service reports in a timely manner.
    • Attend educational workshops and trainings to develop sufficient knowledge to conduct field support activities.
    • Develop training programs to assist support engineers to acquire necessary product expertise.
  4. Keep up with Scheduled Maintenance- Despite its ability to withstand a tremendous amount of wear and tear, construction equipment still needs routine maintenance. Many pieces are scheduled to be serviced once a year, and keeping this routine up to speed is one way to make sure you are maximizing the value out of each piece of equipment. Yearly maintenance allows for equipment to operate at an optimal performance level, and can prevent larger and costlier problems that may arise in the future. In addition to keeping your construction machinery in peak condition, software updates are just as important. An easy way to make sure your construction software is up-to-date is by installing all updates as they are released.
  5. Analyze completed work and continuously improve- As part of the Continuous Improvement Process, maintenance planners need to analyze the work performed with the responsible Supervisor(s) and quickly make changes to any items that need attention. Performing these changes will ensure that tasks will run smoothly when executed next time. Items that may need changing would be:
    • Task Duration
    • Materials or quantity of materials
    • Work steps out of sequence
    • Labour requirements under/over resourced
    • 3rd Part requirements: scaffold, hire equipment, cranes, extra labour
    • Master data changes to strategies and plans

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