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Tips for Construction Equipment Maintenance

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After the 2020 hiatus, the construction industry is back on track, with a predicted CAGR of over 3% from 2023 to 2026.

So, if you’re involved in construction, you can look forward to busy times ahead. Are you ready for the onslaught?

Prepare yourself with these insights into the importance of equipment maintenance and how to set up an effective program for your fleet of construction machines.

What’s Involved in Equipment Maintenance?

There are two main types of maintenance involved in keeping your construction equipment in good order. These are:

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance tasks take place according to a schedule and don’t require any specialized skills. They include:

  • Lubrication
  • Oil and filter changes
  • Safety inspections
  • Pressure tests
  • Tire inspections
  • Checking transmission fluid and engine coolant levels
  • Checking the parking brake

You can also replace some small parts without a specialist.

Preventive Maintenance

This type of maintenance is a little more complex and usually involves a service technician. These experts inspect the machine for potential problems to avoid breakdowns.

These inspections are costly, so it’s best to reserve them for critical or aging machinery.

The Benefits of Maintaining Construction Equipment

Regular preventive maintenance and fastidious routine maintenance can impact your monthly budget. Yet, they have many benefits that make the extra expense worthwhile, such as:

Long-Term Cost Savings

Regular maintenance helps your machinery last longer and prevents small issues from becoming big, expensive ones.

One study showed that regular maintenance can reduce repair costs by up to 25%, and that’s without taking the cost of the machinery’s downtime into consideration.

Predictable Expenses

Unexpected breakdowns and malfunctions will cost your business money and may even cause you to lose clients.

Poorly maintained machines are prone to compound failures, which means one problem leads to another, resulting in even more expensive repairs or replacement costs.

It’s much easier to budget for fixed monthly maintenance costs for each machine than to find the money for unexpected issues.

When the time comes to trade your old machinery in for new construction machinery, well-maintained vehicles have a much higher trade-in or resale value.

Avoid Costly Replacements

Well-maintained machinery lasts longer. It will also perform better during its lifespan.

This saves you the expense and hassle of having to buy construction equipment sooner than anticipated.

Safety Aspects

As an employer, you’re responsible for your worker’s safety, but even the best safety gear won’t protect them from critical mechanical failures.

A sudden component failure could seriously injure a machine operator or bystander, and damage nearby equipment.

Better Efficiency

Routine maintenance improves your business efficiency from both a performance and a service perspective.

When your machines break down, you’ll need to remove them from your job site, causing frustrating delays for your clients and a potential snowball effect on upcoming work.

On top of this, you’ll need to reassign highly paid machine operators to menial tasks or compensate them for the time they spend standing around waiting for repairs.

Tips for an Effective Maintenance Program

Every top-notch maintenance program has three main components. These are:

  • Listing required routine maintenance tasks for each machine
  • Regular inspections
  • Replacing and adjusting worn parts

The following tips will help you stay on track with these basics:

Assign a Responsible Person

It’s best to place someone in charge of machine inspections and allocating maintenance tasks. You could do the job yourself, hire a fleet manager, or assign a senior employee to the task.

Empowering your machine operators with the authority to point out machinery performance issues or defects can help this person stay on top of maintenance tasks.

Keep a Paper Trail

You must set up a formal maintenance schedule, print it out, and place it in a prominent location in your workshop. You can decide on maintenance intervals based on four different factors, namely:

  • Seasonally or based on the weather (e.g., humidity, rain, or snow)
  • Periods such as monthly
  • Distances, like every 500 miles
  • Machine operating hours, for instance, every 5,000 hours

Consult your equipment manufacturer’s manual for guidance on these aspects. A schedule ensures accountability and helps the responsible person allocate their time most effectively.

Detailed records of completed maintenance tasks are a key component of managing your equipment properly. Even the best schedules are worthless if you don’t document completed tasks.

Record all your maintenance work either electronically or in an easily accessible ledger, arranged by the type of machinery. Some details to record include:

  • Date
  • Type of service
  • Observed irregularities
  • Part replaced
  • Details about the next service

These records are important for measuring your equipment’s performance and cost-effectiveness. They also come in handy if you need to make a warranty claim and the manufacturer wants proof of regular upkeep.

Stock Up on Equipment Parts

You can’t maintain your machinery without the things you need to do so. Make sure you’ve got all the necessary tools and spare parts to avoid delays and keep your machines ready to rumble.

You’ll use things like filters, springs, relays, and fittings often while maintaining your equipment, so make sure you’ve always got extras in stock.

You can shop for prominent manufacturers like Takeuchi, Wacker Neuson, and JLG parts online.

Plan for Success

When you undertake equipment maintenance from the moment you buy new construction equipment, you can significantly extend the life of your machinery to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

The planning and extra effort will pay off in cost-savings, increased productivity, and happy customers. In this way, a simple maintenance plan can reduce the stress associated with downtime and repairs and help grow your business.

Browse our blog for more of the best tips on how to streamline your life.