Just like any type of machinery, heavy equipment needs to be regularly serviced and maintained to operate at its maximum potential and to minimise breakdowns and downtime on the job. In fact, caring for heavy equipment is even more vital, due to the fact that this equipment is being put to the test and performing hard labour every time it is used.
Let’s take a look at some handy heavy equipment maintenance tips to help extend the life of your equipment and heavy machinery.
1 - Book In for Regular Servicing With A Heavy Machinery Service Centre
Whether it be crane servicing or an EWP service (elevated work platform), no matter what type of heavy machinery you regularly use, if you book in for regular servicing from a qualified service centre, you’ll naturally extend the life of your valuable equipment.
Don’t wait for your heavy equipment to actually break down before calling in a maintenance and repair service. Just like people have their car regularly serviced by a qualified mechanic, your business’s machinery also needs to be serviced on a regular basis to ensure it continues to function and is also safe.
2 - Plan Your Maintenance Schedule
Everything works better with a plan. More importantly, if you plan out a maintenance schedule - whether it be for servicing or general cleaning and maintenance of equipment - you and your employees won’t forget to do it.
Maintenance schedules and plans work as a road map to ensuring the longevity of your machinery as well as a constant reminder of what has to be done and when.
For duties to be carried out by staff members, display a copy of the schedule somewhere that’s readily visible, such as in a lunchroom.
3 - Keep Logbooks To Record Daily Use
Keeping logbooks is always a positive idea, as it gives you the history of a piece of equipment. Things to include in the logbook for each item of equipment or heavy machinery are how many hours it was used on a given day, any issues or problems with the machinery that needs to be addressed, the last time the equipment was serviced, any repair work that has been carried out and when, as well as when it was last cleaned and freshly lubricated.
Logbooks offer an intimate source of information on each piece of equipment. It’s not hard to fill out a logbook each day. It will only take a few minutes at the end of a shift or after repairs or servicing have been carried out.
4 - Clean and Lubricate Your Machinery Regularly
It was mentioned in the logbook section above about cleaning and lubricating machinery on a regular basis and in between official equipment services. Cleaning equipment doesn’t just make it look nice. It will actually help extend the life of a piece of machinery. Once free of dirt and debris, it’s also easier to spot any problems on a clean machine.
Regular lubrication is also important. Things like topping up the oil or hydraulic fluid, oil changing and adding fresh grease to moving parts. These tasks can generally be done by employees, as well as by your service technician.
5 - Regular Monitoring and Inspections Should Become a Habit
Make it a habit to regularly monitor the performance of machinery and to perform regular visual inspections. This way, you’ll catch problems early before they can present a major issue. Doing this is also a way of ensuring the safety of anyone operating the machinery or people in the vicinity. Monitoring and inspections are about performance as well as safety.
6 - Train Employees In Proper Use of the Equipment
To get the most out of your machinery and to guarantee that it remains in sound working condition and lasts longer, employees that are charged with operating equipment and machinery need to be fully trained in correct operational procedures.
Without adequate training, misuse of machinery or improper use will lead to added wear and tear, breakdowns and possibly even accidents in the workplace.
If you follow the steps in this heavy equipment maintenance guide and book your machinery in for regular servicing, there’s no reason why the equipment won’t serve your business well for many years to come.