Earthmoving News

Let’s Be Clair: Maintenance Matters

Every business needs its equipment to be available for use whenever required. Further, all your equipment must be in good working order so operators can complete their tasks without breakdowns or other complications.

The key to keeping your plant and equipment in good working order is an effective maintenance schedule. Good maintenance has plenty of benefits. It maximises capital expenditure and return on investment (ROI). It saves time and money by minimising downtime and ensuring reliable service to staff, customers and consumers.

NTI’s Mobile Plant & Equipment Risk Engineer, Hayden Reed, says “maximising ROI depends strongly on good maintenance. If a vehicle or other equipment is unusable, it can’t generate revenue; it’s a cost.”

“Maintenance is a way to maintain a certain function of an asset whilst also maximising the residual value of the asset. It’s essentially just a mixture of those two functions.”

Maintenance is an investment, not a cost. Skimping on maintenance can lead to unpre-dictable failures and revenue losses.

Costs are incurred as the equipment wears. Resetting to a ‘cost per hour’ format enables you to have a deeper understanding.

Managing maintenance costs is vital to your long-term success. Trying to minimise maintenance costs will most likely result in higher Total cost in Ownership (TCO). Aiming to achieve the lowest cost per hour over the entire life of the asset should enable you to make a long term view of expenditure.

Clean: it’s easier to identify potential faults on clean equipment (and it’s less likely to catch fire or break down. It’s a simple, low-cost practice that also presents your business to clients in a positive light.

Lubricate: most modern equipment no longer requires continuous lubrication. However, it remains critical to keeping your equipment in good condition. If lubrication is inadequate, damage will be almost instantaneous, and it can dramatically reduce the equipment’s operating life.

Adjust: it’s vital to maintain adjustment of components within manufacturer specifications. Doing so will prolong service life and reduce running costs

Inspect: inspections (by experienced and observant personnel) can prevent breakdowns. Arguably the most important of these is the equipment operator’s daily pre-start inspection. Further inspections are best carried out by skilled maintenance personnel at scheduled services to identify any pending issues.

Repair: repairs are best undertaken by experienced maintenance personnel with a thorough knowledge of the equipment, as they will be able to advise the most cost-effective solutions. A structured repair process ensures that all maintenance issues raised are planned and completed before the machine breaks down and further damage is done.

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