Construction equipment is a huge investment, so you need to take steps to ensure its proper care. Even if you only own one or two machines, you probably have tens of thousands of dollars invested. Make the most of that investment by committing to routine maintenance. Here are the top construction machine maintenance tips to follow.
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Construction Machine Maintenance Tips
Maintenance extends the life of the machine by ensuring it operates at peak efficiency. The problem is that there’s a lot of advice on the internet about how to go about it. So let’s break through the noise and get a handle on proper maintenance techniques.
The first thing to understand is that there are two categories of maintenance – routine and preventative. Both have their unique benefits and are absolutely essential to the health of the machine. However, many people use them interchangeably when they are distinctly different.
Routine maintenance is the standard process that all equipment undergoes. It generally happens on a fixed schedule and is found in the operator’s manual. Routine maintenance includes tasks like checking the oil, fluid levels, testing tire pressure, and other routine tasks.
Preventative maintenance has a much wider scope. A plan seeks and identifies potential problems and then finds methods of preventing them. While the routine maintenance process is an essential part of prevention, this plan doesn’t stop there. Issues like usage, weather, and other factors are included.
A small investment in maintenance will generate a high ROI over time because it extends the life of machines.
How to Plan for Preventative Maintenance
The good news is that laying out a preventative maintenance plan is not a complicated process. But once you have a plan in place, it’s essential that you commit to following through with that plan. Let’s break this down into a digestible four-step process.
Step 1: Lay out the Overall Goals of the Maintenance Plan
Address two specific points here. The first is to write down the routine maintenance tasks for the machine. These will be the foundation of your overall plan. But we take it a step further by prescribing other inspections of the machine. This isn’t set in stone. Rather, it’s a fluid schedule that is determined by the precise machine, its condition, and its usage. In short, machines that get more use require more periodic inspections.
Step 2: Lay Out all Responsibilities
Assign individuals to specific tasks and ensure they are held accountable. Within small construction companies, leadership should head the preventative maintenance program. So this is a good task for you to undertake. If you own a large construction company, then have the senior service technician handle it. Just be sure there’s some way to hold the person accountable to make sure they are actually following through with their responsibilities.
Step 3: Identify Milestones
Routine maintenance steps will be laid out in the owner’s manual so be sure to follow that. However, you should also identify specific milestones. These will be unique to your business. For instance, you might need to schedule a maintenance check ahead of schedule if you’re experiencing an increased workload.
Step 4: Document all Maintenance
Every inspection should be documented so that you can easily look back at the machine’s history. This makes it easier to know when to replace parts and identify other issues. Plus, it holds people accountable.
Never Hesitate to Replace Faulty Parts
When you find a problem with your machine, it’s important to fix it as quickly as possible. Faulty parts will eventually lead to expensive damage or worse – injury! So when you find an issue, address it immediately. This is the best construction machine maintenance tip you’ll ever find!
In particular, pay close attention to the crushing parts, as these are integral to the machine’s operation and often bear the brunt of the workload. Regular inspections and timely maintenance of these crushing parts can significantly extend the life of your equipment and ensure safe operation.
Some of the most common parts that are commonly replaced include:
- Hydraulic cylinders
- Hydraulic power units
- Air filters
- Hoses (Know more about hydraulic hose crimper here)
The bottom line is this: always be on the look out for potential issues and how to prevent them. Spending a little bit on routine and preventative maintenance now can save you a lot of money in the future.