The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 20% of all industrial accidents are caused by faulty equipment, and 15% involved fatalities. Not only is extending the lifespan of your heavy equipment good for your workers, but it's also good business. Purchasing new heavy equipment is a major expenditure, and any downtime can result in big losses. On average, construction equipment should last 10-15 years, but it often fails much sooner.
So how can you ensure your heavy equipment has a long, productive life? Our company specializes in providing heavy equipment servicing and parts, and we hate seeing machines break down before their time. If you want to keep your equipment in working order, then here are five heavy equipment servicing tips to follow.
1. Keep it Covered
We know that it's sometimes necessary (and cheaper) to store heavy equipment at a job site, but that doesn't mean you should leave expensive machinery out in the field so long that it becomes home to a yellow jacket's nest! And yes, that really can happen. Whenever possible, move your heavy equipment to covered, moisture-free storage where it won't be subject to the elements.
2. An Apple a Day
The money you spend on a regular heavy equipment servicing will more than pay off in the long run. If you want to get your money's worth out of your equipment, then you need to schedule annual checkups and maintenance. Pick a date for scheduled maintenance each year, and stick to it.
3. Don't Overwork Your Heavy Equipment
Most often, heavy equipment breaks down when it's been overworked. Every machine will reach it's breaking point eventually, and the extra work you get in the short term won't justify the expense of buying new equipment. Refer to the operator's manual and technical specifications to ensure you aren't pushing your equipment too far.
4. Consider Used Heavy Equipment Components
Often, a company will send in equipment for servicing when all it really needs is a spare part. It's also never been easier to find quality heavy equipment parts and used Caterpillar parts online. By replacing worn down and broken parts as needed, you can help keep equipment in top shape for years to come.
5. Find a Local Heavy Equipment Servicing Shop
Finally, if you haven't already, you should find a local company that specializes in heavy equipment servicing. By finding a repair shop that can accommodate equipment of any type or size, you can be ready whenever equipment breaks down. This will reduce downtime, and help you repair faulty equipment faster.
6. Avoid User Error!
This is the big one. Perhaps the most common cause of equipment breakdown (besides normal wear and tear) is user error, which accounts for 35% of equipment failure. Not only that, but it won't be covered by your warranty! Always ensure employees are properly trained to use equipment correctly.