How to Maintain Machines to Maximize Your Return on Investment
Properly maintaining heavy machinery not only keeps it running well and contributes to safer worksites, but it’s also an easy way to guarantee a greater return on your investment. With that financial consideration in mind, here are 5 simple tips to extend equipment life and receive a higher return on investment.
Make sure all operators know how to use the machine safely and effectively. Best practices training is essential here, and so is regular upkeep of that training.
Another tip: Summarize instructions into a one page document or email that’s easily accessible for quick brush ups on the jobsite.
Keep It Clean
Daily checks to clean the machines is important for maintenance. Dirt and grime encrust moving parts. Filters become clogged. Cab electronics gather soot. Make sure all machines are properly swept and wiped down to keep them in their best condition.
Lubricate Early and Often
Friction can easily erode a machine’s hinges. Ungreased parts can grow too hot and warp. Dry belts can splinter. Keep moving parts well lubricated.
Be aware as well that different machines require different types of oil and grease, so check your manufacturer’s manual to ensure you have the right type.
Also, have oil analyzed regularly to monitor any particle buildup that may indicate a problem.
Finally, check for any oil leaks around seals or buildup on pistons that may indicate a problem. If there is a problem, tend to it right away.
Inspect machines and other equipment closely and regularly. These machines operate under difficult conditions on the jobsite, and it’s always best to regularly inspect machines to confirm extreme conditions, jolts, vibrations or simply time haven’t taken their toll. Examples of things to look for include:
- Vibrational wear from misaligned gears or belts
- Wear and tear arising from high temperatures, friction, or poor lubrication
- Erosion or warping due to age. Belts will wear thin. Seals will dry and crack, and bolts can loosen.
Be sure to check all of these areas, and look for any damage from unexpected shocks or collisions.
Keep a Maintenance Schedule
Keep everything orderly and in working order by enacting daily and weekly cleaning schedules for everything from power transmission to gear boxes, drive train components to bolts and bearings, and everything in between, including fluids, filters and transmissions.
Retain accurate records of inspections and any repairs. These records will prove invaluable should you decide to sell your machine.
Either way, these tips will help you receive the greatest return on your investment and will help your heavy machinery to last as long as possible.