A recent report by the Marshall Institute stated that a company will pay two to five times more for reactive maintenance than they would for proactive. In the construction industry, where deadlines are tight and reputation important, there is even more at stake if a machine breaks down. Here are the consequences of irregular machine maintenance and tips on performing it correctly.
Performing regular maintenance doesn’t only prevent surface preparation equipment from breaking down, it also maximizes its lifespan, meaning contractors don’t need to spend large amounts of money replacing them unnecessarily. It also helps prevent downtime or excessive labor on the job. If a machine is down, they have no choice but to do the work manually. A job that usually takes one piece of machinery may then require the labor of several people, which is certain to have a negative financial impact on the company.
When a machine breaks down, the job comes to a halt. This means the contractor will lose money and is at risk of missing the completed date promise to the customer. Because of this, it’s important for contractors to take a preventative approach to maintenance, checking for and fixing potential problems before they occur.
It’s inevitable that components of a machine will wear over time and may need replacing. For some, it’s important that this replacement is done before the end of the component’s lifespan. This is true for hydraulic fluid, batteries and wheel motors.
New machines also have a break-in period. During this phase, maintenance work needs to be performed more regularly. For example, the hydraulic filter on a new machine should be replaced after 100 hours of operation; on an older machine, this is not necessary until after 200 hours of operation.
Once the break-in period is over, it’s important for contractors to take up a regular maintenance schedule on their machine.
CREATING A CHECKLIST
First, contractors can easily identify blockages in the machine by checking for dust and debris that may have been generated while a job was completed. If this is done during a job clean-up, it will save contractors time when coming to start their next job. When doing this, contractors can also check for loose nuts and bolts. If one is lost while a job is completed, it could lead to major machine downtime and missed deadlines for the customer.
Scrapers are either self-propelled or hydraulically driven. It’s important to check for leaks coming from the hydraulic line and tighten the fitting if necessary. The lubrication around the fittings must also be maintained. In addition, build-up of sticky substances on the blades can diminish their effectiveness, so this should be avoided with regular cleaning.
Shot blasters can also be self-propelled but are often electrically driven. These machines have many moving parts and it is crucial to check for binding and misaligned, improperly mounted or broken components that may affect the machine’s operation. The blast wheel is a common wear part and should be replaced regularly.
The best way to manage the maintenance process is for contractors to create a checklist, which they can complete after every job is finished. There are different maintenance steps for different machines, so it is important to follow the advice of the manufacturer, rather than general steps.
It is down to the contractor to ensure that their machinery is working properly and has had all the required maintenance. However, it’s often the case that they’re unsure what tasks need to be carried out or they don’t have the correct tools to carry out the work themselves.
First of all, contractors can consult the machine’s operating and service manuals, which should always be provided when a new machine is purchased. If they need further advice or support, they can always contact the equipment manufacturer for help.
Article Provided By: Construction Executive