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  • Keeping on top of your heavy equipment maintenance

    When maintaining a fleet of vehicles, heavy equipment that is used within a business can be capital-intensive. This is not just the initial cost of the equipment, but any downtime caused when repairs are needed can be disruptive to business and high in cost.

    Therefore, a detailed maintenance plan can help to identify issues early on to prevent any damage to your business and reduce the cost of repairs. When a plan is in place, maintenance is preventative, and problems can be detected before it becomes too expensive.

    Heavy equipment maintenance

    Benefits of regular heavy equipment maintenance

    Conducting regular maintenance comes with many benefits for your business, not just associated with costs.
    When a company has heavy equipment, it normally relies upon that equipment in order to operate efficiently. When things go wrong, it can affect the business as a whole in terms of productivity or being able to offer the same level of product or service.

    Therefore, regular maintenance can ensure that your equipment is always to be relied upon and doesn’t impact daily operations. It also helps to:

    • Increase the life of the equipment: Much like a car, when equipment is regularly maintained it tends to have a longer running life which helps to slow depreciation on investment as well as provide a greater return on investment (ROI).
    • Improve health and safety: When equipment isn’t running effectively, it can cause major accidents. This can then follow by incorporating higher insurance expenses, fines or even compensation. When equipment is regularly maintained it reduces the risk and therefore, lowers any chance of employees getting injured.
    • Prevent downtime: When machines and heavy equipment break, it can take a while for them to get repaired and back up and running again. In most cases, businesses will rely on this equipment to perform effectively. This can then disrupt the entire chain, which can be tricky to overcome. It can also impact the end customer, which can affect reputation and how your company is perceived in terms of reliability. Having a plan for repairs and maintenance can help ensure business runs smoothly as usual.
    • Minimise replacements: Equipment can be expensive on initial purchase, so by creating a plan for regular maintenance, you can avoid spending more than required on new equipment. As mentioned before, the life of the equipment is increased which means less need for purchasing new equipment. Last minute purchases can be costly, and it can take time in order to get the right equipment suitable for tasks.
    • Improve peace of mind: Managing equipment within a work site isn’t easy and can come with a lot of issues. Having a regular maintenance plan, although doesn’t solve all problems, can give business managers improved peace of mind. It reduces risks within the business, can prevent expensive repairs and improve health and safety of employees.

    What’s involved in a maintenance plan?

    Implementing a successful maintenance plan within the business can be best conducted by using a checklist for heavy equipment inspections and tests. This is a great way to test oil levels, mileage readings and other checks such as tyres, batteries, coolant, metres, fuel and operating hours.

    Automated software aids administration

    Whilst this may seem like a lengthy admin task, there are many types of software out there that can help make the process quicker and more effective.

    Advanced fleet maintenance software can help when vehicles are common on site. This can be used to help monitor servicing and MOTs as well as recording fuel consumption and driver behaviour to help prevent major repairs to a vehicle.

    Further to this, inspection and defect management software is also available to those using heavy equipment or vehicles. This allows businesses to collect real-time data even when machinery or equipment is off site. This allows equipment to still be working efficiently and monitored for their condition.

    These checklists can then be automated, and any concerns can be flagged by those monitoring it and can be implemented into the management solution. Not only can repairs be detected prior to becoming serious, it also records all the history of each piece of equipment so you can easily meet regulatory and legal compliance.

    These types of software help to remove the lengthy admin and data entry process, reduce paper and is all recorded in one place.

    A heavy equipment maintenance checklist can help to decrease downtime, maintain operational efficiency and prevent high costs. This ultimately, helps the bottom line, improves premiums on your haulage insurance, and improves the experience your clients receive increasing your business reputation.

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