A well planned and executed fleet maintenance program can help keep your business profitable.
Equipment is one of the biggest costs for many commercial construction businesses. In order to preserve your investment and maximize uptime, actively planning fleet maintenance is a must.
Preventive maintenance is critical for your bottom line and also protecting your business. If your equipment is running well, jobs will go faster and more smoothly. And it can bolster the resale value of your machines.
In a recent webinar on mobile construction equipment maintenance, Bret Kasubke, director of sales and marketing for United Rentals’ Customer Equipment Solutions group, shared best practices for maintaining and repairing owned mobile equipment. Here’s what he recommends.
Maintenance service best practices
Owners of fleets of any size should establish a written preventive maintenance program — and stick to it.
- Define your maintenance program. Understand what service each piece of equipment needs. The protocol doesn’t have to be complicated; follow the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) guidelines and specifications. This might include lubrication, oil and filter changes and standard adjustments.
- Create a step-by-step plan. Defining and documenting each service step ensures that equipment servicing is performed consistently and in accordance with OEM’s specifications, no matter which qualified technician is doing the work.
- Establish a timeline. Identify the intervals at which the OEM requires each piece of equipment to be serviced. This might be based on usage hours, mileage or days in use.
- Plan ahead. Knowing the OEM’s required service intervals allows you to order parts you’ll need and book the work for a time when the equipment will not be on a job site.
- Keep good records. Document what service is done and when using a work order management system. Keeping careful records can help when you need to make emergency repairs by allowing the mechanic to look up what’s been recently serviced on the equipment.
Once you’ve implemented the maintenance program, track your service and work toward the goal of 100% compliance.
Repairs best practices
Even with the best-maintained fleets, occasional breakdowns may occur. The key is being able to make repairs quickly and properly so as to minimize any safety risks and costs associated with downtime. To do that, you need the right people and access to the right materials and parts.
- Find a mechanic before you need one. Establishing a relationship with a qualified mechanic before you need an emergency repair can save time when it counts. Have a backup mechanic in case your first choice is unavailable.
- Establish a supply chain. Know where you can get parts quickly, either from the OEM or from a local supplier.
Maintenance systems best practices
Maintaining a fleet can be a logistical challenge, but today it’s made easier by purpose-built technology. A fleet management system can save you time and money in the long run. Look for one that allows you to:
- Maintain records on each piece of equipment, including servicing and repairs
- Schedule maintenance at predetermined intervals
- Order necessary parts from your predetermined supply chain
- Track telematics data from your equipment, including run time and location
Even with systems and technology in place, maintaining a large mobile equipment fleet can be time-consuming and challenging. For many companies, outsourcing equipment maintenance may be a cost-efficient option.