Effective Ways to Keep Up With Equipment Maintenance

Posted on
November 6, 2021

A large variety of tools and equipment spans the construction industry. However small the construction project may be, a specific set of tools and equipment is always present on all construction sites. Construction tools are generally used on sites to perform distinct tasks that may include processing of materials, working on structural components, handling of resources, etc. In order to bag more construction projects contractors have to purchase the heavy and essential equipment. These heavy equipment need to be used with utmost care and require maintenance on a regular basis for smooth functioning. Being proactive about heavy equipment helps in avoiding expensive downtime. Regular maintenance also helps in prediction of equipment malfunctioning that helps in finding a solution in advance.

Maintenance of equipments provide benefits in the form of :

  • Increased Resale Value
  • Reduced Downtime
  • Increase in equipments life
  • Control service intervals and cost.

Maintenance Types

Construction equipment maintenance can be broadly classified into two steps, routine maintenance and preventive maintenance. Routine maintenance is a kind of regular maintenance that has been already scheduled for this distinct equipments.Regular maintenance includes changing of oil, testing of parts, testing pressures and checking fluid levels. Preventive maintenance on the other hand is a kind of maintenance that is done while predicting the malfunctioning or breakdown of heavy equipment. Adequate steps or measures are taken to prevent potential equipment failure and take preventive action before it fails.

Importance of Construction Equipment Maintenance

Equipment maintenance is essential because of the following reasons for:

  • Long Life-  Regular routine and preventive maintenance activities result in longer life of equipment. Longer life of equipment not only is beneficial for the project but also with its status of availability so that it can be used whenever required.
  • Availability- If any kind of malfunctioning occurs with an equipment it not only makes them unavailable for use but also unprofitable on the whole due its unavailability. The cost of repair of the construction equipment also increases when it has to be moved from one location to another for repair. On top of all these excess costs, the equipment operator who is sitting idle until the equipment has been repaired  has to be paid in full  and makes them unproductive and lethargic.
  • Increased Costs- When a construction equipment has malfunctioned during its requirement, excessive costs have to be spent on the repair as well as the time for which they cannot be used. Irregular maintenance of construction equipment often results in compound failures which are very expensive to be repaired.
  • Confidence- Construction equipment operators have to be confident while using those equipment and that can only happen when the equipment runs smoothly and efficiently. When an equipment is properly maintained the operator has confidence in its working and the performance and output is increased due to the equipment's reliability. Any operator will hesitate and will not feel confident in operating a poorly maintained equipment.
  • Safe Equipments- The presence of heavy equipment on a construction site calls for proper safety measures that have to be followed. It is thus obvious that a well maintained equipment is certainly safer than a poorly maintained construction equipment. 
  • Legal Issues- Any accident caused on a construction site due to poorly maintained construction equipment can end up in fighting lawsuits. In order to decrease the probability of this heavy expenditure burden, construction equipment must be maintained properly.

Effective Equipment Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance of equipment aids in controlling the cost of the construction project. It is an important factor in achieving goals related to the project outcomes by getting the most out of an investment. Routine and preventive maintenance not only helps in reducing repair and maintenance costs but also maximizes profit as well as production speed. 

Several tips have been mentioned below that can be followed to use and maintain construction equipment properly and effectively. 

  • Usage of equipment must be done as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • The different types of construction equipment must be sent for repair and maintenance or on the site itself without any delay to guarantee its efficient working.
  • Equipment maintenance guides and rules must be set as per the construction site requirements.
  • Construction equipment must be selected specific to the task requirement and not in excess or less in terms of power or size. Construction equipment like earth moving equipment, material handling equipment, etc must be used accordingly as per the tasks.
  • Schedule proper training programs for equipment operators to improve their operating skills.

  • Construction equipment should be operated with proper safety precautions and only if it is safe enough in its condition to be used. Specific individuals with prior necessary training required for the equipment must only be allowed to operate it.
  • Checklists must be prepared for tracking and maintaining all construction equipment present on site.
  • Major and common types of construction equipment failure should be learned in advance and respective solutions must be prepared beforehand to overcome those equipment failures. These types of failure can be -
  • Sudden failures that can be most serious and damaging to the construction equipment. These failures come with almost little or no warning without any contingency plans. Their repair costs and downtime requirement cannot be estimated until they have been diagnosed. The best way to deal with them early is to prevent them during the routine maintenance process.
  • Intermittent failures are of entirely erratic behaviour causing the equipment to stand idle for a while. This kind of failure may cause slight downtime and unwanted repair expenses.
  • Gradual failures occur slowly and over a period of time due to the wear and tear of the equipment from regular usage. These types of failures grant sufficient time for the equipment to be repaired as it is a failure that occurs in several steps or in a continuous way. It is easily recognisable and also easy to repair.

The most probable causes of these failures are thermally induced, mechanically induced and erratic.

  • Training employees to operate construction equipment more effectively and skillfully. The cost spent on training is probably the best ROI task.
  • Adherence to factory or task recommended maintenance intervals is necessary for preventing malfunctioning of construction equipment.
  • Process guidelines and regulations for maintenance of equipment must be set in order to cover maintenance of all parts of an equipment on a scheduled basis.

Construction equipment forms the foundation of creating civil structures from scratch. Without the timely availability of these equipments, construction projects can come to a halt. The management of these scheduled equipment maintenance can be carried out smoothly and with ease using project management tools, specifically construction management softwares. Powerplay is one of the most convenient and user friendly softwares that covers management and updation of all processes throughout the construction project. It can also easily manage equipment maintenance tasks to avoid project halts and excessive cost and time.

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