The construction industry relies on equipment, and equipment maintenance, to a more significant extent than most. Hard-wearing machinery and expensive motorized tools are required for a number of purposes across different construction areas. Keeping this equipment in good condition is not just a point for ensuring it stays in good working order for as long as possible. It can also be a serious safety concern, particularly where equipment is being used in an unfit condition.
Different types of maintenance should be carried out over different time frames. While it is useful to service all of your equipment regularly, there are a few rules that can help you select the most appropriate timing.
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Maintenance checks need to be carried out on a regular basis to identify issues that may need your attention. Both the safety of those operating machinery and the quality of the job depend on equipment being maintained in good condition, and this is something that needs to be factored into consideration as part of the daily work routine. On a daily basis, it is important to check over equipment for cosmetic signs of damage. Signs of wear and tear can include leaking fluid, rust, even tire pressure – these are all factors that can impact on the operation of the machinery.
Daily checks can bring problems to light at a much sooner stage, and conducting these types of maintenance checks as a rule will save you money on your maintenance bill. Problems identified at an earlier stage will usually be less expensive to fix, and so it is helpful to keep on top of this as a daily responsibility over your machinery.
Experts suggest that machinery should be further serviced after around 500 hours of use. At this stage, often quarterly, machinery might be expected to start to deteriorate, and it may be the case that more substantial repair work is required. Periodic maintenance is the key here, even where there are no external signs of deeper issues. More regular servicing reduces the overall costs, and keeps the equipment in a usable state for a longer period of time.
When it comes to the close season, this is a further opportunity for machinery to be checked, maintained and repaired. At this point, it is also essential to check fluid levels in your machinery, in particular antifreeze. This helps prevent appliances from freezing over the winter, which can pose real difficulties for the equipment and your business. Washing your vehicles and machines at this stage is advisable, with the most time available to you to clear away dirt and prevent the machinery from rusting unnecessarily.
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The maintenance burden is something that goes hand in hand with owning machinery. Some businesses choose to work around this by arranging hired equipment as they need it. This avoids incurring the early capital cost for machinery, and removes the maintenance burden. Of course, hire works out to be a more expensive option over time, but those who cannot afford to dedicate the time and resources to machine maintenance might want to consider this in the alternative.
Your livelihood depends on the quality and continued operation of your equipment. By making sure it is constantly in good, healthy working order, you can increase the efficiency and safety of your work.