The Costs of Failing to Maintain Important Machinery
Wear and tear are an everyday part of manufacturing and construction businesses. However, that isn’t an excuse to ignore maintenance. For machinery to remain efficient, operators must know the signs of trouble before they become a source for work stoppages. This is especially true in construction, where a machine may lay dormant for months and suddenly be called into use for a job.
A.J. Weller, a wear protection company, specifically deals in reducing wear through the use of composite materials. Wear materials are one of many ways to protect machinery, and when used alongside routine checks the benefits are numerous:
- Reduced downtime
- Infrequent maintenance
- Hazard avoidance
Whether you choose to apply wear materials or not, ignoring the maintenance requirements for heavy machinery carries real consequences that affect the entire production process.
Unexpected downtime is an expensive problem. Even if you can secure a rental to get you through the job, you’re still going to face a delay while you arrange to have that machinery delivered to the site you’re working on.
Downtime is unavoidable, but you can reduce the likelihood it will happen frequently. A daily survey of equipment, using simple checklists, can provide a detailed assessment of every important component. That way, anyone on staff can troubleshoot a problem.
Additionally, downtime is related to how frequently you’re in touch with the people who repair and maintain your machinery. Make sure you keep dealer and tech phone numbers close at hand.
A failure to maintain machinery can lead to accidents when things respond unexpectedly. A tire blow out from a dump truck can be catastrophic thanks to the built up pressure, for example. But there are far more dangerous scenarios if cranes or forklifts fail mid-operation. You can avoid these worst-case scenarios with routine maintenance.
Accidents carry two expenses: the first is the cost of personnel and the second is downstream. The loss of a worker can mean you’ll pay out disability on that person. Even worse, an accident could cause permanent injuries that can complicate the rest of that person’s life. They may also sue for negligence, and you don’t want to be responsible for poorly maintained machinery in a lawsuit.
Just like with a car, the more you ignore now the more you will fix later. That belt or gear isn’t going to quit rattling or squeaking on its own. In fact, letting it stay a problem could cause other problems later. Today’s machines are complex systems with parts that rely on one another to function properly.
It’s true that it has become increasingly harder to diagnose these problems yourself, but that hasn’t stopped some from trying. The question is whether that cost savings of potentially doing it yourself is worth the very large looming cost that you’ll need to pay if you get it wrong or can’t fix the problem in time.
Often, it’s much easier and far less expensive to just get the work done at the dealer.
High Aggregate Costs
Remember, aside from maintenance there are other ways to reduce the aggregate costs of ownership. Look into a lease, for example. It might include a detailed maintenance plan that covers almost every potential basic problem you’ll come across.
RELATED ARTICLE: SHOULD YOUR BUSINESS BUY OR LEASE NEEDED EQUIPMENT?
It’s almost always better to take care of repairs early. If you’re not already doing so, begin investing in a repair budget.