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Tips for Protecting Your Construction Equipment Investments
Heavy machinery plays an integral part in successful construction projects. Whether it’s a forklift or a bulldozer, these large pieces of equipment help push the boundaries of what can be built.
No small business wants to overspend on equipment, regardless of industry. In the construction industry, it’s become increasingly important to perform regular maintenance on heavy equipment because, at the end of the day, that equipment is an investment.
Let’s explore ways to protect your heavy equipment so it can perform well during critical projects and last for years to come.
The Importance of Equipment Upkeep
Construction businesses need to recognize the importance of performing general maintenance and upkeep on their construction equipment. Heavy machinery must be consistently inspected to ensure it won’t fail during construction.
First, keep in mind that equipment has a critical impact on worker safety. Heavy machinery failure could potentially lead to employee injury or even death in some cases. This is one of the reasons why the construction industry tends to be more dangerous than others.
Aside from physical injuries, unexpected breakdowns mean companies can spend more of their resources to purchase or rent new equipment, which can impact profitability. Employee safety and profitability are priorities for almost every business, especially companies involved in construction projects.
Let’s discuss some key tips to follow to protect your equipment investments.
Tips for Maintaining Your Heavy Machinery
The last thing any site manager should worry about is equipment breaking down. Equipment that fails to work properly can stop or significantly delay progress on a project, making it challenging to meet deadlines and bring the project to completion.
Additionally, having to repair equipment could end up costing your company hundreds or thousands of dollars. You’ve already secured the capital to invest in equipment the first time — make sure that investment is good for the long haul. Follow the tips listed below when maintaining your expensive equipment to avoid these issues.
1. Implement a Detailed Maintenance Schedule
Without proper maintenance, the chances that your equipment will fail under certain circumstances increases. Your best bet is to perform regular maintenance and use a checklist or detailed schedule so every employee knows when and who is performing upkeep on various pieces of equipment.
A simple Google search will provide you with checklist templates to help guide you through making an adequate list of maintenance checks. Preventive maintenance is a better protection strategy than performing maintenance on a whim or after equipment breaks down. Regular maintenance will help make your equipment last longer and perform better.
2. Avoid Making Equipment Modifications
In 2017, modified forklifts accounted for more than 70 work-related deaths, highlighting how changing any equipment is a risky business. While it is normal to customize your equipment, you should be aware that some modifications are unsafe and even illegal.
If you want to modify your equipment, consider reviewing OSHA standards to ensure your modifications are compliant. Because construction equipment can be costly, some modifications may cause damage to your equipment or the site itself, so think carefully about making any changes to your equipment.
3. Check Fluids Often
Consider ordering fluid analysis tests to ensure your equipment is in working order. These types of tests can help you determine when the best time to perform maintenance is and can diagnose any underlying problems with your equipment.
Fuel, coolants, and oils are some of the fluids used for construction equipment. Be sure to check on these fluids, as they can impact the performance of your equipment.
4. Operate Equipment Based on Performance Limits
Specific types of equipment in construction are designed to be used for particular purposes. It should go without saying that equipment should only be used for those purposes.
For example, you’d primarily use a bulldozer for excavation purposes, not to lift heavy building materials. It may seem obvious, but you should never push equipment to perform tasks it’s not meant to perform.
Be sure to use your equipment properly to ensure longevity. This will help maximize the investment you made when you initially purchased the equipment. All of these tips should be considered before using heavy machinery in the construction industry.
Get the Most out of Your Construction Equipment
Consider all of these tips regarding maintenance to get the most out of your equipment. You want to protect your equipment and use it for years to come — and following the tips outlined above will help you do just that.
Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-founder of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry.