Preventative maintenance can mean huge savings

Preventative maintenance can mean huge savings

By implementing a regular maintenance routine, facilities management personnel can keep assets working productively and make them last longer, resulting in huge long-term savings, according to Utility Products.

Utility equipment owners across the country are finding out that preventative maintenance is crucial for keeping all assets running at optimum efficiency, which has become increasingly important as the cost of procuring heavy equipment rises. By investing in the future through preventative maintenance programs, companies have noted major positive impacts on their bottom lines.

"Implementing a preventive maintenance program for a company's utility fleet, based on the manufacturer's recommended guidelines, keeps equipment costs low and uptime high," said Bill Kugler, regional service sales manager at Terex Equipment Services in Birmingham, Alabama.

A strong maintenance program should begin with a complete fleet upkeep initiative, the media outlet stated. Facilities and fleet managers must commit to developing and implementing plans, and ensuring they are put into practice everyday. Kugler added that many equipment manufacturers provide comprehensive guides on how to take the best care of select pieces of equipment.

"A maintenance program should be developed based on the manufacturer's schedule, then customized to fit a customer's working schedule," said Richard Gunderman, director of operations for Terex Utilities, adding that such preventative maintenance should be performed at regular intervals based on an asset's lifecycle.

These programs can be broken down as far as daily maintenance checks, which can include visual inspection of a machine's major parts, as well as a physical test of the asset's primary function. Gunderman stated that the maintenance should be performed by those who have the most experience with the assets, and are familiar with varying sounds, sights and performance levels.

For example, Gunderman said, a fleet of utility trucks should undergo such daily maintenance activities.

"If any components or functions of the truck are not working properly, then those items need to be brought to the attention of a trained service technician or mechanic and immediately be repaired or replaced to ensure the safety and productivity of the truck and its crew," Gunderman said.

Gunderman added that maintenance intervals can be used as time to allow the company's service technicians to discuss how the asset is being used on a daily basis, the environment in which it is operating and its overall performance given these two factors.

When performing maintenance on industrial assets, such as fleets of utility vehicles, it is crucial to adhere to standards established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which were created to protect mechanics from a variety of hazards.

According to OSHA, utility truck mechanics are exposed to a wide range of health hazards, including irritation, sensitization and carcinogenicity, as well as physical dangers, such as flammability, corrosion and reactivity. 

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