Preventative Maintenance Tips for Equipment Fleets

Skid Steer Loader Oil Change

Preventative maintenance is the key to running an efficient fleet

There are two types of maintenance repairs in the equipment business – preventative and reactive – and the difference between the two is the difference between a profitable shop and a money drain.  According to a Construction Equipment study if your maintenance/repair costs are 15% or more of the replacement value of your fleet you’re losing money!  Preventative maintenance helps keep a shop efficient by reducing emergency breakdowns (and the labor costs associated with it) and by giving you the ability to plan ahead for major repairs.  Whether you’ve got one machine or one hundred you should be following a maintenance schedule, plain and simple – whether it’s in house or with your local dealer.  Here’s are a few key tips we’ve gathered over the years running our own shop:

Identify Issues Before they Become a Problem
Simple enough, right?  The best way to catch a problem early is by thoroughly inspecting the unit at the beginning of the season and performing frequent checks throughout it. Having operators who know the equipment is also key – they should be able to tell you when something’s not right with the machine, which will allow you to schedule shop time before the machine breaks down.

Have a System in Place for Repairs
Create an organized system for repairs so your shop doesn’t become a traffic jam.  One contractor interviewed in this Construction Equipment article divides his repairs into three categories: safety issues, failures and cosmetic problems.  These distinctions help him prioritize his shop work and eases his scheduling, reducing downtime.  It’s also smart to schedule based on machine hours instead of calendar dates because your equipment use varies throughout the year.  No matter which way you prefer, figure out a system that works and stick to it.

eServices Portal from Martin Implement

Our eServices portal is a great way to keep track of maintenance records

Keep Records and Use that Data
Keeping maintenance records is an absolute MUST.  They help take the guess work out of repair decisions.  If you don’t have a computer-based service we offer our eServices portal, which automatically updates your account with any work we do with your equipment and also lets you manually enter your own work in your shop.  To enroll head over to our website and click the eServices tab at the bottom left.

The data you keep in your records isn’t worth anything if you don’t analyze it, so look back at it from time to time!  This will give you a better picture of how a machine performs on average.  Equipment type and application differ, but knowing how your machines have performed in the past will help you anticipate expensive repairs down the line.  You can then allocate your resources and get that work done without missing a beat!

For more information on the preventative maintenance we offer visit the service section of our website or give us a call at any of our stores.

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