Heavy machinery is the backbone of many industries, where it is relied upon for operating smoothly and productively.
Often, this machinery is used in heavy-duty, slippery and muddy settings, which can negatively impact the condition of the machine, and affect its peak performance and longevity. So we’ve compiled our 7 tips for keeping your machinery in top condition in this article to help you get the most out of your machine and extend its lifespan as much as possible.
1. Read the manual
The original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) manual that comes with the machine is often overlooked, but it contains a wealth of information crucial to the proper operation and maintenance of your machine. The manual provides valuable information on the machine’s design, capabilities and limitations, and understanding the guidelines, recommendations and specifications outlined in the manual can empower you to make informed decisions about your machine, and help you to maintain its good condition. We recommend that you check in on your OEM manual on a regular basis to ensure you stay on top of the guidelines.
2. Conduct regular servicing and maintenance
Regular servicing and maintenance is critical to machinery longevity, and it should be scheduled based on the OEM’s recommendations. An OEM will also recommend what servicing and maintenance needs to take place at specific intervals, such as oil changes, greasing, filter replacements and routine checks. A proactive approach to servicing and maintenance can reduce the chance for machine components wearing out prematurely, unexpected downtime, which will ultimately improve a machine’s efficiency when on the job.
When conducting servicing and maintenance on your machine, don’t forget to also check the condition of any attachments you may use with it. Any attachments that are in a poor state may cause efficiency issues for the machine, and place unnecessary strain on it. Consider replacing or repairing any degrading attachments to help keep your machine in top condition.
3. Complete pre start checks daily
Pre starts are a valuable tool that can be used to maintain the condition of your machinery. Conducting a daily pre start provides operators with an opportunity to inspect a machine before operating it, focusing on key components such as fluid levels, track tension, whether components are adequately greased and safety features, among other things, and document any discrepancies that need to be quickly rectified.
4. Address issues promptly
Following on from machinery pre starts, addressing any issues that have been identified in a timely manner is critical to ensuring your machine stays in top condition. Ignoring or delaying required repairs can result in cascading problems, leading to more extensive damage and higher repair costs. Additionally, continuing to operate machinery that requires repair or maintenance can reduce the efficiency of the machine and place the safety of workers at risk.
The best way to stay on top of identified faults with machinery is to ensure all operators report issues immediately to fleet management staff, no matter how minor they may seem. This way, issues can be rectified quickly, before major problems arise.
5. Use for the correct purpose only
Every machine and piece of equipment is designed with a specific purpose. Therefore, using equipment for tasks other than what it was designed for, or beyond its intended capacity, can accelerate wear and tear, and deteriorate the machine’s condition. To ensure your machines are always used for the correct purpose only, provide appropriate training and guidance to your operators so they understand the consequences of misusing the equipment, and only use the machine as recommended by the OEM.
6. Store correctly
The storage of machines is often overlooked as a way to maintain its optimal condition. When a machine is parked in a location where it is exposed to extreme heat, humidity, and salty air on the coast, it can be prone to rust, corrosion and other forms of deterioration.
To avoid this, and keep your machine in top condition, it is recommended machinery is stored in a dedicated shed or enclosed area. If this is not possible, consider covering equipment or apply protective coatings to protect it from the elements, maintain the condition of the machine and extend its lifespan.
Another consideration that should be made when storing machinery is the position in which it is parked. Parking a machine in the incorrect position could cause premature wear and tear on its components, degrading its condition. Take an excavator for example, if it is parked with its arm positioned up, unnecessary strain could be placed on the hydraulics, and cause issues in the future.
7. Follow recommended cleaning procedures
Regularly cleaning your machine can not only boost its appearance, but it can also play a major role in keeping it in top condition over the long term. Dirt and contaminants can infiltrate components of your machine, which may cause wear and tear, and eventually lead to reduced efficiency, and major mechanical problems.
When cleaning your machine, it is important to follow the OEM’s recommendations. These guidelines will tell you what cleaning products to use, how often to clean them, and any areas that may need to be avoided.
Extra recommendation: store and manage documents effectively
A commonly overlooked part of maintaining a machine is the storage and management of its associated documentation. Maintaining a comprehensive record of all maintenance activities, repairs and inspections will help to paint a complete picture of the machine’s history. Not only will these documents help to remind you of maintenance and servicing that’s been completed on your machine over the years, it will also provide any future owners with detailed insight into its condition and how it has been taken care of.
We recommend that all your machinery documentation be managed digitally. This not only reduces the risk of document loss, but also facilitates easier access to this information when needed.
Want to learn more?
Plant Assessor’s team of machinery experts are on hand to provide you with more guidance on how to keep your machine in top condition. All you need to do is contact us on 1300 728 852 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.