Why it’s important to look after your equipment
The day-to-day running of any service business can be so absorbing and time-consuming that a job like equipment maintenance can easily be shelved in favour of more pressing matters. However, keeping any equipment in good nick is essential for various reasons, and neglecting to do so could have serious consequences.
Because every-day schedules can be demanding, the best course of action whenever you have a new piece of equipment is to immediately diarise regular maintenance checks. The regularity of those checks will depend on the kind of machinery and the critical safety parts of the equipment, which might require more frequent attention than others. Manufacturers’ instructions will almost always provide guidance on a maintenance schedule; ignore these at the possible peril of your valuable equipment.
The most basic first step is to regularly clean your machinery. Build-ups may start benignly, but ignored for long enough they can cause blockages and jolts that could lead to parts being damaged.
Regular cleaning has the added benefit of allowing a closer cursory inspection of parts: if the cleaner is alert, he or she is more likely to spot potential problems if your equipment is clean.
Preventative equipment maintenance begins with regular cleaning, but it doesn’t end there.
Who should do it?
Equipment operators usually have the most intimate relationship with equipment, they are also best placed to do regular cleaning and to keep an eye and an ear on how things are ticking along.
Some might know the equipment so well that they could do regular maintenance themselves. However, managers should not assume such knowledge, particularly not if operators have not had specific and specialised training in the particular equipment for which they are responsible.
Engaging the services of professional mechanics and maintenance people – or making use of the services of the company that sells the machinery, if such a service exists – is an excellent way to ensure that your equipment functions optimally at all times.
Why should you do it?
The reasons for keeping your machinery in excellent shape are quite simply time and money. But if you’ve been too busy to remember to make maintenance a part of the beating heart of your business, you probably haven’t had time to think through precisely how a broken piece of equipment can affect the smooth running of your business.
If you don’t maintain something, it will eventually break. If this was not a fact of life, then the people who maintain, diagnose and fix machines wouldn’t be in such high demand, and most mechanics would be out of work.
If your machine breaks, it’ll be out of commission for a while. This means that it may halt production or the provision of certain services, meaning your earning capacity has been curtailed.
Also, if that machinery is a refrigeration system, what has been kept in cold storage might spoil and need to be disposed of, a sometimes terrible, and avoidable, financial blow due to a lack of vigilance.
The repairs themselves will cost money and if cash flow is a current problem, that’s not going to sort itself out easily.
Do you care about health and lives? Clean your machine.
Lost time and money can have severe consequences for your business, but faulty machinery can become dangerous to property and to lives.
While you may be able to financially recover from a temporary failure of your machinery, things are a lot more complicated if a worker, operator, driver, passenger, or even an innocent bystander is severely injured because you neglected to maintain your machinery. This is not a situation any human being wants to ponder for too long, or find themselves in.
Maintaining your equipment properly reduces the possibility of the unspeakable happening.
Spick and span
Keep it clean on the outside too. Sort out the nicks and dings, shine and polish and generally be aware that your equipment is an extension of your brand as a service provider. These may only be cosmetic, but clients and customers will be unconsciously drawn to services where it looks like the owners are proud of, and care for, their equipment.
To see the range of well-maintained equipment we at Truckworld are known for in the industry, read about us and our ethos here.