As worksites become more complex, and machinery continues to evolve, companies face challenges with equipment ready to perform when needed. There is a vital safety, productivity and financial case for contractors to conduct regular maintenance and inspections that help keep their equipment operating at high levels, so project schedules and budgets stay on track.
Some contractors under-maintain their equipment, especially high-use compact to midsize machinery such as aerial work platforms, backhoes, generators, light towers, mini-excavators, pumps, skid steers and more. This can happen because these companies do not have the needed technicians, they are not able to keep track of maintenance schedules, or they are too busy completing projects to pull machines out of use. However, failing to conduct fleet maintenance and required inspections comes at a price that includes higher costs, lost productivity and increased safety risk.
As contractors look to extract maximum value from their fleets, an equipment rental provider can be a valuable partner in keeping owned equipment on their worksites in top operating condition.
A rental provider can customize a maintenance and inspection program to proactively handle contractor needs. The programs help companies protect their investment, safeguard employees and meet regulatory requirements.
A Look at Safety, Productivity & Financial Benefits
Listed below are some of the critical safety, productivity and financial benefits of preventive maintenance programs and regular inspections for construction companies.
Over time, wear and tear on equipment can lead to potentially dangerous mechanical failures. Worn chains and cables, broken pedals or levers, and malfunctioning safety lights or audio signals can cause worksite accidents. Creating and following an equipment maintenance plan can mitigate serious hazards that result from faulty equipment and improve overall worksite safety.
Equipment inspections required by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) are equally important. For example, aerial lifts, such as boom and scissor lifts, require inspection by qualified mechanics or technicians every three months or every 150 hours, whichever comes first. Aerial lifts must also be inspected annually — every 13 months — and every time the equipment has been out of service for over three months.
It is important to note only a mechanic or technician qualified to work on the specific make and model of the aerial lift can perform the lift inspection. If this company does not have this expertise available in-house, it should consider outsourcing equipment inspections to a qualified vendor.
Poorly maintained equipment is more likely to break down when it is needed. Companies that follow a preventive maintenance schedule experience less unplanned equipment downtime and better performance, resulting in greater productivity. Inspecting equipment during regular preventive maintenance service can reduce the risk of potentially
Proper maintenance and inspection of equipment can save a company money in numerous ways, including:
- Reducing downtime — When equipment fails, the costs of lost productivity and wasted wages can be considerable. Preventive maintenance and regular inspections help minimize failures.
- Avoiding fines — Failure to perform aerial work platform inspections or inspect other equipment, such as cranes and derricks, on schedule can result in government fines.
- Lowering repair costs — A well-executed preventive maintenance program can reduce repair costs compared to relying on reactive maintenance, or waiting until a machine breaks to fix it. The simplest maintenance tasks can prevent expensive engine breakdowns.
- Reducing overtime — If equipment breaks during a project with a tight schedule, a company may have to pay workers overtime to make the scheduled deadline.
- Extending the useful life of the equipment — Well-maintained equipment lasts longer. When regular fleet maintenance is performed, companies can delay purchasing new equipment.
Starting and sticking to a preventive maintenance program can be challenging, especially when equipment moves between jobsites. Outsourcing can be an attractive option for companies that want to gain the benefits of preventive maintenance and inspections but need more internal capabilities or resources.
Contractors can look for an equipment rental provider that offers a dependable one-stop shop with standardized processes and rates that takes the maintenance and repair burden off fleet owners. Outsourcing these tasks to a single vendor with deep experience in equipment maintenance and a large staff of skilled technicians can relieve the burden of fleet maintenance and let companies focus on what they do best. This approach can give companies peace of mind, knowing equipment will be ready to perform when needed.
Delivering More Value
For too many companies, preventive maintenance tasks and inspections fall through the cracks of busy work schedules and equipment moving from worksite to worksite. A well-executed maintenance and inspection program delivers great value by ensuring equipment is ready to go.
These programs add structure and visibility to the maintenance of owned equipment so companies can reduce downtime and improve cost control. They protect equipment investment and extend machinery life, reducing the risk of catastrophic equipment failure that can lead to worksite safety issues.