Similar to scheduling an annual checkup with your physician, completing regular maintenance for heavy equipment is one of the best ways to keep your fleet in the best shape possible. Most daily maintenance can be completed by your operators following the instructions provided in the manufacturer’s operation and maintenance manual. For some service needs, your equipment may need to be transported to your dealership to be performed by a trained service technician. Among the benefits of dealer-based maintenance is the ability to build a customized approach to planned maintenance. Understand the following advantages of partnering with your dealership so you can make the most out of your investment.
1. A Comprehensive Maintenance Plan
Properly timed scheduled maintenance should not be overlooked. By working with your dealer, you can help extend the life of your equipment, minimize downtime and save money over time with preventive maintenance services. Many times, dealers will offer these services with a customer agreement, which allows you to get all your preventive maintenance done in a regular service visit in the field.
The dealer creates a planned maintenance contract to help you better manage the budget needed to keep your equipment up and running. A proactive maintenance program executed by trained service technicians can also identify minor issues before they become major repairs. Addressing these issues during regular, planned maintenance helps avoid the inevitable domino effect triggered by an unexpected machine breakdown.
One of the biggest advantages to utilizing dealership service teams is having trained technicians with access to the latest information, resources and tools. They can complete calibrations and check diagnostics with tools and software that are typically not available to customers or independent repair shops. In addition, your dealership and its service team know what parts are required and can ensure that maintenance is performed on time and when it is convenient.
Partnering with your dealer to make a service interval program that is easy to follow allows you to make sure the work is completed as scheduled. Machines equipped with telematics allow the dealership to monitor machine activity and location and provide the visibility to machine hours to properly schedule maintenance. Any major machine code alerts can be configured to notify the dealership of a service-related concern.
2. Mobile Maintenance
Unexpected downtime can place a financial strain on your company that directly impacts your profitability. To keep your equipment up and running, dealerships typically have mobile, field-service vehicles. Mobile maintenance vehicles are outfitted with a trained technician who has access to onboard diagnostics, tools, supplies and parts inventory. Field service vehicles are usually designed to replace or repair hydraulic components, tracks, engines and transmissions. A reliable service vehicle gives the technician the flexibility to make routine maintenance calls and repairs to equipment on the jobsite, reducing the amount of downtime necessary to repair the equipment. It also means less time transporting disabled equipment into a shop, which can lead to higher levels of productivity on your jobsite.
3. Fluid Delivery Methods
Getting equipment serviced in the field in a timely manner using clean, contaminant-free fluids is more important than ever. Improper handling or storage can compromise fluid cleanliness, which may damage machine parts and critical system components, resulting in increased machine downtime and shortened component life.
Fortunately, mobile lubrication vehicles can provide you with a choice of efficient fluid delivery methods. The mobile service vehicles offer a clean, dirt-free environment that can successfully reduce contaminants that might otherwise be introduced into machine components. Depending on what fluids are needed, the dealer will determine which type of mobile lube vehicle best fits your operation and evaluate your specific uses for the unit.
4. Improved Resale Value
The condition of your machine not only affects your ability to complete projects on time, but it also plays heavily into the resale price of equipment. While you have no control over market supply and demand, you can influence the resale value of your machines through your approach to creating a planned maintenance contract with your dealership. Consistent and comprehensive maintenance is the best method for preserving the condition of your machine, therefore increasing the resale value.
A planned maintenance contract also offers the benefit of a well-documented history of all care and service of your machine. Potential buyers or lessees know about the superior care and comprehensive maintenance record of the machine from your dealership.
The more documentation there is, the more willing buyers may be to invest hard-earned capital into a pre-owned machine.
Working with a dealer to properly calculate maintenance can remove the element of surprise when it comes to maintaining equipment. Your dealership can create a unique package that addresses your maintenance needs before servicing your machines in and outside the field.
Evaluate Your Resources
The person or company you select to service your equipment is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, you are essentially hiring an equipment business partner for your management team. Before selecting a dealership, make sure they have the following attributes:
- Expert knowledge of the equipment
- Extensive fleet of equipment, attachments and parts
- Progressive, in-house service technicians
- Clean and organized shop
- Strong customer service
- Multiple dealer locations