If you’re in a business that requires heavy machinery, then you already know that it’s one of the biggest investments that your company will make. As such, it’s important that you’re doing your utmost to keep that investment in tip-top condition. You don’t want to have to replace your machines earlier than expected purely because of an issue that could have been avoided! Below, we take a look at ten golden rules that’ll ensure your machines are kept in full working order for as long as possible.
Know What You’re Buying
OK, we know that we said this is about ‘keeping’ your machinery in good condition, but really, it all begins before you’ve even bought the item. Before buying a piece of machinery, treat it like any other massive company expense and make sure you’re conducting thorough research before you agree the purchase or rental. As with everything else in life, standards and quality can vary significantly; if you end up with a subpar piece of equipment, then you can’t be surprised if it’s not performing as well as you’d expect after a few years.
Keep Vehicle Records
There’s no other way around it: you need to keep the records for your machines. Why? Because it’s the smartest way to keep on top of any problems. If you have had the same problems in the past, then you’ll be able to tell with a quick glance at the service book. If you fail to keep the records, then you’ll be walking blind. It’s a small thing, but one that can make keeping your machines in full working order all the more straightforward. Not that it should rest only on your shoulders; make sure your staff know to make a note of anything that’s worth writing down when it comes to your investment.
Stay on top of Cleaning
You’d be amazed at just how much dirt, dust, and other grime can affect the performance of, well, anything technical. When you’re in the middle of a busy working period, making sure that your equipment is spotless clean might not seem like the pressing issue. But it’ll be worth making sure that it’s not overlooked. If you don’t have the personnel to give them a thorough clean yourself, then get the professionals in to take care of it.
Again, during a busy period, you might plan to delay a machine’s scheduled maintenance, at least until it’s a more appropriate time. But they schedule these maintenance checks for a reason: they need it. There’ll be no point making a sufficient investment in a machine if you’re not going to follow the recommended guidelines. You’ll be sending them to the people who know them inside out, experts who will be able to plug any potential problems before they affect the machine’s functionality and cost your business large sums of money.
You need fuel to keep your body working as it should. Your machine is no different. They need fluids to keep everything running smoothly, especially lubricants, which will extend the lifespan of your machinery; make sure you’re buying the right lubricants, and that you’re getting it checked periodically. Even how you’re storing your gas oil drums can ultimately affect your machine, ask temperatures and contaminants can affect the fluid that’s stored inside. If you feed your machine the right food, it’ll be able to work better – and for longer.
Train Employees Well
Of course, the responsibility of the machine’s life doesn’t just rest on your shoulders. After all, you won’t be the only person using it; your staff will be using it just as much, if not more than you are. As such, it’s imperative that they’re fully trained on the best practices for the machinery. It’s like a car. A vehicle’s lifespan can vary significantly depending on how it’s driven. If your workers know how to use your machine the correct way, you’ll avoid problems that didn’t need to arise.
Look for Problems
You shouldn’t just wait for problems to occur before planning on getting the machine checked out. You can usually tell if there’s an issue just by how the machine is functioning, or by keeping an eye on any common problem spots with that type of machine. If you’re able to catch the issue early, you’ll be able to get it treated before it causes too much of a problem.
Avoid Fixing Yourself
There will be a temptation, from time to time, to try to fix a problem yourself; or, if not ‘fix the problem’, then at least plug the issue until you’re able to get it fixed properly. You should resist this temptation. While it might save you some valuable time when you’re working on a job, the small amount of time and money you save won’t be worth it if your actions ultimately result in you having to buy a replacement machine. If you see something wrong, then take it to an expert.
Have Adequate Insurance
This hopefully goes without saying, but like all your great investments, you’ll need to ensure that your machine is fully covered in case of any mishaps. With great machines comes great responsibility, as someone nearly once famously said. The nature of industrial machinery means they’re put in a lot of scenarios where damage could be done. If you’re unnecessarily putting your expensive equipment at risk because of a lack of – or inadequate – insurance, it’s time to put it straight.
Know When to Upgrade
Of course, nothing lasts forever. Your machinery, no matter how expensive it was in the first place or how well you look after it, will eventually conk out. If you’re trying to get every penny’s worth out of your machine, then you’ll be putting the quality of your work – not to mention the safety of your staff – at risk.
Machinery is the backbone of your business; without it, you wouldn’t be able to do anything! Take care of it, and it’ll take care of you. It’s that simple!