Heavy equipment is the backbone of many industrial operations .
Heavy equipment is essential for some jobs, but it represents a substantial investment. Whether you own or rent these machines, they’re typically expensive, and if you’re not careful, you can add a lot to those costs. If you take care of your heavy equipment, you can make sure it runs better for longer.
Here are five ways you can get more out of your heavy equipment.
1. Match Your Equipment to the Job at Hand
While some machines are versatile, not every piece of equipment is right for every task. Ensure you use your equipment according to its intended purpose and limits. If you don’t adhere to performance specifications, you could cause excessive strain on your machines, potentially damaging them.
Not only can misuse harm your machinery, but it can also be dangerous. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, equipment-related incidents are the third most common source of workplace injuries. If you don’t use the right tools for the job, there’s a higher chance it could lead to an accident.
2. Train Operators Thoroughly
Selecting the correct machinery for each task is only part of the equation. You also need to ensure that your employees know how to operate heavy equipment safely. If operators are inexperienced or untrained, they could end up making a costly mistake.
Just as you need to select the right tools for the job, you can’t let every employee operate every machine. Operators should have specific and specialized training for their equipment, and no one else should use it. If an operator doesn’t have a thorough knowledge of a machine, they’re likely to misuse it.
3. Perform Preventive Maintenance
Waiting until a machine breaks down to service it can be costly. On top of the costs of repairs, you’ll lose money through downtime and lost productivity. Preventive maintenance can help you avoid these expenses.
Preventive maintenance involves performing scheduled checkups and services on equipment, even if it’s running smoothly. This process helps your machinery maintain its peak performance and prevents costly breakdowns. You can increase your profits by as much as 10% through preventive maintenance alone.
4. Pay Attention to Equipment Storage
As tough as some equipment is, no piece of machinery is invincible. The more you can keep your machines out of the elements, the longer they will last. When you’re not using something, be sure to store it somewhere safe from rain, sunlight or extreme temperatures.
Factors like moisture and sunlight may seem insignificant, but they can cause substantial damage over time. If you expose your equipment to more of these than necessary, they could start to rust or corrode. Storing it in a safe, controlled environment will help you avoid these risks and any related costs.
5. Record Everything
You won’t be able to address a problem you don’t know about. As you use heavy equipment, be sure to keep a detailed record of its use and performance. This information will help you see any potential issues and manage the costs of ownership and operation.
If manual record-keeping doesn’t work for you, you can try using IoT devices to gather data. Since 67% of industrial manufacturers are already implementing smart factory initiatives, you may already have the systems necessary for this. IoT sensors in your heavy equipment can automate the process of recording and reporting data.
Make the Most of Your Investment
Heavy equipment is the backbone of many industrial operations. Given its importance and expense, you should do everything you can to make it last as long as possible. Follow these five steps, and you can see a considerable return on investment for your heavy machinery.