With the cost of purchasing tools and equipment some of the most substantial investments for contractors and construction companies, and with the continuity of their businesses often hinging upon the use of such tools, it makes sense that they’d want to take steps to protect against the possibility of prematurely damaging such valuable and essential assets. Here are nine tips you can use to extend the lifespan of your tools and equipment:
1. Prevent the Buildup of Ash, Dirt, and Dust
Keeping a clean working environment is one of the first steps you can take to ensure the filters, fans, and motors operating inside of your equipment aren’t damaged or clogged. One of the best ways to efficiently remove all fine dust from a room is to use a dustless vacuum that doesn’t allow small particles back into the air. If you need a vacuum that is designed to clean up cool and warm ash without contaminating the air, give this vacuum a try. The ash vacuum from Dustless Tools has been designed to filter the finest ash and is guaranteed to not leak any.
2. Make Sure All Operators are Well-Trained
Poorly trained operators are one of the leading causes of avoidable damage to equipment and property. Furthermore, they’re also more likely to create a hazardous situation for themselves or their co-workers, which could lead to lawsuits if the appropriate steps aren’t taken to ensure that all on-site staff are adequately trained on how to properly use the equipment they are entrusted with.
3. Ensure All Parts are Lubricated
Poorly lubricated equipment will always experience expeditious wear and tear and reduced operating efficiency. On the other hand, well-oiled machinery is able to work efficiently due to the lessening of friction and heat. Thus, maintaining optimal lubrication is one of the most important aspects to pay attention to when looking for ways to extend the lifespan of your construction tools and equipment.
4. Test Equipment Performance Regularly
Waiting until something breaks to fix it isn’t necessarily the best approach when you’re running a professional construction company. If you want your equipment to last for a long time, you need to be aware as soon as problems start to arise. It may be wise to partner with an in-house mechanic or an affiliate mechanic’s shop to have all of your heavy machinery tested for potential problems on a quarterly basis.
5. Conduct Visual Inspections on a Routine Basis
Just as an in-depth mechanical analysis can help uncover problems early on, so can a simple visual inspection. Create checklists for performing surface inspections so your employees and operators can have something to use as a reference when performing their own inspections at the beginning and end of every shift. If you’re unsure about what to look for during an inspection, you could look for an inspection checklist in the maintenance section of the equipment’s manual.
6. Require Frequent Cleaning and Maintenance
Frequently cleaning and maintaining your tools and equipment can help you avoid most cases of catastrophic damage. Making this an inherent part of the job description of the equipment operator will ensure that you won’t have to bring in extra staff just for this purpose. Plus, the same person who is operating the equipment should be knowledgeable about how to clean and maintain it for the sake of saving on payroll expenses.
7. Develop a Maintenance & Repair Schedule
You might want to consult with a specialist who can help you develop a comprehensive schedule for inspecting, cleaning, and maintaining your company’s equipment. Alternatively, you could create the schedule yourself if you’re willing to take notes about the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures for every tool and piece of equipment your company owns.
8. Keep Maintenance Records
Once you have a solid schedule to abide by, start keeping detailed records of all cleaning and repairs done so that you can review it on a weekly or monthly basis and ensure that everyone is in full compliance with the maintenance regimen.
9. Read Every Manual and Follow Manufacturer’s Recommendations
Reading the manual is never fun, but it’s something that absolutely has to be done from a professional point of view. Every site manager and equipment operator should be required to not only read the manual for the equipment they’re using but also pass a quiz proving their proficiency before being allowed to use the tool on the job.
Extending Equipment Lifespan Reduces Unnecessary Expenditure
Ultimately, while taking all of the steps above might seem like a bit of a hassle, it’s worth your time when you consider how much money you could save in the long-term by not having to replace or repair equipment. For large construction companies, that figure could add up to tens or hundreds of thousands spent on unnecessary replacements, upgrades, and emergency repairs. Even if you only run a small construction company at the moment, implementing the above procedures and policies will help you avoid equipment-related problems as you continue to scale up the business.