Heavy construction equipment is a big investment. Making sure you get the most out of your investment is crucial for your bottom line.
One frequent threat to your budget is equipment downtime. When your equipment isn’t in the field working, it’s costing you money. That’s why it’s so important to reduce downtime as much as possible – so you can keep your equipment functioning properly instead of sitting on the sidelines.
Here are tips you can follow to reduce downtime for your heavy construction equipment.
Consider a Preventative Maintenance Plan
Preventative maintenance means performing maintenance on machines before they break. But how can you maintain something that isn’t broken yet?
With a preventative maintenance plan, you can nip problems in the bud before they turn into major issues. For example, at Cowin, we offer four levels of a Customer Support Agreement (CSA) that offers:
- OEM parts, oil, and filters
- Regular machine inspection
- Service and maintenance per the OEM service manual
- Selected repair work
- Guaranteed fixed cost for the life of the agreement
The level of care depends on the level of CSA ordered. CSAs like this are great because not only do they save you time and money; they also ensure a higher resale value because the machine has been well-maintained.
The bottom line about preventative maintenance plans is that they protect you and your equipment, and they ensure you have fewer problems down the road.
Find a Dealer with a Spare Parts inventory
One major cause of downtime is not having a spare part on hand when an original part breaks.
It can take days, if not weeks, to get new parts in. But if you work with a dealer who keeps a healthy supply of parts, you can quickly swap out parts and get the machine back in the field. For those who don’t want to keep such a large inventory, work with a heavy construction equipment dealer like Cowin, who maintains an inventory of parts for the equipment they sell (over $10 million in parts, to be exact).
What makes this better is the unique “inter-branch” hauling system that allows for next-day delivery of any part in inventory. Additionally, you can find “protected stock” that branches keep on hand to ensure you have the parts you require.
In this way, you can have what you need, when you need it – further reducing downtime. Working with a dealer is the best way to keep a full supply of spare parts and avoid having to invest in an expensive inventory yourself.
Check Diagnostics and Equipment Usage
Heavy construction equipment owners should keep track of all active usage. This doesn’t include time in which the machine is on the site but isn’t in use; it only includes time that the machine is actually in operation. You can do this manually by ensuring your operators document when the machine is being used, or you can do this automatically using equipment tracking software.
Volvo, for example, has the CareTrack GPS System that allows the customer to remotely monitor real-time information related to machine usage and productivity. This includes fuel consumption, run-time, and performance for all Volvo equipment on your site.
Grove has a similar system, called CraneSTAR. CraneSTAR gathers real-time information for Grove cranes that can be viewed from a computer. This includes fleet management, machine location, lift monitoring, work monitoring, machine performance, and maintenance.
Chances are, the OEM for the machinery you are using will have a proprietary system in place to help you monitor equipment usage and perform needed diagnostics.
Team Up with a Dealer
The best way to keep downtime low is to partner with a heavy construction equipment dealer. A dealer should not only have inventory, they should also have technicians who are trained in maintaining, inspecting, and repairing your equipment.
Working with a dealer is the best way to move forward when it comes to keeping downtime at a minimum. It’s a great investment that will save you time and money in the long run.