Equipment management

One of the most indispensable assets to your company is your heavy equipment. Such equipment is necessary to complete projects, and optimising their usage can help you deliver on time.

Equipment management

One of the most effective ways to evaluate machinery usage and monitor your fleet’s effectiveness is through heavy construction equipment management. The benefit of this management is that it helps you plan the usage of your fleet over your year, helping you reduce expenses, keep your machinery running well and invest in the correct type of maintenance. Let us read this article to learn more about construction equipment management and its many benefits to your fleet.

What is construction equipment management?

The ability of a company to evaluate its construction equipment fleet and its cost consistently is known as construction equipment management.

This type of management involves taking an organisation’s evaluation of its fleet and comparing it against the requirements of its current projects. By acquiring this insightful data, businesses can strike a healthy balance between the equipment usage, expenses, income generated and time needed.

Construction equipment management helps managers monitor the condition of the equipment so that they can make data-driven decisions about their upkeep, using evidence to decide whether to upgrade a piece of equipment or send it for maintenance.

What is construction equipment management?

A sound management system is cost-effective and helps managers identify better ways to protect and maintain their equipment for longer. If heavy solid equipment management practises are presented to a manager, they can expand the value of a piece of equipment while reducing the expense needed to maintain it appropriately.

Even though construction equipment and other heavy pieces of equipment are often expensive, over a long time, they eventually end up paying for themselves, making more money for your company than you originally paid for.

However, when managers have to buy new equipment, they are often worried about return on investment. Here, construction equipment management helps managers evaluate the cost of owning a piece of equipment, including its maintenance, usage, storage and other expenses, so that you can track the exact break-even point. Therefore, by using strong construction equipment management practices, managers can decide whether buying a piece of equipment benefits the company.

Tips for construction equipment management

You can incorporate specific actions into your practice that will help you maintain the value of your equipment, increase the running time and reduce your expenses. Listed below are a few of the top tips that experts use for effective construction equipment management:

1. Store your equipment correctly:

If you are storing your equipment in a substandard manner, it could lead to an early breakdown, forcing you to replace parts and repair them more often.

One of the easiest and most effective equipment management strategies is storing equipment properly to remain well-maintained and free from damage. The problem is that even though heavy construction equipment has been designed to be robust, rugged and well-functioning, they are still susceptible to rust due to prolonged working in damp weather conditions. So, do not get the wrong impression that if your equipment is designed to work outdoors, it can be stored outdoors.

Constant exposure to the dampness in the atmosphere can aggravate rusting, weakening significant parts of your equipment. To prevent rust from forming on your equipment, ensure that it is stored in a dry and shielded location, protected from all elements.

Tips for construction equipment management

If you have no choice but to store your equipment outdoors, utilise covers designed for storage. These covers can be a good investment as they can shield your equipment from the elements for an extended period and are flexible enough to be transferred to other projects. Some companies create storage facilities to store their equipment, whichd, is the best option; however, if you are a new business owner, you need to factor in the cost of these facilities into your overall equipment cost.

It is also critical to properly store diesel and other coolants, protecting them from debris, dust or water that can contaminate them and dilute their efficiency.

If you utilise contaminated coolant or fuels can accelerate the degradation of your equipment by causing technical issues and damage to your equipment’s structural integrity. Hence, utilise secure containers in locations to keep these liquids uncontaminated.

If you invest in proper storage, you will reduce your repair and replacement expenses, get more life out of your equipment, and ensure that it holds value for longer. Hence, if you want, you can sell this well-maintained equipment and replace them with something else in the future.

2. Create rules and guidelines:

Creating strict, practical, clear and comprehensive rules and guidelines for your equipment is an effective way to ensure that your staff does not engage in practices that could shorten the lifespan of your equipment. Adhering to rules and guidelines is the most effective way to enhance the value of your equipment.

Before sitting down to write the rules, research the equipment properly and read about the safety practices recommended for the machinery. Additionally, go through all online guides and manufacturer manuals related to proper equipment usage. You can further your research by including credible online tips or talking to experienced operators.

These rules and guidelines should also encompass the correct storage procedures and regular maintenance schedule for every piece of equipment in your fleet. Understanding the maintenance and storage requirements of different equipment in your fleet can help you craft guidelines that can enhance the effectiveness of your equipment.

Equipment management

Additionally, you can talk to the equipment manufacturer to understand all preventive maintenance procedures and how they should be performed.

Once you have done your research and learnt the methods to best utilise your equipment, you can create a comprehensive set of rules for your operators. After drafting these rules and adequately communicating them to your staff, re-evaluate their understanding so that you are confident that everyone has assimilated the information and is on the same page.

How they understand the rules is directly reflected in how well the equipment is maintained and how mistakes are prevented.

3. Monitor your equipment:

The biggest priority for your company is to keep your fleet running in top condition. One of the easiest ways by which you can keep your feet well-maintained and avoid unexpected breakdowns is through regular evaluation. When conducting evaluations, there are certain red flags that you must be cautious of, including:

• Blotchy or improper grease fittings
• Low fuel levels or coolant
• Smudged air filters
• Frames and wheels with hairline cracks
• Windshield cracks
• Worn tracks, tires or tread

Conducting periodic inspections and focusing on these warning signs can help you identify issues before they escalate to hazards that could damage your equipment. As soon as anybody notices any of these red flags, your company can take immediate action to repair your equipment. Although some costs for these repairs can be high, you save money in the long run as you prevent more expensive and extensive repairs.

4. Seek dealer assistance:

If you have bought your heavy construction equipment from well-reputed dealers, often, the original manufacturer is identified as the party that conducts the repairs on the damaged equipment. It is an excellent heavy construction equipment management practice to buy equipment from such dealers.

Even though some of your staff members may be adept at making repairs, the knowledge base of a dealer cannot be beaten. A dealer’s expertise, experience and knowledge can ensure that your equipment gets the best services and is replaced with the best parts available.

Monitor your equipment

By making your dealer incharge of your repairs, you are protecting your equipment, as often, unreliable repair sources do not complete the project correctly.

Improper repairs done from such sources can cause even more significant maintenance issues to arise in the future, thereby unnecessarily increasing your repair expenses. Hence, you can manage the cost and condition of your fleet better by seeking dealer assistance for repairs instead of outsourcing it to an unreliable third party.

5. Ensure consistent maintenance:

Regular preventive maintenance is one of the most effective methods to maintain your equipment in the best condition possible. Begin by assigning specific staff members to conduct periodic equipment inspections, focusing on the warning signs listed above and the potential issues specific to different machines.

These inspections should be divided into monthly, weekly and daily routines where you can check for cracks, loss of essential parts, looseness, tyre pressure, fluid levels and oil pipe leaking daily.

It is great to keep a public schedule accessible to all your staff members about the routine maintenance requirements.

An accessible schedule ensures routine maintenance is completed on time and maintenance actions are done daily. Additionally, when conducting these routine maintenance actions, the technical specifications provided by the manufacturer should also be adhered to.

Moreover, another consideration that you should factor in is if you are working in harsher conditions. Then, the maintenance schedule that usually takes place bi-monthly can be extended to weekly. For example, if the equipment is being utilised in an exceptionally dusty environment, it is necessary to maintain the air filters more often than industry practice.

6. Use downtime effectively:

Another effective method to increase the life of your equipment is to better utilise your downtime. When you understand your equipment better, you are in a more significant position to make more valuable decisions.

For example, downtime can be utilised to prepare and handle documents so that they do not pile up at the end of the project. Downtime can also be utilised to proactively prepare for upcoming projects by moving the equipment closer to the following work site or sending pieces for service. Additionally, downtime is a great time to conduct additional inspections to ensure that all your pieces are running at their peak condition.

Equipment management

Similarly, another good strategy is to utilise your downtime for ordering replacement parts and purchasing upgrades or attachments. This practice planning can help operators finish tasks efficiently. If you have identified any skill gaps in your staff, this is a great time to conduct training courses so that your staff can become certified in a piece of equipment that you are planning to purchase or is a new addition to your fleet.

7. Make it easy for staff to exchange information:

Construction equipment management is not a single team member endeavour but a team effort. Management may not be the first to know important details of your equipment, such as its overall condition. Instead, workers on the frontline and on the ground using the equipment daily are the ones who will spot these issues.

As soon as a member of your staff spot these issues, they must communicate it to the needed parties. For the proper exchange of information, it is necessary to have appropriate communication channels. A communication plan should be set where employees can easily share different issues with the needed parties.

With a proper communication plan, information will flow smoothly in your organisation, making it better prepared for unexpected damages or repairs.

With proper communication channels and a fast exchange of information, you can order replacement parts on time, act upon issues immediately and reduce downtime. Additionally, as everyone is aware of the damage, it prevents people from further worsening the problem.

equipment management

Another use of this communication channel is to relay information related to your company’s finances, such as delays in your current project, cost of improper equipment or replacement and slowdowns at the work site.

A delay could prevent you from moving to the next task, and a slowdown can lead to a loss of income and dissatisfied clients. When this information is relayed to your staff and management, they can communicate it better to the relevant parties.

The added benefit of using communication channels to relay information about project delays is that miscalculation of overtime is reduced. Whenever you are experiencing an unexpected breakdown, an effective communication system allows you to make repairs faster and reduce the excess financial cost of overtime.

8. Keep track of your equipment capacity and compatibility:

The most excellent method to lengthen the lifespan of your equipment and avoid unnecessary damage is to be aware of your equipment’s capacity. Every piece of equipment is designed to handle a specific load size, and lifting beyond what the equipment is designed for will exaggerate the damage.

Additionally, paying attention to the compatibility of spare parts and attachments is also helpful in furthering the life of your construction equipment. Utilising incompatible parts or overloading your equipment will invariably lead to machine breakdown and reduce the efficiency of the equipment.

effective heavy construction equipment management

A more significant danger of such failures is that they can injure staff and operators nearby. Hence, following manufacturer recommendations for equipment capacity, attachment, and spare parts ensure optimised usage. To keep everyone on the same page, ensure this information is readily available to your staff and management.

Questions to ask for more effective heavy construction equipment management

Regardless of its type, management is all about asking the correct questions. With the correct type of questions, you gain a better understanding of your fleet’s capabilities and your company’s goals. Some examples of questions that you should answer honestly include:

1. What type of equipment do you need for this project?

By properly examining the projects for the upcoming year, you can figure out if your fleet is ready to handle the slated work for the year. If you find gaps, you have appropriate time to rent or buy machines. Similarly, if you are looking to expand your services, evaluating your current state can make you understand what you need to invest in for future projects.

2. Should you rent equipment?

Renting can be highly beneficial for acquiring a piece that you currently do not have in your fleet at a lower cost. Additionally, it reduces your commitment to long-term investment. When picking up a massive piece of equipment, factor in equipment upkeep, rental charges and unexpected expenses.

3. What are the operation and transportation costs of your equipment?

Operating and transporting equipment comes with expenses, and it is essential to factor these into your budget to ensure that you are not over-extending your organisation’s finances or have adequate funds to substantiate through unexpected expenses.

construction equipment

4. How can you make the most of your construction equipment?

You can maximise your equipment’s performance by understanding what the construction equipment can do and what is out of its scope. By evaluating the equipment and its capabilities, you can readjust how it is utilised to maximise its performance.

For example, you may improve the performance of a piece of equipment by attaching a recommended attachment. Investing in this attachment reduces the number of machines you would need on a specific work site to complete a project. Therefore, evaluating your fleet’s capabilities can help you do more with less equipment, helping you to free up your machine for other jobs.

5. What preventive maintenance should you perform?

Review the needs of your fleet and its equipment to understand the preventive maintenance required to maximise its performance. After reviewing the needs of your fleet and looking at all of its requirements, you can communicate the necessary maintenance requirements to your staff.

Adding this maintenance schedule to your staff ensures that the required tasks are performed correctly and appropriately. Examples of such maintenance routines include regular inspections of windshields, tyres, oil, and coolant levels, cleaning equipment, storing them appropriately and shutting them off when not in use. By sticking to a strict preventive maintenance schedule, you can enhance the lifespan and performance of your equipmen

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