Construction equipment downtime has a variety of detrimental effects, including loss in profit, decreased productivity, increased budgets for repairs, and a pushed back timeline on project completion. Rather than dealing with the worse-case-scenario, instead plan ahead in order to avoid downtime. Some preventative actions you can take include planned maintenance and inspection, monitor current downtime occurrences, involve your employees, and look into equipment upgrades.

Monitor Current Equipment Downtime Patterns

If you are facing regular downtime due to equipment repairs, start a record of which equipment is failing or requiring repairs—more specifically which parts—and how often. If you’re noticing certain parts are wearing very often after a certain type of job or your equipment is struggling during a specific season, then you can make note of these observations to start establishing your equipment maintenance plan. You can then prioritize your focus regarding which components of the equipment and cranes require more attention as well as factors that are causing the downtime, like improper use of the equipment.

Maintenance Plan for Cranes & Construction Equipment

The best way to avoid downtime is by preventing it altogether with regular equipment maintenance and inspections. Not only are these services planned but so are their expenses. By inspecting and servicing parts, especially ones that wear a little more often, you can detect the weathering early on and repair or replace the damage before facing parts or equipment failure, ultimately leading to downtime and costly replacements. Regular maintenance is also known to extend the life of your cranes and construction equipment.

Another good practice to exercise everyday before starting on the job is having your team inspect each piece of equipment before use and end the day re-inspecting each. This will ensure you find any problems or possible damage on your cranes and can get the repairs completed quickly so as not disrupt your project and timeline. It is especially important to inspect your cranes and construction equipment after seasonal storms and changes. Operating your equipment during the wintertime could have worn out some parts, so inspecting those for damage will prepare for equipment for the seasons and jobs to come.

Work with your construction crane and equipment dealer to establish a maintenance plan based on manufacturer recommendations for timing, parts, inspections, and more. At RTL Equipment, we have an in-house equipment service technicians who will come to your warehouse and service the equipment on-site. They are trained to repair forklifts, cranes, excavators, and more, and they are educated in OEM standards. We carry a wide range of stock parts for our Terex, Doosan, Kobelco, and Mantis lines. Scheduling this maintenance for each piece of equipment will give you the choice and control of when the equipment is not in use rather than having it fail right when you need it.

We also recommend you keep a detailed record of maintenance performed on each piece of equipment. Should you choose to sell the equipment later on, you increase your resale value by showing that you regularly serviced the equipment and took care of it. While you own the equipment, maintenance will increase your control of cost of ownership and improve your overall bottom line as well as increase the return of investment.

Involve Your Crane & Equipment Operators

One of the main reasons a piece of equipment fails or a part needs replacing is due to user error. If your crane operators are not properly trained in using the heavy-duty cranes, you may not even know the equipment needs repair until it is too late and you face downtime with costly repairs. Putting your crane and equipment operators through regular trainings will ensure they are using the equipment effectively, even as manufacturers update operation recommendations. This is also a matter of safety on your job site. If a worker is misusing heavy-duty equipment, a serious accident could occur. Make sure your operators are fully trained in the use of your cranes, forklifts, and excavators ensure the highest level of productivity.

If your operators are trained and using the equipment in the most effective way, then it would also be useful ask for their input on equipment performance. They are using the equipment firsthand and on a regular basis, so they will be the first to notice if anything seems out of the ordinary out on the job. Operators will also be a great reference to determine what parts need maintenance and how frequently they need the service.

Construction Equipment Upgrades

As your equipment gets older, it becomes more and more obsolete in the industry. Getting parts replaced and old equipment repaired therefore becomes a more difficult task. Also, as the equipment gets older, it becomes less effective, leading to decreased productivity and more regular need for repairs and possibly downtime. When you’re noticing that your equipment is lagging, consider upgrading your cranes to newer models or upgraded controls and components. You can extend the useful life of your equipment with the upgrade and even increase productivity and safety on the work site. Contact your crane and construction equipment dealer to learn more about available upgrades for your equipment.

If you need regular equipment inspections, assistance establishing a  maintenance plan, or upgrade recommendations, RTL Equipment can help. We are highly trained in OEM standards for each line of cranes and construction equipment we offer, so we know directly from the manufacturers what is needed for your equipment to last and work effectively for your needs. Take a look at our large stock of cranes, forklifts, and equipment parts available for sale and rent at RTL Equipment today.