What Good Maintenance Looks Like
What does good maintenance look like?
It’s no secret that regular maintenance protects both your machines and your business. But what does good maintenance look like? How can you make sure your machines are maintained so they are as productive and reliable for as long as possible? How can you reduce maintenance costs over the life of the machine? Here are our top insights into what good maintenance looks like:
1. Following the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations: Just changing the oil or replacing a filter is not good maintenance, it’s a task. Don’t settle for a fast and cheap service. Carrying out full performance checks on your equipment to the manufacturer’s standard is what you should aim for. The manufacturer’s standard may not be the Joe Bloggs standard or even the general New Zealand standard. That’s why it’s best to work with a manufacturer or a dealer as they are up to date with exactly what’s needed. They know about recent changes in recommendation or practice and follow the latest advice.
2. Having access to a database of machine information: When a technician for a manufacturer or dealer looks at a machine, they know what to check and what parts might fail and when, based on data from machines across the globe. This information is incredibly valuable for preventing breakdowns by replacing parts in time but many technicians don’t have access to it.
3. Sticking to the right intervals for service: It’s important not to go over the service intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Going over creates a risk of introducing contamination or seeing carbon build up. Clogged air filters or oil filters will see machines burn more fuel and become less productive so you’re not moving as much dirt. Good maintenance leads to high productivity.
4. Using the right standard of parts, oils and lubricants: Good maintenance often means avoiding the cheapest products. Cheap products may appeal in the moment but long term it can be much dearer. Take coolant as an example, the quality products last exponentially longer. The upfront cost is quickly balanced out by the fact you don’t have to replace it as much. Look at the whole lifecycle cost.
5. Looking after components: When we talk about maintenance we often talk about obvious topics like oils and fluids. Good maintenance is also about caring for your components when they are coming to key moments in their life, for example 12,000 hours. Good maintenance looks like removing a component at a scheduled time, stripping it down and replacing a few items - as opposed to replacing the whole thing when it breaks down.
6. Seeing into your machine’s future: Good maintenance involves working with your dealer and planning for your machine’s future based on insights into its performance. It’s not just what the next service looks like, but three or four services beyond that including component repair.
7. Getting inside your machine’s brain: In 2021, a good service includes accessing the machine’s electronic control management system, which is essentially the machine’s brain. You should get this performance information downloaded, analysed and explained to you with recommendations to improve machine’s usage. Just like your laptop or phone, your machine’s electronic system may need the latest update to improve its performance and sometimes even your machine’s productivity.
Good maintenance is a long-term journey. Having a close and trusting relationship with a team of expert technicians is the best guarantee you will get the most out of your machine and its components.
Six questions to ask before a service:
- Do you have access to the latest manufacturer’s information?
- What maintenance advice to you offer?
- What will you do to maintain my machine’s components?
- How will you record what maintenance is done and then update me?
- How will you help me reduce my maintenance costs over the life of my machine?
- How will you update my technology?