There is no construction industry without the various heavy equipment used to execute complex and highly demanding tasks. There are two options when it comes to accessing construction equipment fleet: renting or outright purchase. Understandably, renting is more popular because it helps cut costs on these expensive pieces of equipment that are seldom used.
Whether you are renting or buying construction equipment, you have to deal with downtime. Equipment malfunctions are unavoidable in any construction setup. Luckily, this blog discusses how to prevent the most common equipment malfunctions that lead to downtime on site.
Tip #1. Ensure operators are familiar with the equipment.
Asking an operator to control construction equipment they are not familiar with will only lead to one thing – problems. Interestingly, assigning incompetent operators to equipment is one of the leading reasons for equipment malfunctions in the construction industry. It also puts the operator at risk of injuries and accidents.
You are more likely to minimize downtime and avoid machinery-related accidents when you ensure operators are knowledgeable, well-trained, and skilled to use the equipment. Therefore, it is highly advisable to train potential operators before deploying them to handle the equipment. Although it may seem like a costly move, it is profitable in the long run.
Tip #2. Inspect the machinery on arrival.
Do not take delivery of a piece of equipment on-site except you have adequately assessed and inspected it. While this may require a little extra time, a circle check can help you pick out problems and issues with the machine that may have happened before it got delivered to you.
It also ensures you do not take responsibility for issues that may occur during the rental period.
Tip #3. Adhere to the maintenance schedule of the rental company.
Scheduled maintenance is almost always part of equipment rentals, especially if the rental period is relatively longer. Adhering to the letter of schedule will help prevent breakdowns. You can handle the routine maintenance tasks by yourself and send the equipment over to the renter for the more complicated service and maintenance.
For example, you may be able to handle undercarriage maintenance in your wheelhouse. However, the rental company would be responsible for changing a timing belt and other similar engine services.
Whether basic or advanced maintenance, it is vital to stick to the schedule. If you skip scheduled regular maintenance, which leads to a bigger problem, you would be responsible for the repair costs.
Tip #4. Never ignore weather reports and equipment tolerances.
Construction tasks are not meant to continue under extreme weather conditions. Working through the snow or rain might help you meet deadlines faster, but it ultimately leads to equipment breakdowns. You do not want to subject your rental equipment to these working conditions.
Most construction equipment types usually have definite temperature tolerances. Anything outside this range will most likely cause equipment failure and costly damages. That is why you should take note of your equipment’s temperature and weather tolerance limits and work within those limits.
Yes, you may spend more time on your project, but you can avoid unplanned equipment failure and repair costs.
This article is brought to you by KEP Cat Parts in the North East UK.
Tip #5. Watch out for warning signals.
What most people often call “idiot lights” are more important than we think. These signals and signs on your equipment’s dashboard notify you of issues that may degenerate into bigger problems. There are several sensors in any construction equipment, each designed to track every aspect of the machine. The warning signals are to inform you that these processes or parts are not functioning as expected.
Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the signs and act on them immediately. Otherwise, you may be in for extended downtime and extensive repair costs. Your rental agreement will most likely cover instructions on approaching the warning light situations in the machine. If not, you should immediately reach out to the rental company for help.
Tip #6. Use equipment for the intended purpose only.
You can ask competent and trained operators to get the best out of the equipment to maximize output. Doing that can boost operational efficiency and ensure your fleet lasts longer. But no matter how enticing the idea is, do not push your equipment to do what it is not designed to do.
Only use your pieces of equipment for what it is meant for. Likewise, do not use them for entertainment or outside of business hours. You will most likely not get compensation from your insurance company if you misuse the machinery or push it past its original limits.
So, when you protect your equipment, you are indirectly protecting yourself.
Tip #7. Adopt proper storage measures.
The chances are high that you will not use every piece of equipment in your fleet for every hour of the day. Storing your equipment properly when not in use can help you avoid equipment failure and malfunctions while minimizing downtime.
The storage measure you adopt depends on the equipment type. For example, you can set up equipment covers, tarps, or a carport where you can park your equipment. Likewise, you can store them in warehouses and garages where they are fully protected from elements.
The goal here is to protect your rental equipment from the elements. And this move can keep your job site running smoothly by preventing malfunctions and failures.
You Are Still Responsible For Rental Equipment
Perhaps you have decided to rent your pieces of equipment to save costs, especially purchase, insurance, and maintenance costs; you are still responsible for taking care of these pieces of rental equipment. Therefore, you must take time to understand the possible risks and malfunctions associated with each piece of equipment and devise practical means to prevent or avoid them.