The heavy equipment fleet and the construction industry are inseparable. One depends on the other. The heavy equipment set is the only reason most construction tasks are possible today. When it comes to accessing construction equipment, it is either you buy outrightly or hire one. The latter is preferred because it helps to save cost, considering how scarcely the equipment is used.
Every machine, either rented or owned, is prone to malfunctions. The ownership title doesn’t affect the downtime. So, it is important to understand the common malfunctions your machines may be prone to and how you can prevent them. This is the simplest way to ensure your project keeps going.
Without wasting time, let’s get to it!
Use operators who are familiar with the equipment.
Most rental equipment malfunctions are due to machines being handled by inexperienced or untrained operators. Asides from the potential issues this may cause to the equipment, such individuals are at a high risk of on-the-job injuries and accidents.
Operators are required to have the right skills, training, and knowledge to use heavy machinery correctly and safely. While it can be difficult to commit resources to the training of operators for each new piece of equipment on the job site, the investment is worth it in the long run. It helps prevent malfunctions and accidents while preserving value and profit.
Bottom Line – Training machine operators is a proven way of guaranteeing safety and preventing machinery malfunctions.
Do a circle check on every delivery.
A circle check is compulsory for every piece of machinery delivered to your site. You can use a circle check form to document issues or problems (if any) before proceeding to use the machine. While a circle check can be time-consuming, it makes up for this by ensuring you do not miss out on any pre-delivery damage the machine may have. It also protects you from potential issues that may develop while using the machine.
Stick to the maintenance schedule of the rental company.
Rental equipment will most likely be subjected to scheduled maintenance, especially if the rental is for a long period. It is best to adhere to the letter of schedule to avoid breakdowns. While you may be expected to handle some easy tasks, the complicated aspects of the maintenance will most likely be done by the renter.
For instance, you may be able to do undercarriage maintenance, but send the piece of equipment over to the renter for a timing belt replacement or a full engine service. This can be compared to sticking to the maintenance schedule in your car’s owner’s manual. Your non-compliance may lead to you taking responsibility for the repair costs if a problem that regular maintenance could have prevented happens.
Observe weather reports and equipment tolerances.
As much as you want to meet your project deadlines, you should not put your construction crew as well as your machinery through the hassles of harsh weather. It is better to stop work when it starts to rain, snow, or the weather becomes extreme. Most construction equipment out there has varying temperature tolerances. If you do not adhere to those tolerance levels, it could lead to equipment failure and repairs, all of which would be your responsibility.
So, it is best to know and adhere to the weather and temperature tolerance of your equipment and use them only within those limits. Yes, you may be forced to work slightly behind schedule, but you can rest assured your equipment will be ready for work whenever you need it.
Do not ignore the warning signals.
“Idiot lights” as these signals are usually called are not as idiotic as the name suggests. Each of these lights is warning you about something whenever they show up on the dashboard of your equipment.
Every piece of equipment has a wide range of sensors designed to monitor everything, including oil pressure, electrical current, temperature, and others. Once they sense something unusual, they inform you immediately in the form of warning signals.
Ignoring these warnings will only lead to the failure of your equipment when you need it most, as well as outrageous repair costs and extended downtime. So, instead of ignoring these signals and signs, you should find out what they are warning you about and act on it.
You will most likely find instructions on how to approach such situations in your rental agreement. If you cannot find them, speak to the rental company about these developments.
Use equipment only for their intended purpose.
It is common to see site supervisors and/or operators push equipment to their limits. This can be a good thing – having trained and experienced operators get the best out of your equipment will improve its operational efficiency and lifespan.
However, it becomes a bad thing if this level of familiarity leads to improper equipment use. It is advisable to use the equipment in your fleet for only the purposes they are made for. Likewise, there is no justification whatsoever for using the machinery outside of working hours or for non-work purposes.
It doesn’t matter if you have insurance coverage for your equipment – they do not cover the misuse of a piece of equipment. Also, when you push your fleet of equipment to their limits or have them serve the wrong purposes, you are putting the renter (you) at the risk of liability if these reckless moves end up in damages.
So, when you protect the equipment, you are indirectly protecting yourself.
Storing your equipment correctly after use.
There is no way your equipment will work every day – it is not feasible even on construction sites that operate 24 hours a day. Storing your equipment properly when not in use will prevent equipment malfunction and failure.
There is no one way to do this: you may install tarps and equipment covers to protect your prized assets. Alternatively, you can ensure they are parked under a carport or under similar covers. You can also park them in garages or warehouses to protect the elements.
Irrespective of the protective measure you have chosen, adequate protection of your rental equipment from the elements can be a simple but effective means of preventing failures and malfunctions when they are used on the job site.
You remain responsible for rental equipment, despite being a renter.
Renters tend to think they are less responsible or not responsible for rental equipment. This is false. While renting equipment is more cost-effective than outright purchase, since you are not responsible for the purchase, insurance, or maintenance costs, you are still responsible for taking care of the machinery you have rented.
So, you must acquaint yourself with the possible risks and equipment malfunctions you may experience, and understand how to properly prevent them.
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