Throughout the year you will spend up to 50% of your operating cost in maintenance of your equipment, and by implementing proper techniques you can save yourself millions of dollars over the course of your operation. It is amazing to think, that in Australia, 450 million dollars is spent on machine maintenance in coal mining. This amount of money is a large commitment of your proposed profits, but there are ways to reduce these costs.
Pay Attention to Training on Large Machinery
Your equipment is the most important asset in your enterprise, both financially and functionally, and these machines are generally run by several operators. You should always have a checklist attached to each machine, so that operators are aware of how the equipment is running. When you purchase these machines you should check them out thoroughly to assess their condition. You can also rewrite manuals that come with your machinery in a simpler text so that operators can better understand how to perform regular maintenance.
Monitor Your Lubricants
One of the easiest ways to avoid additional costs, and perform appropriate maintenance, is to monitor the lubricants. If you have good lubricant maintenance you make sure that your machinery does not have friction around moving parts. You should pay attention to any signs of extra grease or oil build-up on the pistons, and while looking at these valves and seals make sure that there are no leaks. Through this process you can make sure you reduce cost by catching issues before they turn into major problems.
Look at the Wear of Your Machinery
When you look at big machines you want to pay attention to the breakdown of the parts. These heavy machines are operated in aggressive conditions and the shock, vibration, and high temperatures can destroy them. Look inside your machines frequently to see any stress on moving parts. If you see any points in your machinery that are affected, you should change them immediately. By scheduling regular maintenance, you can reduce your risk of major problems.
Keep Machinery as Clean as Possible
We know that you are sometimes working in bad condition, but by keeping your machinery clean you are prolonging its life. There should be a checklist that you go through, including cleaning seals, filters, and breathers. For example, if you do not change your breathers frequently then you can suck debris and contaminates into your cab. These pieces of trash can directly affect how your clutch operates.
Focus on Record Keeping
Just like you would do with your car, it is a good idea for you to document all of the maintenance that you perform on your machinery. You can look back on your records to see when your transmissions were worked on; when various gears, gaskets, and bearings were replaced; your drive train condition and its pulleys and v-belts; and oil filters and other lubrication checks. If you take the time to perform all of this maintenance you will save yourself money, and ensure a return on the investment of any piece of machinery that you own and operate.
Parts ordering is also important in the scheme of maintenance because you want to have things on hand in case a problem arises. If you have a loader that goes down, you are going to lose money for every day that it isn’t operational. You should find companies that provide replacement parts at affordable values, and keep some of your more important pieces on hand. There are some companies that offer expedited shipping, and these should be used in an emergency. However, you can prevent many problems on your location by keeping parts on hand for your regularly schedules maintenance.
We hope that the following information will help you keep your machinery in top working order, and will save you money in the long run. A lot of these tips may seem like common knowledge, but there are people missing out on tricks of the trade every day. Implement these maintenance suggestions, and you will be excited at the money that you save in the future.