Key takeaways you will find in this article

  • Businesses and municipalities make significant investments in heavy equipment
  • Tough conditions and environments can degrade performance
  • A comprehensive maintenance program can extend the life of machinery, optimize its performance, and decrease cost
  • A CMMS can assist managers in creating a comprehensive heavy equipment maintenance program

Businesses, municipalities, and other public institutions invest significantly in heavy equipment. Tough conditions and challenging environmental factors can erode critical components, making heavy equipment less effective. They can also degrade assets, forcing costly repairs. 

It’s critical that employees protect these assets by performing routine and preventive maintenance practices. These help preserve machines’ lives, making them more efficient and reducing costs. 

Let’s explore some industry best practices to ensure your heavy equipment functions as intended for a long time. 

What types of heavy equipment need maintenance?

Heavy equipment is typically classified as machinery that can complete intensive work. Things like earthmoving, forestry, paving, inventory movement, and other types of work all need heavy equipment. 

Because of the nature of the work they complete, these machines need significant upkeep. Following industry best practices can extend the life of your heavy equipment for years. 

Here are some types of heavy equipment that need to be maintained. 

Dump trucks 

Dump trucks are a very common piece of heavy equipment. They are present on most construction sites and transport various materials like dirt, gravel, and waste. 

Pavers

A paver is an essential piece of heavy equipment for laying asphalt and concrete. Many organizations use them to create surfaces on bridges, roads, and parking lots. 

Backhoes 

A backhoe is another common piece of heavy machinery. It is used to excavate and dig ground. It’s made up of a digging bucket on an arm.

Boom lifts

Boom lifts, also known as cherry pickers, are essential for work above ground level. Regular maintenance of boom lifts is crucial to ensure safe operation at height. This includes inspecting hydraulic systems, checking for leaks, examining structural integrity, and examining safety mechanisms. 

Compactors

Compactors compress materials such as soil, gravel, or trash. Proper maintenance of compactors requires checking hydraulic systems, inspecting plates for wear, and ensuring proper alignment.

Multi-terrain loaders 

Multi-terrain loaders are versatile machines designed to operate on various surfaces, from soft soil to uneven terrain. Maintenance tasks for multi-terrain loaders include inspecting tracks, checking hydraulic systems, lubricating pivot points, and cleaning air filters.

Dozers

Dozers are powerful earthmoving machines used for tasks such as grading, excavation, and pushing materials. Routine maintenance of dozers involves checking blade edges for wear, inspecting the undercarriage, and ensuring hydraulic systems function.

Excavators

Excavators are versatile machines in various construction, mining, and landscaping projects. Maintenance of excavators includes inspecting bucket teeth and cutting edges, checking hydraulic fluid levels, and greasing pivot points.

Snow plows

Snow plows are essential equipment for clearing roads, parking lots, and other surfaces during winter weather conditions. Snow plow maintenance involves inspecting blades for damage and checking hydraulic systems.

Tow motors

Tow motors, also known as forklifts or lift trucks, are used for lifting and transporting heavy loads in warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities. Tow motor maintenance includes checking brakes, inspecting tires, lubricating moving parts, and testing safety features such as horns and lights.

Utility vehicles 

Utility vehicles are used for various tasks, including transportation, maintenance, and recreational activities. Utility vehicle maintenance involves checking fluid levels, inspecting tires, lubricating chassis components, and testing electrical systems.

Skid steers

Skid steers are versatile machines commonly used in construction, landscaping, and agriculture for tasks such as digging, loading, and grading. Skid steers require inspecting hydraulic systems, checking attachment connections, and greasing pivot points.

Benefits of heavy equipment maintenance

There are many reasons to complete a comprehensive heavy equipment maintenance program. Regularly scheduled maintenance can extend machine lifespan, improve safety, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance productivity. Here is how maintenance can improve each. 

Extend heavy equipment lifespan

Worksite machines are a significant investment, so it’s critical to make them last as long as possible. Most are built to last for years, but without proper care, they may not live up to their potential. By identifying and addressing potential issues early, maintenance procedures help mitigate major breakdowns and costly repairs, prolonging the machine’s lifespan. 

Improve safety 

Well-maintained machinery operates more reliably and reduces accident risk caused by equipment failure or malfunction. Additionally, maintenance tasks help identify and fix potential job site hazards before they impact assets or the workplace.

Increase efficiency 

Maintaining equipment helps it operate more efficiently, delivering optimal performance with less fuel consumption and downtime. Lubricating, calibrating, and cleaning help equipment function efficiently, maximizing productivity and minimizing operational costs.

Cut costs 

Preventive maintenance reduces breakdowns and the need for repairs. It also increases performance, lowering fuel consumption. Additionally, it prolongs equipment’s operational life, slashing replacement costs.

Reduce downtime

Unplanned equipment downtime can disrupt project timelines, leading to delays and increased costs. Regular maintenance helps identify potential issues early, allowing for proactive repairs and minimizing the risk of unexpected breakdowns. 

Heighten workforce efficiency

Well-maintained equipment contributes to a smoother and more efficient work environment, enabling employees to perform their tasks effectively. Reduced downtime means less idle time for workers and increased productivity. Additionally, operators are more satisfied when relying on machinery that operates safely and consistently.

Checklists for the maintenance of heavy equipment

To unlock the benefits of heavy equipment maintenance, employees must perform regular checks. These range from daily to yearly inspections to ensure machinery is in good working order. There is no shortage of things to remember when performing maintenance. Here are a few checklists to help you remember what to monitor.

Daily Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist

Keep your heavy equipment fleet running smoothly with pre-start, warmup, operation, and end-of-day inspections.

Procedure

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Weekly heavy equipment maintenance checklist

Keep your heavy equipment fleet running smoothly with weekly critical heavy equipment maintenance inspections.

Procedure

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Monthly heavy equipment maintenance checklist

Keep your heavy equipment running in top condition with our monthly heavy equipment maintenance checklist.

Procedure

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Annual heavy equipment maintenance checklist

Keep your heavy equipment in top condition with our annual heavy equipment maintenance checklist.

Procedure

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Configurable equipment maintenance software

Increase asset lifespans and strategically plan the use of your equipment with reliable maintenance software.

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How maintenance management software helps 

There are countless tasks to manage in an operation that uses heavy equipment. Planning and scheduling heavy machine maintenance is critical for keeping technicians organized. 

Technology advancements have significantly impacted maintenance planning and scheduling. Solutions provide organizations with powerful tools to streamline processes and improve efficiency. Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) offer a centralized platform for managing tasks, tracking asset performance, and generating data-driven insights. Some of the ways they can help an organization with heavy equipment maintenance include:

Creating heavy equipment maintenance checklists 

In a CMMS, users can create equipment-specific checklists for employees to perform. These allow businesses to tailor their maintenance routines to their needs. Checklists are an essential part of any heavy maintenance management process.  

Managing inventory, consumables, and needed tools

To perform heavy equipment maintenance, businesses need to know what they have on hand. Often, heavy machinery requires fuel, spare parts, and special tools to complete tasks. With a comprehensive CMMS, businesses can track these critical components to ensure their employees have what they need. 

Improving processes, traceability, and accountability

Organizations lose up to $1.3 million a year due to maintenance inefficiency, according to a report by Formstack and Mantis Research. This includes heavy equipment maintenance. With a CMMS solution, organizations improve processes and traceability. Managers know exactly what’s been serviced and when. 

Centralizing communication

A good CMMS allows organizations to create a centralized communication hub. Employees can discuss heavy maintenance tasks with one another, eliminating the need for disparate systems. 

Leading organizations leverage FMX to help with heavy equipment maintenance

FMX software that shows a readout of equipment maintenance summary, top equipment by maintenance cost, and the calendar feature.

FMX offers a comprehensive asset management solution that simplifies the maintenance planning process and helps organizations achieve peak performance. FMX’s powerful tools and features streamline maintenance activities, improve asset management, and allow you to make data-driven decisions that lead to better outcomes.

Learn more about FMX’s maintenance management solution and book a personalized demo to see it for yourself.


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