One of the first options you have when tending to your fleet is one of the most basic − the Preventative Maintenance Plan or PM plan. Some people call it a service contract, maintenance schedule or service plan, but for today, let’s stick with PM plan.
A PM plan is meant to be designed with both customer and vendor input. The vendor will help with the suggested times of service, whether it be 250 hour or 500 hour intervals and so on. On the customer side, all that is usually needed on their end are the hours of the day the machinery works and to make the units available when someone comes to complete the service.
Some vendors will even monitor the hours for you which means less of a headache for you (the customer) because all you have to do is answer the phone when the vendor calls and confirm a time with them to make the unit available. That’s the part I like, let someone else do the work for you and get back to the things you want to focus on.
A basic PM plan can take a lot of the hassle out of your daily routine. If you keep on a good service regiment, during these services, the little things like valve cover leaks and output seal leaks will get noticed, saving you that engine if you happen to miss it on daily inspection. Not to mention the safety side of things. Regular outside inspections completed during the PM’s will put another set of trained eyes on your gear to ensure nothing safety related is missed, working to lessen your risk and your employees risk in the future.
Then there is the back side. On a PM plan with a reputable company, you won’t have to guess what the chicken scratch says… a PM plan is designed to give you as much information about your units at that time that you will need to make decisions and plan for the future. Beyond that, the vendor has records of your unit. If you have WCB stop by, make the call for all your records. No need to have papers strewn all over your desk, receive them in one easy email.
Want to sell your unit? Nine times out of ten, in a private sale, you will get more money for your unit when you can prove you haven’t ran it into the ground. Costs… most PM plans will have a flat rate. That means you pay one price for the service and for the parts. This enables you to forecast the cost of one or all of your equipment for the year. That being said, if your operator decides to back the unit off of something, there is always that risk no matter what. For most of you I believe the cost is what drives the bulk of your decisions. If you can forecast costs and keep them down at the same time, what’s wrong with that?
One final perk, this is one of the items most miss. Employees and equipment. When an employee sees the owner or boss man taking care of the equipment most employees will follow suit. Also improving uptime and lowering costs to repairs. Next time the operator may not squeak through that hole and scratch the counterweight or jam the e-brake on when stopping for coffee. It is also good to note that operators today are much happier to come to work and use a nice clean and safe unit, keeping the mood in a good spot for your employees. A happy employee will always produce more than a sad employee. No research needed for that.
To review, the PM plan is designed as a simple way to reduce costs, improve safety, take some of the work off of your plate and keep your gear and employees happy.
Do you want to learn more about service options? Check out part one here!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any affiliated companies.