Fleet Management Strategies Heavy Equipment Fleet Management Strategies The larger your grow your fleet, the more critical effective construction equipment management becomes. Properly servicing and maintaining your machines is crucial to ensuring a continued return on investment. A general rule of thumb is to replace equipment once its maintenance costs exceed 30% of the machine’s resale value. To help you keep your investment working productively for as long as possible, we’ve put together some important heavy equipment fleet management strategies that you can follow. Stay ahead of downtime We recommend enrolling your entire heavy equipment fleet into preventive maintenance contracts. It is essential to complete routine service at the intervals suggested by the manufacturer to optimize performance of your equipment and to document maintenance for warranty assurance. Proactive maintenance is a key part of construction equipment management, because it helps stabilize operational costs and lowers expenses by identifying small issues before they turn into big problems. Always follow the 80-20 rule It’s important to remember that about 80% of all maintenance costs are spent on 20% of machine problems. If you can recognize common or repeat issues and take preventive action to fix them, then you can eliminate the things that eat up your operating budget and are the main culprits behind costly downtime. Implement equipment monitoring tools Understanding how your machines are performing is a key part of construction equipment management. There are now innovative, advanced tools that accurately monitor equipment, collect data, and convert raw data into actionable information. Software is available to help fleet managers determine a machine's resale value, calculate ownership and operating costs, and estimate repairs, parts and labor expenses. If you need help understanding these tools, just ask! Conduct routine fluid analysis Regularly completing fluid analysis and comparing contaminant levels to normal wear rates helps identify potential issues with components before a major breakdown occurs. Analyzing fluids is one of the most important heavy equipment fleet management strategies we can share with you, because it gives you a picture of how your machine is working internally and will help you avoid unnecessary downtime and costly repairs. Keep comprehensive records Maintaining tight records of all the machines in your fleet will help you predict equipment productivity and operational costs, including working hours, fuel consumption, maintenance expenses, and more. Consistent, reliable information allows you to make the best decision possible when determining whether to replace or repair a machine. Keep a file for every piece of heavy equipment in your fleet and document all service and repairs. Pay attention to equipment age Generally speaking, the average total cost of owning and operating machines follows a parabolic slope. That means that total cost decreases during the early years of owning the equipment, as capital costs are spread over a longer period of time. However, operating costs increase during the same period, eventually causing an increase in average total cost. The point at which the sum of ownership costs and operating costs is at its minimum is the best age for operating your machines efficiently. One of the most crucial heavy equipment fleet management strategies is to stabilize the average age of all your machines near this point to minimize the total cost of ownership. Should you rebuild or replace a machine? Construction equipment management often involves deciding between rebuilding and replacing a machine. You can use this simple formula to calculate and compare the costs of each choice: Cost to rebuild (new equipment price x .5)/equipment life (estimated hours x .75) = cost per hour For example, a new piece of equipment that is $140,000 with an estimated life of 10,000 hours would cost $14 per hour to operate. To compare, calculate the cost to rebuild. ($140,000)(.5)/(10.000)(.75) = $9.33 per hour If the cost to rebuild is $70,000 for an estimated equipment life of 7,500 hours, at $9.33 per hour, it is more cost effective to rebuild than to replace. If you have any questions about heavy equipment fleet management strategies, contact our team today!
Hydraulic System Maintenance Tips for Maintaining Your Hydraulic Equipment Equipment hydraulic systems provide the power needed to perform heavy lifting, digging, and maneuvering tasks. To ensure the longevity and reliable performance of construction equipment, regular hydraulic maintenance is crucial. Below are the best practices for maintaining hydraulic systems in construction equipment, ensuring optimal performance and minimizing downtime. Regular inspection and cleaning The most important part of hydraulic equipment maintenance is regularly checking the system for any leaks, damaged hoses, or worn out seals. You should also pay close attention to connections, fittings, and hydraulic fluid reservoirs. Inspect the filters and screens to ensure they are clean and free from debris that can hinder proper flow. Regularly remove dirt, dust, and other particles that may accumulate on the equipment, as they can adversely affect the system's performance. Monitor fluid levels and quality Fluid is the lifeblood of the system and a key part of hydraulic maintenance. Check fluid levels frequently, following the manufacturer's recommendations. Low levels can lead to cavitation and inadequate lubrication, causing premature wear and reduced performance, while contaminated or degraded fluid can impair the hydraulic system's efficiency and cause component failures. Regularly test the fluid for contamination, moisture, and degradation, and replace it if necessary. Maintain proper fluid temperatures Hydraulic systems generate heat during operation, and excessive temperatures can lead to fluid breakdown and component failure. A key part of hydraulic equipment maintenance is regularly monitoring the system's operating temperature to ensure it stays within the recommended range. If the temperature exceeds the acceptable limit, consider using coolers or heat exchangers to regulate it. Adequate ventilation and airflow around the hydraulic components can also help dissipate heat effectively. Lubrication and seal maintenance Proper lubrication is essential to minimize friction and wear within the hydraulic equipment. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for lubricating moving parts, such as cylinders, pistons, and bearings. Lubricate seals and O-rings to prevent leakage and to help maintain their integrity. Confirm that the lubricants are compatible with the hydraulic fluid and the system's components before applying them. Using the wrong lubricant can lead to seal swelling, reduced performance, and potential system damage. Regular filter replacement Filters play a critical role in hydraulic maintenance by capturing contaminants and preventing them from circulating in the system. Over time, filters become clogged and lose their effectiveness, compromising the system's performance. Replace filters at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer or based on usage conditions. Maintain system pressure and optimize settings Proper pressure settings are essential for operation of your hydraulic equipment. Regularly monitor and adjust pressure levels according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Excessive pressure can cause damage to system components, while inadequate pressure can result in poor performance. Regularly inspect and calibrate pressure relief valves to ensure accurate and consistent pressure control. If you have any questions hydraulic equipment or maintenance, then just reach out to our team today!
A great looking lawn is a beautiful sight, but maintaining lush, green turf requires consistently taking the right steps. Turf maintenance involves providing your grass with the necessary nutrients, water, and care to keep it healthy and vibrant throughout the year. To help you out, we’ve put together six turf maintenance tips to remember when you are working to cultivate a healthy lawn. Aerate your turf—Aerating is an effective way to reduce soil compaction and allow nutrients and water to penetrate deeper into the root system. You can use a lawn aerator or a garden fork to create small holes in the soil. Aerating your turf six to eight times a year can improve soil health and promote healthier turf growth. Fertilize regularly—Fertilizing is an essential task for turf maintenance. Fertilizers provide essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are necessary for healthy growth. Choose a fertilizer that is suitable for your turf type and apply it according to the manufacturer's instructions. A regular fertilizing schedule can keep your lawn healthy and vibrant throughout the growing season. Water your lawn correctly—Watering the correct way is crucial for maintaining healthy turf growth. It’s important to water grass deeply and infrequently, rather than shallowly and frequently. This approach encourages deep root growth, which makes your turf more resilient to drought and other stress factors. Use a sprinkler or irrigation system to water your lawn, and avoid overwatering, which can lead to fungal growth and other turf diseases. Plus, always water at night or in the morning or evening. Avoid the hottest part of the day when you will lose water to evaporation. Mow regularly—Mowing is an essential aspect of turf maintenance. Regular mowing promotes healthy turf growth and prevents weeds from taking over. Choose the right mowing height for your turf type, and avoid cutting too low, which can damage the grass blades and root system. A general rule of thumb is to mow no more than one third of the grass height at a time. Control weeds—Weeds can quickly take over your turf, so it's essential keep them away from the turf. You can use herbicides or manually remove the weeds, but be sure to choose a method that is suitable for your turf type and safe for the environment. If clearing weeds from a smaller area, then removing them by hand is your best option. Repair bare spots—Bare spots can be unsightly and make your lawn more susceptible to weeds and turf diseases. Repair bare spots by raking the area and adding new grass seed or turf. Keep the area moist until the grass seed has germinated and established a strong root system. Following these steps consistently will make turf maintenance easier and more successful, providing you with a healthy, resilient lawn. If you have any questions about maintaining your turf, then contact our team today!