In any industrial setting, your workers rely on heavy equipment to help them get their jobs done every single day. Whether it's a forklift, a pallet jack or production machines, these vital parts of your operation are also the kind of thing you need to take good care of on an ongoing basis, or else risk potentially serious breakdowns of both the equipment and your organizational efficiency.
With that in mind, the following tips will help you get a better handle on properly maintaining any heavy machinery as you move from winter to spring operations:
1) Make it a regular thing
The first thing you need to do when it comes to inspecting and maintaining your heavy equipment is put together a schedule on which they will be given a thorough examination, according to Gregory Poole CAT. While you will certainly need to take cursory inspections seriously on a near-daily basis, you also don't want to go more than a month without an in-depth look at anything you rely on in your factory.
2) Keep track of all servicing completed
Part and parcel with ensuring that your equipment gets regular inspections and tune-ups is keeping detailed records of what's examined and what work is done on each piece of machinery, Gregory Poole CAT recommended. That way, there's no confusion, and once you have a long enough paper trail, you can easily identify when various necessary maintenance (swapping out tires, changing the oil, etc.) has been performed. That, in turn, informs better care decisions down the road.
3) Make inspections at the start of each shift
As mentioned, the above type of maintenance isn't all you will need to do — your employees should also know to carefully inspect everything before they start using it for a new shift, according to Construction Executive. Wear and tear can sneak up on users of even the seemingly sturdiest pieces of equipment, and a trained employee completing a detailed once-over can help identify issues before they impede work.
4) Put people in charge of rapid-response fixes
Even the best-maintained pieces of equipment aren't fully insulated against the risk of a critical breakdown in the middle of a shift, Construction Executive added. Apart from the safety risk such an incident would pose, you also need to be able to get your equipment back in working order as soon as possible. Put together a team that is trained to quickly haul away and repair broken-down machines, as well as a plan to call in a highly qualified outside professional if the vehicle can't be fixed by staffers.
5) Make sure they're 'put away' properly each night
Finally, just as your employees should be responsible for making sure the equipment is ready to be used to its fullest extent each day, they also need to be highly conscious of the condition they're in at the end of the shift as well, according to Reliable Plant. Making that an emphasized part of the job will be just as important to keeping things in good shape for years to come as anything else on this list.