Winter is now upon us and brings with it the risk of unplanned machinery downtime. If it’s not properly looked after, your equipment may be damaged by colder conditions – whether you’re using it or storing it for the winter.
With proper preparation, however, there are ways you can mitigate this downtime and ensure your machinery is available when you need it, avoiding potentially costly outages.
Here, we cover three ways to reduce your unplanned machinery downtime.
Regular maintenance and refurbishment
Performing maintenance and refurbishment only when your equipment begins to malfunction means you’ll experience more and longer periods of unnecessary downtime. In the winter months, perform maintenance on the equipment that you’ll be using less to ensure it stays in tip-top condition throughout the colder months and beyond.
Miller offers a dedicated repair and refurbishment service that ensures maximum uptime for your key plant equipment. As part of this service, you’ll get:
By carrying out this maintenance and refurbishment while some of your machinery isn’t in use, you can keep it in perfect working condition ready for busier months. For equipment that’s in use year-round, it’s important to carry out regularly scheduled maintenance at least every few months.
Keep your equipment clean
During busy periods, keeping your equipment clean might – understandably – not be a priority. But regular cleaning can ensure dirt and debris doesn’t get into it and potentially take it out of action.
Be sure to clean the different components of your equipment based on their function. Steam cleaners can remove dirt from the outside of your excavators, diggers and rock bucket attachments, but engines require a gentler touch. Manually spraying degreasers and wiping with wet cloths will keep the engines of your machinery running smoothly.
Keeping your environment clean is essential too. Microscopic dust and dirt particles in the air can eventually make their way into and onto your equipment and build up over time, causing an eventual obstruction or breakdown. Invest in air filters in your storage facilities to keep the areas around your plant equipment clear.
Perform quality and risk audits
Preventing downtime is important to keep your business productive and functional. But there’s another key consideration when it comes to equipment maintenance: safety. As well as choosing equipment and components that have safety at their heart, like our PowerLatch Quick Coupler, carrying out quality checks and risk assessments is essential.
The older a piece of equipment gets, the more likely it is to become unsafe. Eventually, you’ll need to replace much of your equipment with safer and more efficient new models, but in the meantime, schedule regular, thorough examinations to determine how safe they are to use. Record your assessments and make them accessible within your business.
Smaller, ad-hoc checks are also a good idea as and when the equipment needs to be used. For example, checking the cabling isn’t damaged on a power tool or examining your coupler attachments and digging buckets for wear and tear.
For many, winter is a time when much of our equipment goes into storage. For others, it’s used year-round. But whether it’s in use or not, the cold weather can wreak havoc on it and cause a lot of unplanned downtime. By carrying out scheduled maintenance and refurbishment activities, risk audits and cleaning, you can ensure your equipment experiences maximum uptime.
Get in touch with Miller if you’d like to find out more about our refurbishment and maintenance service.