Properly managing your heavy equipment is crucial to maintain your return on investment and keep your projects running on time and on budget. To help you keep your machines as productive as possible for as long as possible, we’ve put together some key equipment fleet management strategies.
One of the most important equipment fleet management strategies is proactive maintenance. Enroll your machine into maintenance contracts to ensure routine service is documented and conducted at suggested intervals. Proactive maintenance keeps operational costs stable and reduces downtime and associated repair expenses by identifying minor issues before they become major problems.
The next of the equipment fleet management strategies that you should be using is machine monitoring tools. New technology has developed tools that more accurately monitor machines, collect data, and convert raw data into actionable information. Software is available to help fleet managers determine equipment resale value, calculate ownership and operating costs, and estimate repairs, parts and labor expenses.
A key part of equipment fleet management is analyzing fluids and comparing contaminate levels to normal wear rates. These analyses help identify potential problems with components before major failures, allowing you to avoid unnecessary downtime and costly repairs.
Comprehensive and exact records help managers predict machine productivity and operational costs, such as working hours, fuel consumption, maintenance expenses, and more. Sound information breeds sound decisions when choosing to replace or repair heavy equipment. We recommend keeping a machine history file jacket for each piece of equipment that documents all maintenance and repair work.
When deciding between rebuilding and replacing a piece of equipment, use this simple formula to compare costs:
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.