Heavy Equipment Maintenance Mistakes To Avoid

Published on 01/18/2022

heavy equipment maintenance mistakes to avoid

Heavy equipment maintenance is an essential part of any construction business. Like with any vehicle, bulldozers and front-end loaders also require repairs and regular maintenance. When it’s not practiced, it can lead to more than just lost work and costly repairs.

Failing to service your heavy equipment will lead to safety hazards on the job, injuries, and possibly lawsuits. Not making maintenance a priority is one of the biggest mistakes made by construction businesses.

Heavy Equipment Maintenance Don'ts

Here are the most common heavy equipment maintenance mistakes to avoid:

Putting off heavy equipment maintenance

One of the biggest mistakes construction companies make is putting off heavy equipment maintenance until the machinery breaks down. What starts as procrastination turns into costly equipment repairs, project delays, and job loss. Even worse, it creates a dangerous work environment for any of your employees using the neglected construction vehicles.

Having a heavy equipment maintenance checklist and sticking to it can help you prevent these issues in the future. By focusing on preventative measures, you’ll save money on replacement parts and keep your business up and running without delays. A checklist will also ensure all of your employees feel safe on the job. 

Failing to properly train equipment operators

Having a heavy machinery license doesn’t guarantee someone got trained to use every piece of equipment they encounter on a construction site. When a new equipment operator joins your team, it’s probably best to train them as if they know nothing at all. The same should apply when you acquire a new piece of machinery.

Hold a thorough training session focusing on handling the new construction tools for all of your equipment operators. While it may seem redundant, ensuring your crew knows how to use every piece of heavy equipment on-site can prevent unnecessary wear and tear. You’ll be thankful when your extra effort extends the life of your tools and allows you to resell them at higher prices later on. 

Leaving equipment outdoors

As construction equipment isn’t cheap, regularly keeping it outside is another major mistake construction companies often make. Despite being large and seemingly indestructible, heavy equipment isn’t immune to the elements. It can suffer quite a bit of damage over time if stored outdoors, leading to expensive repairs.

It’s common for machinery sitting in the rain and snow to rust over time. Additionally, the elements often destroy exposed wires, alternators, and starters. To keep your heavy equipment in working order, properly storing it is imperative.

Inadequate heavy equipment storage

Storing your heavy machinery requires more effort than simply keeping it out of the rain. A proper storage facility should be clean and dry, as moisture can lead to corrosion. While it doesn’t need a heating and cooling system, your storage space shouldn’t expose your equipment to extreme temperatures. 

Pushing your equipment too far

Part of heavy equipment maintenance is acknowledging performance specifications and sticking to them. As with any piece of machinery, pushing your construction tools too far will create excessive wear and tear that they aren’t built to withstand. This will render any equipment management you perform useless, as the components will begin to fail much more quickly. 

Failing to implement a pre-operation heavy equipment maintenance checklist

The best way to carry out heavy equipment maintenance on the job is to get your whole team involved. Make it part of their daily tasks in the form of a pre-operation checklist. Doing so ensures each piece of machinery is up to par immediately before use, keeping your employees safe and your business in adherence with safety regulations.

A pre-operation checklist should include inspecting the following:

  •     Tires
  •     Hydraulic system and fluid
  •     Transmission fluid
  •     Battery
  •     Clutches and brakes
  •     Instrument gauges
  •     Cooling system
  •     Horn
  •     Headlights
  •     Taillights
  •     Brake lights
  •     Control mechanisms
  •     Fan belt tension
  •     Complete fluid analysis
  •     Mirrors
  •     Seatbelt
  •     Turn signals
  •     Windshield wipers
  •     Backup lights and alarm
  •     Fire extinguisher

This list covers general pre-operation tasks, but yours should be specific to each piece of machinery in use. Should any issue come to light, have a professional mechanic tend to it as soon as possible to prevent further, more costly damage. 

We Can Handle Your Commercial Fleet Repair

If you haven’t been keeping up with your heavy equipment maintenance, you may be searching for commercial fleet repair in Berkeley, CA. Our team at All Bay Diesel is a vital part of the local heavy machinery industry. Our skilled diesel engine and automotive repair professionals can get any of your neglected construction vehicles up and running again, and all without the added cost of a tow truck.

All Bay Diesel offers Berkeley mobile truck repair services that make preventative maintenance and automotive repairs simple by traveling to you. Don’t let equipment failure delay any construction projects, costing you time and money. Call us now at (925) 522-1780 to schedule an appointment with one of our heavy equipment mechanics today!

Call Now: (925) 522-1780