You don’t have to be a mechanic to realize that operating heavy machinery that is not quite up to par can cost you both time and money when the equipment finally fails. What’s more, running machinery that has something wrong with it can cause further damage, which may be catastrophic. Unfortunately, many employees continue to operate machinery that needs mechanical attention — a practice that can drain your wallet and bring production to a halt.
If you want to keep your fleet in tip-top shape, you have to train your employees to spot trouble as soon as it begins. Following are some potentially catastrophic problems that your employees should be looking for. Below are two problems that should be reported immediately by whoever is running the equipment.
A broken hydraulic line is difficult to ignore because it sprays a lot of fluid and causes immediate issues with the equipment. However, slower leaks can be just as devastating if they are ignored over a long period of time. For example, oil can become contaminated with corrosive deposits that can wear or eat into components if it is not cleaned off. Similarly, a continuous leak of oil and other fluids can lead to surface pitting and other issues with the parts of your equipment. Allowing equipment to run dry of certain fluids can also cause complete failure or lock-up of the machinery.
To prevent these types of equipment failures, train your employees to inspect the ground under the equipment when they climb in and out of it. Have them look for puddles of fluid on the ground or steady drips of fluid coming from the equipment. Supply an avenue for them to report the problem immediately and get the equipment in the garage as soon as possible.
You should also train your employees to listen for sounds of trouble, such as clanking, grinding and squealing. In many cases, these types of sounds can indicate that a breakdown is about to occur. Train your employees to turn off the equipment and investigate any new sound even if the equipment is still handling and responding appropriately. Do not allow your employees to ignore such warning signs, as they can indicate a potential problem that can cost you dearly if they are ignored.
A good maintenance and inspection program can go a long way in keeping your equipment running great. You should always teach your employees to look for and report any potential issues.